Hobo with a Shotgun (2011)

Hobo with a Shotgun (2011) – In 2007 Grindhouse aimed to bring back exploitation cinema in a big way. It did, but the movie’s less-than-stellar box office returns nixed Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez’s big plan to make a whole series of these types of films. Grindhouse came complete with fake trailers. One of them, Machete, was turned into an actual movie. There was a contest to see who could make their own grindhouse-style exploitation trailer and the winner would be screened with select screenings of Grindhouse. The winner was Jason Eisener’s Hobo with a Shotgun. Now, like Machete before it, Hobo with a Shotgun is a real movie.

The movie is set in a dystopian nightmare of a city ironically called Hope Town (but called Scum Town by locals who graffiti the sign). Rutger Hauer plays a hobo who rides into town and witnesses the depravity perpetrated by The Drake (Brian Downey), the crime boss who runs the town, and his two sons Slick (former child actor Gregory Smith from Small Soldiers) and Ivan (Nick Bateman). The hobo initially tries to keep his head down and mind his own business, but after a while the town pushes him too far and he gets… (uh… spoiler?) a shotgun! Much shotgun-related carnage follows. Actually much other carnage precedes that. There’s a lot of carnage is what I’m saying.

There is an attempt at having an emotional story arc with the hobo befriending a lady of the evening named Abby (Molly Dunsworth), but the main draw of the movie is violence. The movie shows bad people doing bad things then having worse things done to them. It’s all very over-the-top and it might be too much for viewers used to the more muted violence of Hollywood films (where people can get shot a hundred times without ever actually bleeding). Quite frankly, Machete looks subtle by comparison. If you like a bit of the old ultraviolence in an over-the-top but non-ironic tale of vigilante “justice,” Hobo with a Shotgun just might be for you.

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