Hobo with a Shotgun (2011) Directed by Jason Eisener. With Rutger Hauer, Brian Downey, Nick Bateman, Gregory Smith and Molly Dunsworth.
Thanks largely to Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez, a mainstream way seems to have been paved directly to your average multiplex for the seventies style exploitation films that would otherwise fester in a bargain bin, loved only by a small band of followers hungry for a cheap thrill. Quite often, these films are less defined by their actual content, but more by their title, poster, tagline and trailer. Is ‘Hobo with a Shotgun’ any different? No.
Aside from boasting the talent of Rutger Hauer on top billing, this witless and overblown nonsense has about as many tricks up its sleeve as an armless magician. It’s almost as if director, Jason Eisener, is working from a tick-list of things he needs to feature in his film. A bus full of school children vs a flame-thrower. Check. Homeless man forced to chew broken glass for money. Check. Baseball bat decorated with razor blades to be used in bludgeoning until entrails flop out. Check. All of this might raise an eyebrow, but it doesn’t raise much more. Yes it is ridiculously violent, foul-mouthed and waaay over the top, but separated from any kind of character involvement or clever plot device, these things add up to little more than an unpleasant assault on the senses that leave you with the uneasy feeling that you might have ever so slightly regressed during the 86mins that you’ve spent in its company.
Most of the cast have a good time bathing in blood, while ‘over-thesping’ their collective assess off, but it’s a feeling that’s not altogether shared and although it might still appeal to those who have followed its kind through the low-rent origins from which it sprang, for everyone else the trailer is a much more satisfying and crucially shorter experience. 1.5/5