"Hobo with a Shotgun"
Released on May 6th, 2011
Directed by Jason Eisener
Man, I love the old exploitation films of the 70's! As a kid, I saw such films as "Shaft", "Super Ninjas", "Dolemite", "Blacula", & "Blackenstein" on late night local TV channels. The action was over exaggerated, the acting was campy & there was plenty of run & gun action.
This style of film making has made a come back thru such efforts as "Planet Terror", "Machete", "Machete Kills" & "Death Proof".
"Hobo with a Shotgun", just like "Machete", began as a fake trailer for a Grindhouse competition. The response was good enough that an entire movie was made on the premise.
Rutger Hauer as the "Hobo".
Man, Rutger Hauer, owns this movie! I was impressed as a young movie goer when I first saw him in "Blade Runner". He takes this role and runs with it. This movie is not intended to make a statement regarding the homeless nor is it pretentious to even try to. This movie is pure horror/action and it's fun to watch. It reminds me of a mix of "Falling Down" (1993; Mike Douglas) & "Planet Terror"
A solitary Hobo (Hauer) rides the rails into "Scum Town" to try & make himself a new life. He finds out quickly that the town is nothing but a cesspool of crime, corruption and degradation. The atrocities he witnesses are simply to give the viewer something to hate- stereo-typically; a pedophile, prostitution, robberies, murders, etc. The Hobo tries to raise money for a lawnmower in a local pawn shop for $49.99. Having no luck, he has to degrade himself for a videographer (a la "Bum Fights") to gain the money to buy it.
When he enters the pawn shop to buy the lawnmower, masked thugs are in the process of robbing the place; threatening to kill a mother & her infant child. The Hobo makes the choice- a lawnmower for $49.99 or a pump shotgun for $49.99. The Hobo, fed up with all of what he has seen & endured, grabs the shotgun & kills the criminals.
Afterwards, the Hobo goes on a vigilante killing spree. He begins killing every criminal he comes across, usually with a smart ass comment before dispatching the evil-doer.
Of course, any splatter film wouldn't be complete without outrageous villains - so we have the evil towns leader "The Drake", his two sons "Slick" & "Ivan" as antagonists. However, the movies best villains are the two henchmen employed by Drake known as "The Plague".
Garbed in armor and having unique weapons, the Plague captures the Hobo to be taken to The Drake for execution. These two guys are weird, cool, unemotional and a little on the supernatural side. I mean one shot, as the Hobo is in the lair of the Plague, he sees the two fighting off some sort of tentacled creature in another room. I mean, it's never explained or has any relevance to the story at all. But the tentacled creature obviously wasn't something natural! Weird, but I like it!
The movie is a kind of throw back that is cool and fun to watch. A revenge story told within outrageous parameters. I'd recommend this movie to fans of the genre, that's for sure.
The Blu-ray itself comes with a lot of special features that are sure to please movie buffs. I was impressed with the packaging as well. The artwork is also in the 70's exploitation style and is stylized to reflect the films aesthetic.
So, being the strange-movie guru that I am, I give this film a great recommendation.
Till next time-------- Later.