In 2007 Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino teamed up to give us a back to back experience like no other that was called Grindhouse. It was a throwback to old school films of the 70’s and 80’s and I enjoyed it! Grindhouse consisted of two films, Planet Terror and Death Proof. In between these films were fake trailers that were made solely for the experience. One trailer that was made ended up getting its own featured film, Machete. But that wasn’t enough, they wanted to get the audience involved, so they held a contest where anyone could submit a trailer and whoever won the contest would have their trailer featured in front of select cuts of Grindhouse. The winner was Jason Eisner with his trailer called Hobo with a Shotgun. He got so much praise that he was approached to adapt his own trailer into a featured film. I am here to tell you that Hobo with a Shotgun is one of the most insane films I have ever seen. It’s so ridiculous and cheesy and I loved every minute of it. From the opening scene of a man getting his head pulled off by a car, to the incredibly bloody battle between the hobo and two of the main villains, Hobo with a Shotgun is unrelenting and completely crazy. Everyone involved has dedicated themselves to making one hell of a throwback film and it ends up being one fun ride!
Hobo with a Shotgun has a very simple plot, it’s about a hobo that drifts from town to town and eventually ends up in a town that is pure evil. Death is constantly happening in the sickest of ways and not one person gives a damn to do anything about it. The town is run by a thug and his two sons. They have everyone in their pockets, including the cops. The hobo tries to simply pass by until he witnesses several events that he just won’t let happen. He interferes and ends up getting his chest carved in with a knife. He then realizes that this city must be saved and if no one else will do it then who better then a hobo? He arms himself with a shotgun and starts to wreak havoc on all those who do bad to others. He starts at the bottom of the list and works his way up. The last quarter of the film is something that one wouldn’t expect from a normal revenge movie, but something that I totally embraced with all of my heart. I don’t recall that last time I have had this much fun watching a movie and I can’t wait until Hobo with a Shotgun starts circulating the midnight movie scene!
I must thank Jason Eisner a million times for making such a fun movie. He never lets up. There are a dozen parts in this film that an average director would take a safer route or tone down the violence and give us a breather, but Jason goes no holds barred and gives us everything. There are things that happen in this movie that make you question how someone comes up with such a story. He has one incredible imagination and he paints the canvas red with buckets and buckets of blood. I love this type of over the top violence and I had so much fun with Hobo with a Shotgun!
Hobo’s story is simple as stated above, but it’s the performance by Rutger Hauer that really sells the film. He plays a hopeless hobo who wants to bring the town justice in the form of a 20-gauge. His character is so washed up and delusional that at one point in the film he starts to confuse a prostitute with being a school teacher. He only see’s what his mind wants to believe is real and the rest gets blown away to hell with the shotgun. If you have ever done anything bad in this town, watch out because the hobo has no mercy and he will make you pay!
I think Jason Eisner and the rest of the cast/crew really had a specific vision on what they wanted to make. They clearly had heavy influences from past grindhouse styled films and Hobo with a Shotgun shows that you can still make a successful throwback film, with all of its silliness and still manage to make something unique that modern audiences will enjoy. I never felt like I was watching a spoof of horrible film from the 80’s or a film that pays homage to older films. I always felt like I was watching something that was pulled right out of a time capsule from the 80’s. It feels 100% authentic in every way and it never feels like they were trying too hard to replicate any type of feeling. It all came natural and it all managed to be incredibly entertaining.
The only complaint I had with Hobo with a Shotgun was that it’s over and there isn’t a sequel (yet). I can’t wait to see what Jason Eisner has on tap for us next!
Overall, Hobo with a Shotgun is one of the most violent films I have ever seen and I couldn’t stop laughing at what I was watching. Eisner embraces everything that made these types of films so awesome back in the day and this is proof that grindhouse styled films can still be made in modern day and have that same feeling that made them so special back in the 70’s and 80’s. If you liked Grindhouse or Machete, you owe it to yourself to check out Hobo with a Shotgun. It takes all the flaws from those films and gives you a movie that’s true to its genre in every way possible.
Hobo with a Shotgun – 9/10