Movie Review: Hobo With A Shotgun

Hobo With A Shotgun
Directed By: Jason Eisener
Written By: John Davies
Starring: Rutger Hauer, Gregory Smith, Molly Dunsworth, Brian Downey, Rob Wells
Release date: March 25, 2011 (Canada)

Once in a lifetime, you come across a movie that rips the scales from your eyes and forces you to see the world as it really is. A movie that reaches into your very soul; tapping into the existential yearning that is the yolk which connects us all to our basic humanity. It’s a movie that one single viewing of can change your life forever.

For me, that movie is Hobo With A Shotgun.

For those of you who don’t already know the story, Hobo With A Shotgun was the brainchild of Canadian filmmaker Jason Eisener. Winner of the SXSW Grindhouse Trailer contest, Jason Eisener’s fake trailer for Hobo With A Shotgun was attached to the blockbuster Tarantino/Rodriguez Grindhouse double-bill of Planet Terror and Death Proof for its Canadian run. The trailer became such a hit that soon shooting of a feature-length film began in the Canadian province of Nova Scotia.

Rutger Hauer stars as the Hobo, a nameless drifter who floats into a rotting rustbelt harbor town (lovingly referred to as “˜Fuck Town’) with dreams of starting a landscaping business with a lawnmower sitting in a pawn shop window. Unfortunately, “Fuck” Town isn’t what you would call “˜small business friendly,’ and the Hobo soon runs afoul of a white-suited crimelord showman named the Drake and his two sadistic, Tom Cruise-impersonating sons Slick and Ivan. After rescuing a prostitute named Abby from rape and murder at the hands of Slick, the Hobo becomes obsessed with cleaning up the streets. So instead of buying a lawnmower, he plunks his $41.50 down for a 12-gauge shotgun, and starts to dish out bloody justice one shell at a time.

Now, Hobo With A Shotgun isn’t for everyone. For example, if you have any issues with a flamethrower cooking a busload of school children to the tune of “Disco Inferno” or topless women disemboweling a human piñata with a razor-covered baseball bat, or a pair of heavily armored hit men slaughtering every doctor in a maternity ward with spear guns and a machete, you might want to check out Rango instead.

Simply put, Hobo With A Shotgun is a runaway freight train of a movie jammed with decapitation, disemboweling, castration, and every form of twisted sex and violence imaginable. At the center of the movie is Rutger Hauer, who puts on his best performance since playing the android Roy in Blade Runner. Surrounded by a psychotic circus sideshow of violence and mayhem, Hauer plays the role of the mumbling, scruffy, bear-obsessed Hobo completely straight, creating an emotional centre for a movie that could have easily run off the rails.

As I already said, Hobo With A Shotgun isn’t for everyone. But if you appreciate trash cinema at its most ultra-violent, I suggest you hop on your nearest freight car, gun in tow, and take this car ride to Hell. Riding shotgun, of course.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Scavenged Cigarette Butts


  1. Oh, yes…..cannot wait! Not kidding when I say I think I would be perfectly satisfied if all of filmdom fell away and left only Tarantino, Rodriguez, Zombie and their kind to entertain us. No subtitles (unless it’s MACHETE KILLS), no basis in “literature” and no Amy Adams – unless she has an automatic weapon in the place of a limb. Thanks for the review!

    Comment by gogmagogical — April 8, 2011 @ 12:10 am

  2. Watching it now

    Comment by Doug Clement — April 10, 2011 @ 2:07 am

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