Hobo With a Shotgun (2011)
Reviewed by Kalebson
Starring Rutger Hauer, Molly Dunsworth, Gregory Smith, Brian Downey, Nick Bateman
Directed by Jason Eisener
"Delivering justice one shell at a time."
The title of the film says it all here, folks. Premiering at this year’s Sundance Film festival is the ever so bloody Hobo With a Shotgun from Magnet Releasing. Preceding the splatter-fest was the short film "The Legend of Beaver Dam" by Jerome Sable, arguably the best short EVER! Sable warned the audience prior to the start that his short was tame in comparison to the feature presentation. He was not exaggerating. We knew this was no fabrication when Jason Eisener and crew started tossing barf bags into the crowd.
Based on a faux trailer created for some screenings of the 2007 Grindhouse double feature, the film is centered on Hobo (Rutger Hauer), who arrives by train to Hope Town (aka Scum Town).
Scum Town can best be compared to Tromaville, full of crime that needs some cleaning up. Seeing all of the chaos surrounding him, Hobo decides he just wants to collect enough money to buy a lawnmower from the local pawnshop, get the hell out of dodge, and start his own business. This plan is temporarily put on hold after a run-in with the town crime lord, The Drake (Brian Downey), and his two degenerate children, Slick (Gregory Smith) and Ivan (Nick Bateman).
With the help of a gorgeous prostitute named Abby (Molly Dunsworth), Hobo gets a good night’s rest after being carved into like a turkey by the two psycho sons. With this new found friendship Hobo sets out again to achieve his goal and with a new purpose -- to get himself and Abby both to a better locale. All hell breaks loose as the pawnshop is robbed when he goes to retrieve his prize. Hobo makes short work of the lowlife robbers and buys a shotgun instead of the lawnmower. Now it’s time to take down every pedophile Santa, snuff filmmaker, or anyone else that stands in his way.
Aside from Hobo and Abby the remaining characters in the film are under-developed and mostly unlikable. I suppose in order to have development, you have to live past the first act though, right? This not being the case (for the most part), we're left with The Drake, his two sons, and a pair of baddies only known as The Plague. These armored ass-kickers are somewhat reminiscent of the “good robot us’s” from Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey. We derive by seeing their wall of trophies that they are apparently prehistoric assassins from the time before Jesus. The Plague are sent out to stop Hobo from cleaning up Scum Town and ending The Drake’s evil reign over the town. As you would imagine, there are many flaws throughout the film's 86-minute runtime, some of which were obviously intentional, and the acting is on par with most B-horror flicks (maybe a little worse).
There are so many imaginative kills, though, that they make up for any shortcomings and poor acting tenfold. In fact, there are so many kills, so quickly, that only God himself could give an accurate body count. The dialogue is laughably corny as Hobo gets a dozen or so one-liners that will keep you in stitches as he takes out the bad guys.
Eisener was definitely out to make a movie for the midnight crowd and was successful in doing so. There are a few scenes that some viewers will question the necessity of, and you'll be exposed to things that will no doubt have you wondering whether or not Eisener has any conscience whatsoever. Aside from that, however, given all of the over-the-top gore, buckets and buckets of blood, bouncing boobies, and a fair amount of laughs, you cannot go wrong checking this one out at least once, and for some of you maybe even several times.
3 1/2 out of 5
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