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Hobo with a Shotgun

Posted: Sun Apr 03, 2011 12:32 am
by Chris Slack
I have been looking forward to this since seeing the trailer several months ago. Unbeknown to me this was released to video on demand services yesterday so I was very excited to see it listed when making a semi-regular trip through the listings earlier today. This was based on a fake trailer during the "intermission" of the "Grindhouse" double feature for its Canadian run.

Official plot: "A train pulls into the station - it's the end of the line. A Hobo jumps from a freight car, hoping for a fresh start in a new city. Instead, he finds himself trapped in an urban hell. This is a world where criminals rule the streets and Drake, the city's crime boss, reigns supreme alongside his sadistic murderous sons, Slick & Ivan. Amidst the chaos, the Hobo comes across a pawn shop window displaying a second hand lawn mower. He dreams of making the city a beautiful place and starting a new life for himself. But as the brutality continues to rage around him, he notices a shotgun hanging above the lawn mower... Quickly, he realizes the only way to make a difference in this town is with that gun in his hand and two shells in its chamber."

While I enjoyed "Planet Terror," "Death Proof" and "Machete" quite a bit this was definitely the best of the newer retro-grindhouse movies and the most authentic. In this one the characters, soundtrack and general flow of action took me right back to the drive in of the early 80's. There were no digital "film" scratches, age effects or smart pop-culture references to try to drive the point home. "Hobo with a Shotgun" delivers with over the top action, violence, and wit to create what will certainly be one of the best films of the year. Rutger Hauer does a great job as the hobo, calmly bringing down his extreme brand of justice in a city gone mad.

If you’re a fan of late '70s/early '80s exploitation films do yourself a favor and watch this ASAP!

Trailer 1 (NSFW):
Trailer 2 (NSFW):


Re: Hobo with a Shotgun

Posted: Sun Jun 12, 2011 9:16 pm
by Remo D
I am VERY angry with my local arthouse. I held off ordering this on-demand on the hopes that I would eventually be treated to a theatrical presentation. Well, it finally happened... HOBO WITH A SHOTGUN opened locally. One showing nightly at 9:30PM only. When I can't get to it. Of course, the vegetarian-propaganda-documentary FORKS OVER KNIVES is playing ALL day, ALL week.

So I broke down and ordered the on-demand instead. Watch this space--review will follow soon.

Re: Hobo with a Shotgun

Posted: Mon Jun 13, 2011 8:31 pm
by Remo D
Well, I held out for this one as long as I could before it disappeared from On-Demand. And lo and behold, my local arthouse finally brought HOBO WITH A SHOTGUN to the big screen in my area. One showing nightly. At 9:30PM. When I can't get there. Damn them. Oh, sure, the poorly-reviewed "vegetarian" documentary FORKS OVER KNIVES gets to play all day, all week. And CAVE OF FORGOTTEN DREAMS, one of the few films people tend to agree NEEDS to be seen in 3-D, is taking up space in a theatre unequipped for the process. So guess who DIDN'T get my weekly movie money? Yep, I caved in and watched the movie On-Demand, but it still counts as one of this year's theatrical releases...

Selected Canadian theatre-goers got to see the original mock trailer for HOBO WITH A SHOTGUN as part of GRINDHOUSE--and now the real thing is here, courtesy of director Jason Eisener. (The absence of Jessica Alba automatically makes HOBO WITH A SHOTGUN better than MACHETE, especially as BOTH films have a female character delivering a rousing speech to an angry mob near the end.) And while the trailer didn't convey much of this suggestion at all, the feature film reveals itself to be a full-blown spaghetti Western tribute from the very beginning! Yep, a stirring orchestral score heralds the arrival of the nameless title figure (Rutger Hauer) as a train pulls into a town that might as well be named Hell (oh, and while the GRINDHOUSE device of purposely degraded film is avoided, the credits still offer a wonderful retro effect with a prominent nod to Technicolor).

Hauer wants to start a new life--perhaps by cadging enough capital to purchase a lawn mower and start his own lawn-cutting business. But almost no time passes before he discovers that the town is under the lethal thrall of maniacal businessman Drake (Brian Downey) and his two sons--when the family isn't fighting amongst themselves, they're pushing drugs, loan sharking AND using the local homeless population as literal cannon-fodder. Hauer mans up and demands that justice be done... but of COURSE the police are in Drake's pocket as well. Hauser finds himself allied with a sympathetic prostitute (Molly Dunsworth), whom he insists on seeing as a schoolteacher and turns full vigilante, taking up the title weapon as opposed to his dream mower.

Sounds pretty straightforward, right? Oh, goodness me, no, no, no... this movie does not know when to QUIT when it comes to envisioning Hell on Earth (Clint Eastwood, take note). The movie is packed to the rafters with the most explosive, surreal gore I've seen in a VERY long time (wait'll you see the amusement arcade with the homeless targets, for one thing), and when the Drakes decide to respond to Hauer's rampage? Okay. Speaking of GRINDHOUSE... if you thought PLANET TERROR went too far when the little boy accidentally shot himself in the face? You ain't seen nothin' yet... one of the most jaw-droppingly appalling sequences yet set to film awaits you, and there's no use complaining about it, because this very sequence is used to herald another truly amazing sight when karma comes full circle for one character in particular. I was in genuine awe when I saw where this was going.

But the film also works in its rare quiet moments... one of the best scenes (completely spoiled in the theatrical trailer, so I'm really not giving anything away here) has Hauer discovering the infants in the hospital nursery ward and deciding to give them a little lecture regarding where they're headed if they grow up in this town... as he speaks, the contented gurgling in the background gradually gives way to desperate bawling...

Okay--I'm not entirely convinced that the film hits total perfection. By the time the climax heats up, we've added robotic (?) samurai (?) bikers to the mix... and do the Drakes have Cthulhu stashed in their warehouse, too? The results are never less than exciting, don't get me wrong, but the additional super-weirdness can be a bit distracting, especially as we're already thoroughly entrenched in the story the main characters are giving us (not to mention the definitive, authoritative and truly POSSESSED performance of the great Rutger Hauer).

But that's a small criticism, indeed, when you look at the overall picture. This is one of the most audacious, aggressive and knowledgeable "grindhouse" tributes ever--I'm not saying that Tarantino and Rodrigues "couldn't" have done it, but there's no way in hell they could have even THOUGHT about bringing it in with an "R" rating and getting it into a theatre where even I could see the damn thing.

Watch out for Jason Eisener...

Re: Hobo with a Shotgun

Posted: Tue Jun 21, 2011 5:51 pm
by Kimberly
His teeth were too nice to be that of a hobo's :tongue:

Otherwise, I thought this movie was a lot of fun. I really enjoyed watching it.