Action Movie Fanatix Review: Hobo with a Shotgun

Hobo with a Shotgun banner

Delivering Justice One Shell At A Time

Starring: Rutger Hauer, Pasha Ebrahimi, Robb Wells, Brian Downey, Gregory Smith, Nick Bateman, Molly Dunsworth

Director: Jason Eisener

2011  |  86 Minutes  |  Not Rated

“I’m making a citizen’s arrest.” – Hobo

Hobo with a Shotgun is another foray into the grindhouse revival championed by Robert Rodriguez & Quentin Tarantino.  It is based on a fake trailer that was a part of their grindhouse double feature from a few years back.  I really didn’t enjoy Planet Terror or Death Proof but definitely liked Machete so I figured I would probably like Hobo with a Shotgun.

A hobo (Rutger Hauer) arrives by train in a new city that is completely corrupted by crime and its unofficial ruler, The Drake.  The hobo scrapes together enough money to buy a shotgun from a pawn shop and sets to make things right in his new home town.

From the first second this movie had the grindhouse look and feel down pat including saying it was presented in Technicolor.

Every possible element of Hobo with a Shotgun is way over the top.  The story, the dialogue, the characters and especially the violence are all over the freakin’ moon.

Rutger Hauer was a perfect choice for the Hobo.  He not only looks the part but his voice perfectly fits the over the top Falling Down vibe of the film.  When he sits with a hobo sign that reads “I am tired.  Need $ for lawnmower” you can’t help but think WTF?  It is explained later on but it still is pretty random.

The bad guys are The Drake (who is some sort of criminal drug kingpin), his two sons (letter jacket wearing pricks) and at the very end The Plague (two armored dudes that are actually pretty sweet).  Aside from The Plague I couldn’t stand the villains.  It is never once understandable how The Drake and his sons could have controlled this city and its police force considering they are no where near an organized crime syndicate.  They are just maniacs and no one stands up to stop them.  I am applying too much logic here though.

Ummmm, the only other element worth talking about is the gore.  Holy crap.  When I say over the top it is an understatement.  Nothing is sacred here.  Children are burned alive in a bus, hands chopped off, heads blown apart, feet smashed to pieces and a dudes *ahem* member is blown to shreds with, you guessed it, a shotgun.

It is hard for me to knock Hobo with a Shotgun for being over the top or unrealistic enough because it never set out to be even remotely realistic.  But for some reason it was just too over the top for me.  I can’t even believe I am saying this because I never have a problem with this.  It just didn’t keep me entertained.  I kept looking at my watch waiting for it to end.

Hobo with a Shotgun is pure grindhouse ridiculousness.  And is really well made for the genre.  If you can remind yourself of this then you might be able to have some fun with it.  On the other hand, I didn’t particularly enjoy it.  I can’t even explain why.  I just found myself not enjoying the things that I would normally enjoy.  I am starting to wonder if I don’t like grindhouse movies as much as I thought I did.  Hopefully Machete Kills lives up to all the things that I enjoyed from the original and doesn’t delve into the territory of Hobo, Planet Terror and Death Proof.

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