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***1/2 out of (****)
Eisener's exploitative 80's grindhouse throwback, "Hobo with a Shotgun", showcasing its brutality shamelessly, is easily the best grindhouse film to ever grace the silver screen. "Grindhouse", "Machete", and "Drive Angry 3D" are all strong staples to the beloved subgenre, but "Hobo" is where its at. It's bigger, louder, and prouder. In all honesty, this is one of the goriest films I've seen in a while, and it takes a lot for me to say that because even the goriest Saw film doesn't fulfill my bloody craving. The best part about "Hobo" is not only doesn't it play it safe, but there's so much meaning, and depth underneath it, and is executed so strongly that the message never becomes lost or preachy.
"Hobo" revolves around well... a hobo. An anonymous one at that who witnesses the catastrophes of the city, and decides to fight back.
First of all, the plot is just ingenious. A hobo who's tired of getting picked on and besmirched by the townspeople decides to take a stand. Not only is it a badass story, but can't we all relate to the plot? Haven't we all been pushed around too long, and just wanted to do something. To be something truly special. Also, while the deaths are pretty sick, there's more meat on these bones. The film relies on what a film should rely on. Its characters. The relationship between Abby and the hobo is a strong one. I actually cared about these two. What does it say if a film of the title "Hobo with a Shotgun" has more character development than 95% of the garbage being released today?
To put the icing on the cake, the production values are sweet. This film has a superb nostalgic look, and it's one of the most colorful and vibrant movies projected on screen. But why are we here? For the deaths! And boy, do they not disappoint. Eating glass, decapitating heads, and shots to the head are not even the goriest segments. Actually, they're the tamest. Not only that but almost every five minutes there's blood. Whether a dead body in a shot, random blood, or a kill occurring. This is just a huge blood bath. And a great one at that.
Also, what I loved about this movie is the lack of gratuitous nudity. I hate how almost every grindhouse flick has to have the need to throw in random boobs or sex in the film. I know it's part of the titillation, but it's rather absurd, and feels out of context. "Hobo" had one scene exposing those jugs, and it actually fit the mood because of its humor. However, it was just THAT scene and wasn't littered throughout the movie.
Ignore those reviewers saying they were "disappointed" because it wasn't "what they were expecting". If you're expecting a good time, dammit, you're going to get one. Two strong leads, heaps and heaps of blood, a slick story, and some solid production values. You're going to tell me that doesn't even get you excited in the slightest? "Hobo with a shotgun" might just be the best movie I'll see this year. The others have just not delivered on what they promised. How sad is it to see a movie with this title can actually be the best movie of the year, when probably half of the Oscar choices will be pretentious dribble. Don't even think about seeing this film. Just do it. Go ahead, I'll wait.
He's a guardian angel walking the streets, a vicious protector of the
weak and innocent. He is the hobo with a shotgun. He is Rutger Hauer.
Hobo with a Shotgun is the story of... well, the title pretty much says
it all. Bad guys led by a enjoyably psychotic gang lord named Drake
dominate the unnamed city that is the setting of the movie. Drake and
his two equally messed up offspring, Slick and Ivan, terrorize the
people of this tortured city uncontested until the arrival of Hauer's
Hobo, intent on using his saved nickels and dimes to buy a rusty old
lawnmower that will surly start him on a honest, rewarding career.
Sadly for Mr. Hobo, destiny has other plans, and our hero uses his
mower money to purchase a old pump action shotgun with the intent of
cleaning up the city. Along the way he is aided by a prostitute named
Abby (a stunningly beautiful Molly Dunsworth) who has an affinity for
This films greatest strength is its oddball tone and freakishly beautiful bursts of violence that occur periodically through the movie. The chunks of the movie that involve crazy old Rutger Hauer blasting through waves of baddies in brutal fashion and the bizarre acts of violence perpetrated by the films antagonists are easily the highlights, and they never fail to delight with their brilliant, twisted gore effects. Director Jason Eisener is a master of cinematic displays of blood and guts, and god bless him for it because it takes the film to a whole other level. I would love to provide an example for your reading pleasure, but tragically spoiling any part of this movie is a crime to heinous to contemplate committing. Just know you will leave the theater feeling like a changed man after the brutal displays of carnage presented.
Unfortunately, the film is ultimately brought down by some poor scenes that stretched on for agonizing lengths. Many of these involve our homeless protagonist ranting senselessly to his lovely caretaker Abby, others involve the already hyperbolically inflated villains plotting the death of the Hobo. Perhaps what is most tragic is that Hauer, with the exception several brilliant lines in the films third act, never gets a chance to truly shine as the shotgun wielding hero, a huge disappointment considering the potential he possessed. Regardless of these flaws, the film is still an incredible experience based solely on the incredible displays of creative gore.
This is a great example of a movie that is made to be corny, cheesy and
fun to watch!
It was like watching a B movie 80's horror BUT it is meant to be that way instead of the usual happening where the movie was seriously made and you can't help but cringe at how bad it is!
Rutger Hauer is great as the hobo, funny as hell! I remember 'ol Rutger from wedlock and other decades old films of his so to see him in this is hilarious and couldn't help think what a great actor for agreeing to make this film (ok the real life truth is something different, money and fame, but i like my version of reality!)...quality!
I don't want to give away any spoilers and would just recommend that you watch it and remember it is meant to be a horror spoof kind of thing, so leave your serious head at the door...this film genre is a bit like machete i guess except machete sucks and this one doesn't...
Bloody babe: "You can't save the world with a shotgun."
Hobo: "It's the only thing I know."
It's true. Once he put that shotgun in his Hobo mittens he and shotgun became one. From this moment forth, whenever you hear the word, Hobo, you will always think, Shotgun. The shotgun is the Yang to the Hobo's Ying.
Rutger Hauer plays the slightly-losing it old hobo who after decades has finally realized what he wants to do with his life - be a landscaper; he wants to mow lawns. So, on his ventures of hoboing up and down the railroad tracks looking for a means to a beginning, he's arrived at 'Scumtown', and this is where he meets up with trusty ole Shotgun.
See, Scumtown is controlled by Drake and Sons. Three psychopathic dudes who get serious kicks out of decapitation, burn victims and simply put, gore. Confused ole Rutger the Hobo is privy to just one too many counts of evil and puts his shoe (with the hole in the toe) down. What follows is a tale of revenge, then more revenge and then...some more! Blood!
On the over-the-top action and splatter, this movie delivers big time. It's basically non-stop offensive, silly, gross action. But what makes it stand-out over any other recent modern exploit flick is the style it moves with. Karim Hussain of Subconscious Cruelty fame helms the camera here and does a very good job doing so. It's vibrant, colorful, and had just enough creativity to raise an eye brow or two.
Any real gripes by me are related to the writing as that it's so supremely OTT with countless swears and screaming it verges on head-ache worthy. And the emotional scenes are so sappy and cliché that it does nothing besides make ya roll yer eyes or crack a grin. So, with that said, it's not really complaints per se, but just silly aspects of the film that wear thin faster than the others.
As I said, from this moment on, the Hobo Shotgun duo are now joined at the hips - if it wasn't already. This is a bona-fide insane film with boner-fried sights (literally) and lots of the red stuff. You really can't ask for much more from this film, and maybe, you might be asking for less.
Just by the title, I could always tell that Hobo with a Shotgun was
going to be a fun bloody action movie, and I was completely right. Hobo
is a tribute to the old exploitation movies of the 70's, based on a
fake trailer from the Grindhouse double feature. Another film based on
a fake trailer from that was last year's Machete. But Hobo is so much
better. The movie is insanely graphic, so much that it begins to be a
source of comedy. I can't see this film getting anything but NC-17 if
it does get submitted for a rating.
The movie begins with a happy, overly bright view of the hobo getting off of a train and entering an unnamed city, looking for a new life. Immediately after, however, the city turns out to be full of crime and violence. The hobo soon buys a shotgun and goes out, cleaning the streets of drug dealers, pimps, and pedophile Santas. The major crime boss of the city doesn't like this, and fearing for his reputation, he wages war on the hobo and his "sidekick" Abby.
This was definitely one of the most fun movies I have ever seen. This film's ability to throw in a hilarious line in the middle of a heavily intense scene amazes me. There was not a single member of the cast who wasn't insanely good. Two of the best performances came from Gregory Smith and Nick Bateman as Slick and Ivan, the hilarious and scary sons of the major crime boss. But Rutger Hauer completely steals the show as the nameless hobo. If this film was more popular, I would say Hauer would be up for a Best Actor nomination. His lines are always either comedic or sad. Another thing I loved about this film was how in some moments of extreme violence, the camera will tend to linger on small, innocent things, making the violence very tragic. And the ending, it is amazing and you will never see it coming. One of the most powerful endings of a film I have seen in a while.
Hobo probably won't be playing at a theater near you unless you live in California or New York City, but it is currently available on iTunes for an exclusive rental. I strongly suggest renting it, it is worth the $10 you would spend.
Hobo with a Shotgun was one of the fake trailers in the theatrical release of the 2007 film Grindhouse, which featured two films, one by Robert Rodriguez and one by Quentin Tarantino, as well as a bunch of 70's exploitation/grind house inspired trailers. The grind house films of the 70's were usually made for very little money and they looked grainy and were often over the top with sex, violence and all other sorts of depravity and you would most likely see them at the drive in film circuits, or late at night as a midnight showings at some cinemas. Several attempts over the past few years have tried to re-create the whole look and feel of the grind house films such as the two films in the Grindhouse feature from 2007 as well as Robert Rodriguez's Machete and now comes Hobo with a Shotgun. Much like Machete, Hobo with a Shotgun was one of the fake trailers in the Grindhouse theatre experience and later was turned into a feature film. When, I first saw the trailer along with Grindhouse, I thought that it looked like it could be turned into an interesting film and then just recently I found out it was actually going to be a film and coming out soon. My anticipation peaked and I could not wait to see it having been a fan of cult/exploitation and grind house films since by teen years having grown up on them and still having fond memories of them and even watching them now, many years later I still enjoy them. Out of all the cult film experiences of the 70's and 80's that some of these newer films have tried to capture, Hobo with a Shotgun is by far the best out of all of them. The plot, if you want to call it that, is very simple. A hobo comes to a town where it is controlled by a ruthless crime lord and his sons and everywhere you go people are being murdered and the town looks like something out of a post apocalyptic film and the police are not doing anything because they are just as corrupt as the crime lords themselves. Putting aside his dream of one day buying a lawnmower to start his own business, the hobo goes and finds a shotgun and starts dishing out vigilante justice on the people who he thinks is ruining the town and the people there. Along the way he befriends a kindly prostitute named Abby and they go after and fight the evil lurking in this town. Right off I am going to say that if you are at all turned off by brutal and sadistic violence, or if you are easily offended, or grossed out by such things then do not even try watching Hobo with a Shotgun, because you will be leaving the theatre and demanding for a refund. On the other hand if you have grown up watching gory horror films and other violent exploitation films from the past and nothing of this type of thing disturbs you one bit and you are a fan of said films, then you are going to enjoy this film, a lot. The story is simple, but that is not a problem as most of the grind house and cult films from back in the day were and this one captures the visual style, the dialogue and the over the top violence in a way that makes you feel as if you have time travelled back to the 70's and are watching a brand new film released from that era about a hobo and his shotgun. The film is extremely fast paced and has a kind of energy that I haven't seen in a mainstream release in quite some time. Despite what you think of the film, you certainly can not call this film boring, or slow. It is full of action and it's a very entertaining ride the whole way through. The film is very dark, sadistic and gritty and this may sound weird, but I am glad the director did not shy away from that. The old cult films used to show some very objectionable content and get away with it, while today if your film comes close to getting an NC-17 rating it causes a big stir and you will find it a hard time to get your film released. I am glad that this director and studio had a vision, stayed with it and did not compromise to the studio system. Yes, the film is extremely morbid, sadistic and gross, but it is done with so much style and raw energy and a lot of it is so over the top that it didn't bother me in the same way a more serious film would. The visual style of the film was also really interesting to look at and the musical score suited the film perfectly. Also, Rutger Hauer who plays the hobo does a great job here. The film is very over the top, but he goes with it and pulls the role off perfectly. This is exactly how a grind house movie should be, so all other wannabe directors should take note of this film because it's certainly the best we have had in this genre in awhile. A true masterpiece of the genre and I hope it does well when it hits other parts of the world in May.
So you may have a while to wait if your living in the UK for this one
to hit your screens with it not due to be released until the middle of
the summer but will it be worth the wait? The movie title kind of hints
at what is in store if you go and watch this and in that regard it does
not disappoint at all. Although you will have to wait a little bit
before hobo and shotgun are united in a cacophony of blood and guts.
This movie is about a nameless hobo (Rutger Hauer) who rides the rail and arrives in a new town where the movies intentions are immediately made obvious. As he wanders the streets with robberies, prostitution, child abduction and hobo fighting occurring all around him, we are introduced to Drake (Brian Downey) the twister ruler of the town and his two sons, Slick (Gregory Smith) and Ivan (Nick Bateman). When father and sons decapitate their brother/uncle with a car, manhole cover and barbed wire rope we are left with the distinct impression that they rule the roost and are not to be messed with. After observing more obscenities Rutger comes to the aid of a prostitute in trouble, Abby (Molly Dunsworth) and they strike up an unlikely friendship as the movie progresses.
Now our hobo's dream is but a simple one, he is intent on starting a honest gardening business and gathers his pennies to buy an old lawnmower. However fate conspires against him and he ends up with a pump action shotgun instead and sets about ridding the streets of crime (definitely makes for a better story!) With one liners as classic as: Abby: "You can't solve all the world's problems with a shotgun!" Hobo: "It's all I know." it's not hard to see the standard that this movie has set for itself! It doesn't take itself seriously but then neither should you.
This movie is literally bubbling over with blood and gore left, right and centre and leaves little to the imagination. In fact I don't think it leaves anything to the imagination whatsoever. Jason Eisener, in his first proper movie as a director, knows how to make a bloody scene even more gory than you could imagine. At times the gore looks quite convincing and at others less so but it comes so thick and fast that you won't have time to worry yourself with small matters such as that.
If you don't have a strong stomach them I definitely recommend that you give this one a miss and that also goes for people who think that this movie won't involve children in the mayhem, because it does and on several occasions as well. I also liked the way in which the movie was done with old school technicolor style credits and titles making the movie feel it was made several decades ago rather than in 2011.
All in all this was what I was expecting but in some places it went further than I thought it would. If you are looking for a gore and guts fest with a couple of very cheesy one liners strewn about the place then this does it well and is for you. If your not then I'd give it a wide berth.
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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Just because a movie is a grindhouse tribute (that is what we're going
for here right?), the acting doesn't have to completely suck, there
actually can be some suspense, the plot can be kind of coherent. Sure,
it can be cheesy, it can be sleazy, it can (and should) be downright
disgusting at times.
The one thing it must be is entertaining, and HWAS just is not. It's a humorless blood-fest with a script that barely exists. It's what happens when people take the "Grindhouse" (2006) trailers too seriously. Yes, this is funny s*it for 2 or 3 minutes. It's unendurable for 87 minutes unless your idea of an action movie is a nonstop video game, with all the realism and heart that goes with it.
It's really a shame Rutger Hauer got corralled into this crap-fest, because you can tell in many scenes that he's desperately trying to construct a character where one just doesn't exist. He's really the only light here. The trio of villains are so lame they need to shout and scream laughter constantly to get across that they're "bad-ass." The Drake is about as scary looking as Uncle Fester on a bender.
The defenders of this "film" constantly respond to all argument against it with something like: "it's supposed to be offensive, it's supposed to be stupid, it's supposed to look like crap..." etc. Is it supposed to be incoherent as well? Again, my problem with this film is its lack of quality. There's a scene where a villain, after torching a bus load of school kids with a flamethrower (brutal satire, eh?) later finds himself hauled away by the ghostly school bus. OK, so now we're in the realm of scifi-fantasy too? HWAS has no idea what it wants to do and fails at everything it tries to do.
What is *truly* disturbing about this film is how many supposedly thoughtful critics are being wowed by its ridiculously aggressive hyperbole. If you want amusing tongue in cheek satire that's not badly made, rent a Troma release, if you want bloody fun, go Tarantino, Rodriguez, or Corman. But if something as nihilistically grim and pointless as HWAS can only get your rocks off, see a shrink and fast.
There are all types of films I love, from Sergio Leone classics to the
Lloyd Kaufmann Troma flicks of years past and present. Hell, as an
indie filmmaker myself it is always nice to turn to indie genre cinema
to see what the low budget guys are churning out because in the
plethora of these films a few gems stick out from time to time... HOBO
is one of those gems.
Hollywood as watered us down year after year with sequels, remakes, and just plain garbage, and the true visceral hardcore cinema us Generations X-er's grew up on has been long gone, unless you're a gen x-er who dabbles in independent filmmaking.
HOBO, the new feature film based upon the Canadian Faux Grindhouse trailer attached to the Canadian prints of Grindhouse is now making waves left and right around the world.
Rutger Hauer, in top form, is a homeless man who strolls on into to Hope Town, a crime ridden haven that would most likely be compared to Hell on Earth.
HOBO, goes completely over the top, and I mean completely over. It crosses plenty of boundaries that have made people stand-up and cheer, or jeer depending on your particular stance on the subject matter at hand.
Is HOBO a social commentary on today's world... Maybe. I didn't go into HOBO expecting some type of commentary, I went into it hoping for some entertainment and it delivered. Now I will say that HOBO might not been as good without RUTGER... the film does meander at times and some of the other performances, while cringe worthy, do help this cheesy exploitation flick, but it is RUTGER who really makes the film become remember-able.
The film does have some moments that most people would immediately criticize as shoddy filmmaking, but they in fact add to the indie nature of the film. A couple of times I did see some fundamental filmmaking rules broken, but my response to that is... who decided these rules are in fact "The Rules" I myself break a lot of the rules, 180, CU, MCU, establishing shots etc... why do I break'em... because I don't care, and neither should anyone else.
Genre film audiences I think will truly enjoy HOBO... however, the more mainstream crowd is going to immediately switch this off because of the violence/exploitative nature of the material... which is a shame because HOBO is probably one of the best VIGILANTE films ever made. I kid you not. For any person who has been fed up with the day to day life of crime and other issues in their world, HOBO helps you feel like you got the revenge you have so wanted but are unable to act upon because in reality... jail may not be your singular goal in life.
HOBO is definitely not for the faint of heart. So those with weak stomach's should seriously avoid this film... but it will be a sad loss because if you enjoy over the top action, you get your fill here frame after frame after frame.
So from one indie filmmaker to another... thumbs up cast & crew of HOBO. JOB WELL DONE
Gary Ugarek 8 stars out of 10.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
When this film started I was impressed. Rutger as the Hobo sits on a
train going through the American countryside with a cool retro song in
the background. He jumps the train and arrives at a town smoking from a
distance, welcome to Hell. This is going to be cool I thought.
I was totally wrong I'm afraid. The scenes after are supposed to be shocking I guess. A bumfight being filmed, then a gangsters brother gets decapitated in the middle of a shocked crowd, the villains of the piece are cardboard cut outs really. Shouting and mangling their faces and spitting out dreary dialogue. These scenes may have been shocking in the right hands. Unfortunately the director is not up to handling a movie with this title. Throwing lots of blood and guts around in front of a camera does not make you a director. Building tension, making characters worth caring about, creating entertainment or even snappy funny dialogue can help, but HWAS has none of these qualities.
I love a bit of bad taste and blood and guts but I felt this was bad taste for the sake of it, bad taste with no class to go with it and in the end the effect comes across really dull. Lighting effects switch to extreme reds or greens (Natural Born Killers style) or the camera tilts heavily to the side, or is set at a really low angle to accentuate I suppose the throwback nature of the film but only serves to highlight the amateurish decisions by the director.
A film with a really cool title should have been a funny, out there, gory (at the right moments) and trashy fun film. I had no fun watching this.
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