Hobo with a Shotgun is directed by Jason Eisener and written by John Davies. It stars Rutger Hauer, Brian Downey, Gregory Smith, Molly Dunsworth, Robb Wells and Nick Bateman. Music is by Alexander Rosborough and cinematography by Karim Hussain.
A homeless hobo (Hauer) hitches a freight train lift into Hope Town and finds a city imploding with corruption, violence, drugs and sexual deviance. Initially trying to keep out of the way and get on with his meagre existence, the hobo finally cracks and decides he can no longer sit back and watch such lawlessness. Helping himself to a shotgun from the local pawn shop, hobo goes on a one man killing crusade.
Born out of a trailer that accompanied the original full release of Rodriguez/Tarrantino's Grindhouse venture, Hobo with a Shotgun is horror exploitation made with abundant glee. Blending Death Wish like vigilantism with 70s and 80s styled schlock, Jason Eisener has crafted an utterly tasteless, yet wonderfully entertaining, piece of cinema. Violence is broad and completely bloody, as heads are exploded, bodies punctured and characters slotted in a series of increasingly strange ways, while the characters that inhabit Hope Town are downright nasty and equally weird. From bully boy Tom Cruise homage brother bastards Ivan & Slick, to a paedophile Santa Claus, and on to The Plague-two metal suited fetish killers sent to take out the hobo-it's bizarreville for sure.
It's all driven by a great turn from Hauer, who manages to play it with raw and subtle emotion, even as the rage takes control of him and he deals death as surely as he delivers a memorable line. Around him are a bunch of no mark actors, but this works in the films favour, the material doesn't need star wattage to drive its motor, besides which, you will undoubtedly come out of the film remembering the characters these actors have played. Shot in suitably lurid Technicolor by Hussain and featuring an on the money score by Rosborough, all the elements for a Grindhouse feature fall into place. It basically does what the title suggests it will, yes it may at times veer towards crassness, and what social comment depthness is intended gets lost as Eisener gets carried away with the carnage, but this is a whole bunch of fun for adults who remember the past movies this homages and parodies in equal measure. 8/10