Director Jason Eisner adapts his faux trailer into a full length feature and he does it with bloody style and excellent execution. Hobo with a Shotgun is everything the original trailer promised, when it debuted in front of certain cuts of Grindhouse back in 2007. It’s a film that doesn’t try and make fun of or pay homage to past films of the 70’s and 80’s, instead it becomes one. From the unique camera filters to the techno music, Hobo with a Shotgun is an unrelenting gore fest that doesn’t hold back. It shows no remorse and it’s not afraid to get a little dirty!
Hobo with a Shotgun stars Rutger Hauer as a hobo, who is drifting from town to town and manages to stumble across one of the worst towns in existence. This place is pure evil. You have guys dressed up in Santa suits masturbating to kids on the playground, guys videotaping hobos eating glass and a family of three evil fucking dudes that kill everything they don’t like. By the time the hobo grabs a shotgun off the shelf from the nearest pawnshop you just can’t wait for him to start cleaning the streets. He literally cleans the town street by street, blasting away anything with a pulse (that’s harming someone). The film is very campy and old school with clear intentions. Jason Eisner never tries to wink at past films, instead he creates his own and that is a big part of why Hobo with a Shotgun really works.
It’s super silly and batshit insane at some points, but it’s done with style and dedication at hand. Machete, another Grindhouse spin off film, managed to give you the insane violence and scratched film look, but it falls because of the boring story and the feeling of trying too hard to be something old school and special. I liked Machete, but it clearly is just trying to have a little fun and not create anything new. Hobo with a Shotgun goes completely nuts. The story is crazy, but it works. The acting is great by Rutger Hauer. His performance is almost bone chilling towards the end. He clearly has crossed the line of insanity and its great watching him play this kind of character. The rest of the cast is fun to laugh it, especially the two demon sons. Its great watching them deliver their lines with such zest!
The violence is very graphic. I’m talking like peoples arms getting shredded down to the bone and a school bus full of children getting torched. Again though, Hobo feels right at home when it comes to the grindhouse feel. The violence is all done with practical effects and the buckets of blood just keep on spilling and spilling.
Hobo with a Shotgun is one brutal movie. Rutger Hauer leads a blood soaked adventure that never tries to be anything it’s not. It’s a very effective film and one hell of a good time. The acting is bad, the story is hilarious, but that’s what makes the film damn near perfect. Eisner shows his dedication and most importantly, appreciation to the genre by giving us a true grindhouse film. It never holds back and never submits to the likes of the MPAA or big studios. You can tell that everything he wanted to make made it to the screen and I applaud him for making such a fantastic film! Hobo with a Shotgun will be gaining cult status in no time!
Video: Magnolia has provided us with a very impressive 1080p video transfer. The film was shot digitally using Red cameras and it helps bring out the clarity and detail, while maintaining an old school feel, such as washed out and saturated colors. Lots of bright and glowing neon colors come across very sharp, with added grit and grain.
Audio: Hobo with a Shotgun features an excellent 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track that is buzzing and blasting from all angles. The opening train sequence starts slowly at the front channels and makes its way across to the back and from that point everything is chaos! The shotgun blasts from speaker to speaker and the techno score keeps the movie flowing very well. Dialogue is clear and easy to understand.
Luckily for fans, Hobo with a Shotgun comes with a ton of features that are both interesting and unique. Here is a list below:
- Commentary Tracks: There are two tracks for this film. One features director Jason Eisner and Rutger Hauer and the other one features Jason Eisner, writer John Davies, producer Rob Cotterill, and David Brunt, who was the hobo in the original faux trailer. Both commentaries are very fun and interesting to listen to, if you’re into that sort of thing.
- Shotgun Mode: When this feature is on, pop ups will come across the screen giving you access to behind the scenes footage and other clips.
- Shotgun Mode Clips (1080p): You can access all 44 Shotgun Mode clips separately.
- More Blood, More Heart: The Making of Hobo with a Shotgun (1080p): A very good documentary that covers the whole process of Hobo with a Shotgun, from small trailer to full length feature.
- Deleted Scenes (1080p): a few short scenes and unused clips.
- Alternate Ending (1080p): An extension of an idea used in the film. Glad they didn’t go with it.
- Video Blogs (SD): Short little video blogs.
- Camera Test Reel (1080p): Test footage for the Red camera.
- Fangoria Interviews (SD): Eisner and Hauer sit down for some interviews, nothing new if you have been viewing the other special features.
- HDNet: A Look at Hobo with a Shotgun (1080p): The usual HDNet preview.
- Grindhouse Trailer Contest Winner: Hobo with a Shotgun (SD): The original faux trailer that began the Hobo legacy.
- Hobo with a Shotgun Faux Trailer Contest Winner: Van Gore (SD): Eisner decided to host his own faux trailer contest and Van Gore was the winner. It’s about an artist who paints the town red with blood.
- Redband U.S. Theatrical Trailers (SD)
- Canadian TV Spots (SD)
- Also From Magnolia Home Entertainment Blu-ray (HD)
Overall, I can’t recommend Hobo with a Shotgun enough! It’s an extremely fun and violent film that captures everything it was trying to achieve and then some. Director Jason Eisner has made his dream faux trailer into a reality and Ruter Hauer helps him make the Hobo character something of an icon. The film is gory and crazy, but a great time. Magnolia has provided an excellent true to source video transfer along with a rocking surround mix. The Blu-ray package is loaded with tons of special features to please the diehard fans. If you were a fan of the movie or the genre it represents, then you owe it to yourself to buy this one!
Movie – 9/10
Video – 9/10
Audio – 8/10
Special Features – 7/10
Click Here to buy Hobo with a Shotgun from Amazon.com