Reviews

Hobo With A Shotgun

4

Maybe tomorrow he’ll want to settle down.

Hobo With A Shotgun review

Whether replicant from the future (Blade Runner), cyberpunk from the past (er, Alan Partridge), or rumbling butter salesman (that brilliant Lurpak advert), Rutger Hauer is an actor who always, always brings it, no matter how demeaning the work.

Seeing as that’s the whole point of Jesse Eisener’s faux-awful video nasty throwback (based on one of the fake trailers attached to selected prints of Grindhouse), it’s perfect casting.

Having hitched a lift into Hope Town on a freight train, Hauer’s itinerant finds a city in flames – corruption rules the streets and the police station, drugs and prostitution are rife, and filmmakers several notches below Eisener pay local tramps to fight each other on camera.

Threatened by the local druglord (Brian Downey) and his sons (Gregory Smith and Nick Bateman), who style themselves the “princes of Fuck Town” while dressed, for some reason, like Tom Cruise in Risky Business, Hauer vows to give them both barrels of his newly acquired shotgun, in the process saving Molly Dunsworth’s sympathetic hooker.

Mostly this means barking lines such as, “Jerk on this, you child-molesting shit-licker!” as heads burst in corn-syrupy spurts, but at least his intentions are good.

It’s astonishingly tasteless – one scene features a human piñata being beaten with a razor-blade-studded baseball bat while naked chicks dance around and Smith and Bateman mimic The Last Supper – and authentically lawless in a way the higherbudget Machete could never hope to emulate.

It’s also well shot, with Eisener’s ram-raiding camera keeping low and mobile, and affectionately observed, right down to the vintage Technicolor logo, saturated colours and ever-present lens flare.

Make no mistake, though, this is Hauer’s film and he grabs it two-handed. With a slack mouth forever twitching at some half-remembered truth, eyes that have seen things us people definitely wouldn’t believe and that apocalyptic voice, his Hobo is a genuinely unhinged creation – what grizzled would look like if it really let itself go.

Yet even as he wastes paedos and pushers with extreme prejudice, Hauer lends the character an owlish dignity that almost lifts the movie out of the gutter.

The irony when filmmakers aim floorwards with such aplomb is that it hints at how much more they’re capable of. The same goes for Hauer, who acts like this is his Wrestler. Until someone writes him one, however, Hobo will definitely do.

Verdict:

Twice as good as a fi lm based on a spoof trailer has any right to be, Hobo is a great career kickstarter for director Eisener and the credibility boost Hauer richly deserves.

Film Details

User Reviews

    • piffle

      Jul 6th 2011, 23:21

      Can't speak for the movie, but sorry... this is another review like so many lately which reads like it was written by a 4 year old. A paragraph is not the same thing as a sentence people!

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    • DanRose

      Jul 8th 2011, 14:43

      5

      This film was much better than I anticipated... fun, gory and with a brilliant performance by the Hauer... At times it was rather unsettling and the whole society is messed up point is clearly made but the film, I think is not trying to be too political but rather to enjoy it for what it is... As for Piffle, and their pathetic little comment... jog on mate. Some people just love to moan... go and read the Daily Mail oldie if you're so concern with the structure of the review... bullet points are easy to read and effective.

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    • JohnJDuffy

      Jul 9th 2011, 1:19

      1

      Hmmmmm. It was ok, I spent all of the film waiting for him to get a shotgun and when he does its over too quickly, and sometimes it was just plain annoying.

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    • Blyvj88

      Jul 10th 2011, 0:46

      5

      This film is totally B.A. A combination between Gran Torino and Toxic Avenger with much more darkness. Totally Awesome Movie. Also if you haven't seen The Toxic Avenger then you probably have no business watching this movie...

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    • FBSBuntinx

      Oct 30th 2011, 8:06

      Take the violence of "Planet Terror" and "Machete" and multiply it with 5 :) and you get "Hobo with a Shotgun". I'm used to watch violent movies but this one is for me too very hard (but also very funny) to watch. The film has a lot of strong points: Rutger Hauer is wonderful. and "the Plague" will come in the list of most mythical murderers ever :) Not for watching every week but a real cultclassic :)

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    • grobliro

      Jan 26th 2012, 11:00

      Hobo with a shot gun. Fantastic, destined to be a cult classic!. More pulpy than Pulp Fiction, more vengeful then Gran Torino. More ultra-violent than Clockwork Orange! The perfect blend that just manages not to take itself too seriously. And the opening soundtrack is breathtaking!

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