We here at Screen Relish love a good horror movie. So much so, we’ve decided every Saturday to bring you a retrospective look back at perhaps some of those genre entries that have been underrated, unfairly forgotten, missed and abandoned or just so damn good that we needed to scream it from the rooftops. Today’s title is…
Where has Rutger Hauer been all these years? Well, it looks like he’s been riding the rails, and finally chose to resurface in a little Midwest ‘burb called Hope Town. The name is ironic. That’s why Hauer becomes a Hobo WITH A SHOTGUN.
Like 2010’s MACHETE, HOBO WITH A SHOTGUN comes from the collective spirit showcased via fake movie trailers in the Tarantino/Rodriguez ode to B-movies, GRINDHOUSE. The HOBO trailer didn’t make it into the film, but developed an online following that led to the feature’s green light.
In effect, the film is a carnage-laden, low rent version of ROBOCOP, substituting a homeless man for the robotic officer as vigilant. HoboCop, so to speak.
Hauer’s hobo faces crime boss The Drake (Brian Downey), an entertainer of sorts whose performances employ sadism, bloodletting, and usually dismemberment. The Drake ruthlessly murders his own brother in the first reel, with his two teen sons at his side, grinning wildly as he does.
The family dynamic is ugly, and their bonding uglier still. Keep a look out for their homey version of a pinata.
Not surprisingly, Hauer’s the best thing the film has going for it. His hobo observes with
disdain, reacts with integrity, and when we finally get a conversation out of him, Hauer gives us an actual character – a confused sweetheart with enough bad wiring to explain why he rides the rails.
No one else acts at all.
Self-consciously cult, co-writer/director Jason Eisener’s film commits fully to the exploitation genre, though the filmmaker lacks the skill to craft anything deeper than bombastic, sometimes inspired carnage and debauchery. But if that’s your bag, the joyously over the top, cartoonishly violent, hyperbolically gory HOBO WITH A SHOTGUN delivers the B-movie goods.
Read more from Hope at MADDWOLF and listen to her weekly horror movie podcast, FRIGHT CLUB.
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