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Worth Watching for Hauer
Michael_Elliott4 May 2011
Hobo With a Shotgun (2011)

*** (out of 4)

Based on a trailer that appeared in the Canadian version of GRINDHOUSE, this feature-length version is certainly a throwback to 70s cinema as we get just about every type of sleaze imaginable. In the film Rutger Hauer plays the hobo who comes into a crooked town that is full of just about every type of scumbag that you can imagine. The homeless man just wants enough money to buy a lawn mower so that he can start a job but instead the injustice nearly kills him so he grabs a shotgun and goes after all the scum. HOBO WITH A SHOTGUN isn't a masterpiece and at times it's not even a good movie but in the end there's no question that it delivers what genre fans will want and that's sleaze and gore. I think the best thing going for the movie is the performance by Hauer who has no trouble fitting into the part. The actor does a very good job at actually building up a character who we can cheer for as well as feel for. Hauer has always played tough guys so he's also easy to believe in the part of a kick ass vigilante who can wipe out the crooked cops and dirty gangsters in the streets. The film really does love its title because we get all sorts of gory violence wrapped around this shotgun. The film really seems to enjoy decapitations because there are quite a few heads that get ripped and blown off. One of the highlights includes a scene where a man has a pothole cover wrapped around his neck and then he's place into the hole, which of course only leaves his head in the street. A certain item is then wrapped around his neck when a car takes off and the blood really starts to flow but the scene doesn't stop there because a hot stripper then jumps in a takes a shower in the blood. There are all sorts of outrageous and over-the-top scenes like this and we even get some taboo stuff like a Santa Claus who likes to kidnap kids and we even get a scene where he's sitting outside their school and masturbating. You can tell that the film's humor is all over the place as it really doesn't shy away from any type of violence including plenty towards some children. One scene has are bad guys burning some children alive on their school bus. Hauer is very good in his role but he gets some nice support from Molly Dunsworth who plays a hooker who befriends the hobo. Again, HOBO WITH A SHOTGUN isn't a great movie and its appeal is going to be extremely limited but for the most part I had a good time watching it. I think the actual "story" is quite weak and it takes about thirty-minutes for it to really get going but the lead actor is so good and the gore so strong that I think its target audience will enjoy.
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5/10
Fun camp for a little while
SnoopyStyle13 March 2015
Hobo (Rutger Hauer) rides the rails to a new ugly urban landscape looking to buy a lawnmower. Drake and his sons rule the neighborhood with an iron fist. Slick (Gregory Smith) is one of the cruel vicious sons who has an eye for prostitute Abby (Molly Dunsworth). As Slick is about to kidnap Abby, Hobo comes along to rescue her and bringing him to the cops. Only the corrupt cops have other ideas.

Starting from the fun title, this is deliberate camp. One has to submit to the cheesy ridiculousness. Rutger Hauer is perfect for the lead. Gregory Smith is pathetic as the heavy. This is fun for a little while but it gets a bit boring. It would be fun as something a little shorter and a lot more sharper. It feels like no more than a lower rank TV production.
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6/10
Maim, torture and death
Prismark1011 October 2013
When Tarantino and Rodriguez got together to make the Grindhouse films as a tribute to the exploitation flicks of the 1970s, there were some fake trailers and this was one of them along with Machete.

Both have gone to become theatrical features.

Rutger Hauer plays a drifter that comes to a bad town (known as Scum Town) with bad people (The Drake and his two sons), even the cops are dirty.

After a lifetime of bumming around he is inspired to become the lawnmower man. Do not knock it, I once saw a violent Abel Ferrara film where the kingpin played by Christopher Walken just wanted to build a hospital.

Whereas in Grindhouse, the Tarantino section was dragged down with women talking and more talking as Tarantino wanted to show he could write dialogue for females. Hobo with a Shotgun has no such pretensions.

It is back to basic exploitation, shootings, decapitations, torture, beatings even a bus full of kids getting flamed. The blood pours like cheap wine after a Superbowl victory.

It is down and dirty, if you are squeamish stay away.

Rutger Hauer is perfect casting as the Hobo, the man who could not just turn the other cheek, maybe not the brightest guy about, maybe even delusional. He is ably supported by Molly Dunsworth as the gutsy Abby who helps out the Hobo.

Brian Downey is eerie enough as the bad guy Drake and as for the Plague, they sure are related to the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.
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6/10
Boom
kosmasp5 December 2011
You may have seen the "fake" trailer for a movie called "Hobo with a shotgun". This trailer was made for a competition. And Mr. Eisner won that competition. Still as he is eager to tell anyone, producers were reluctant to grant him money to do a full length movie (which incidentally is/was the first prize).

So he did a short called Treevenge, to show people he could handle a movie production. And as many have witnessed online (that video got many hits), he tackled that very well. And then he got lucky. He said that he was a big fun of Rutger Hauer. And somehow Rutger Hauer got involved in the project (taking the reins from the non-actor who played the lead in the fake trailer).

While this back-story is fascinating, it almost overshadows the movie itself. The movie itself is pure pulp (framed by the ever reliable Karim Hussain), with a lot of things in it to offend people. Rutger Hauer was delighted to play the role (and he is really good in it), but all the splatter effects cannot hide that something is indeed missing from this movie ...
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Everything It Should Have Been
gavin694210 September 2011
A homeless vigilante (Rutger Hauer) blows away crooked cops, a pedophile Santa (Brian Jamieson), and other scumbags with his trusty pump-action shotgun.

The trailer for this film circulated years before the real film ever started production. And wow, did they translate it well. Every good line of the trailer, every scenario, repeated and expanded for maximum effect. And you add in some real talent like Rutger Hauer? That is just a pure win.

I know not everyone will love this film -- I mean, it sure is lacking in plot and does not make complete logical sense. But if you like mindless blood and guts, this should satisfy you!
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7/10
Hobo with a Shotgun
jboothmillard20 October 2015
Warning: Spoilers
I would have never remembered this film was based on a fictional trailer from one of the two Grindhouse double-bill films, it was the second to become a reality, after Machete, and it was well rated film I was looking forward to. Basically in Hope Town, or "Scum Town" as most know it as, a Hobo (Rutger Hauer) wanders the streets of his new city, the city is surrounded by crime, the ruler is the man called "The Drake" (Brian Downey), along with his sadistic, murderous sons Ivan (Nick Bateman) and Slick (Gregory Smith). Nobody dares to cross with the crime lords, but in a city filled with armed robbers, corrupt cops, abused prostitutes and even a paedophile Santa (Brian Jamieson), the homeless man finds it very difficult to sit back and do nothing. One night the Hobo gets to close to a crime incident, and the attackers turn on him, brutally assaulting him, and with a blade carving the word "scum" onto his chest, before being thrown into a garbage bin. The Hobo is found by prostitute Abby (Molly Dunsworth) who helps him to recover and rest, but he will not rest until he gets revenge, not just to those who attacked him, but to the other evil doers in the city, he even gives up his dream of buying a lawnmower to buy himself a 20-gauge shotgun. With this deadly weapon the Hobo slowly goes around Scum Town cleaning up the garbage, taking down the lowlife criminals and law-breakers one by one, with this he gains press attention as a vigilante standing up for justice, and the bad guys may at last have someone to fear. In the end the whole of the town seem willing to stand up against The Drake and his gang, before the police catch up to it all, in the final stand the Hobo and the Drake are face to face, with the police ready to fire and end the madness, the Hobo does indeed take the shot and kill the ruler, and he is also killed, but justice has prevailed. Also starring Robb Wells as Logan, Drew O'Hara as Otis and Jeremy Akerman as Chief of Police. Hauer has been many iconic characters in films like The Hitcher and Blade Runner, this is definitely another one as he plays the tough-guy homeless man going against such evil as gangsters and sexual predators, it is a very simple story, it makes for a good throwback to the days of classic action B-movies, and the high amount of over-the-top violence makes it all the more fun to watch, a great revenge drama. Very good!
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9/10
The hobo has come to restore law and order
Woodyanders10 October 2017
Warning: Spoilers
A weary and disillusioned nameless hobo (Rutger Hauer in terrific two-fisted form) arrives in a grim and corrupt crime-ridden city in which chaos and brutality reign supreme. Disgusted with the horrific carnage that's happening all around him, the hobo gets himself a shotgun so he can clean up the streets.

Director Jason Eisner, working from a tight and blithely trashy script by John Davies, delivers oodles of savage violence and gloriously outrageous excessive gore, adroitly crafts a gleefully no-holds-barred gritty'n'grimy tone, astutely captures the raw energy and lowdown scuzzy vibe of vintage late 70's/early 80's urban exploitation fare, stages the rousing action sequences with rip-snorting brio, and keeps the wildly entertaining story hurtling along at a brisk pace. Eisner deserves extra praise for thankfully eschewing wink wink, nudge nudge smugly self-impressed film nerd hipster posturing in favor of a more straightforward and unpretentious pulpy sensibility that hits the ground running and never lets up for a minute. Moreover, it's acted with zest by an enthusiastic cast: Molly Dunsworth provides plenty of spark as spunky hooker Abby, Brian Downey robustly overplays the juicy role of vicious ringleader Drake with lip-smacking wicked aplomb, and Gregory Smith and Nick Bateman are perfectly slimy and hateful as Drake's sadistic sons. The tender relationship between Abby and the hobo provides a few surprisingly touching moments of real heart and warmth. Karim Hussain's vibrant widescreen cinematography gives this picture a lurid neon look. The funky-throbbing score hits the right-on groovy spot. A total blast.
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9/10
If he wasn't already dead, Russell Harty would have a coronary watching Hobo.
BA_Harrison25 July 2011
Rutger Hauer is quite rightly revered for his excellent performance as replicant Roy Batty in Ridley Scott's Bladerunner, but the film that really made me a fan was Paul Verhoeven's Flesh + Blood, a medieval masterpiece so loaded with wanton sex and violence that it made Russell Harty, Barry Norman's occasional stand-in on BBC's Film '85, leave the cinema in disgust (an act which, in turn, made me go to the cinema in order to be disgusted).

Now, after years of being unjustly relegated to straight-to-video hell, Rutger makes a welcome return to gratuitously excessive exploitation style cinema in the unapologetically trashy Hobo With A Shotgun, a project that started life as a fake trailer created to help promote Tarantino/Rodriguez's disappointing love-letter to cult cinema Grindhouse, but which, as a fully fledged feature, actually shows the big boys of throwback movie-making just how this sort of thing should really be done.

With its convincing retro opening credits (the font used for Hobo's title looking more than a little like that used for They Call Her One Eye), a deliberately corny script, gloriously over-saturated Technicolour cinematography, and a total lack of restraint where taste and decency is concerned, Hobo successfully evokes the spirit of the 70s and 80s, when films were fun and the phrase 'politically correct' never even existed.

Director Jason Eisener's rough and ready, anything goes approach ensures a suitably wild ride for those who like their entertainment sick and sleazy, offering plenty of moments guaranteed to get the more sensitive of souls in a lather: I can't remember the last time I saw something as malicious as a bus full of schoolchildren being torched with a flame-thrower, as sadistic as a man being beaten with a razor blade covered baseball bat, as cringe-worthy as a hand being minced in the blade of a lawnmower, and as twisted as a paedophile dressed as Santa pulling his pud outside a school gate—all in the one film!!! Hell, I'm enjoying myself reading the reviews written by the morally outraged almost as much as I did watching the film.

8.5 out of 10, rounded up to 9 for the awesome, murderous, armour-clad duo known as The Plague!
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7/10
Hobo delivers justice, one shell at a time...
paul_haakonsen15 June 2012
Been awhile since last I saw a good Rutger Hauer movie, so "Hobo With a Shotgun" wasn't one that was ranking high on my 'to-watch-list', though that turned out to be a mistake.

Don't let the cheesy title scare you off, because this movie is extreme and ultra violent in ways I hadn't even begun to imagine. And there is a very gritty feel to it, which really works out quite well. It was sort of like being back in a surreal late 1970's vigilante justice movie, though just spiced up with more violence.

The story is rather simple actually, a hobo drifts into a town that is under control of a sinister crime lord and his aspiring sons. People live in oppression and fear in the town, as no one dares stand up to the crime sprees and violence. That is until the hobo had enough and ends up acquiring a shotgun. Now bent on vengeance and cleaning up the filthy streets, the hobo sets out to take out the trash, one shell at a time.

"Hobo With a Shotgun" have some pretty interesting, although also quite stereotypical, characters, but it was put together in such an extreme way that it really did work out well enough. Rutger Hauer was quite good in the role of the shotgun-wielding hobo, and it was nice to see him back in a movie like this, a movie that actually will be remembered.

Something that made the work for me, aside from all the blood, gore and mayhem, was the way that the movie was shot. Thumbs up on the camera work and cinematography. That crew really put together some nice images for this movie. And also that whole vigilante-justice aspect to the movie worked out so well, it was like a Charles Bronson movie gone bad - but in a good way!

It should be said that there is a lot of graphic violence in the movie, so "Hobo With a Shotgun" is not suitable for all viewers. And there is also a great deal of harsh/profane language as well. Some of the violent scenes were quite gruesome and visual - but I liked that. And without saying too much, then the scene with the school bus actually worked out so well, it was nicely put together without actually showing what happened. That was left entirely up to us as viewers, though we were not in doubt as to what was going on. Some might find that particular scene tasteless, but I think it was actually nicely directed and nicely put together, letting us put in the missing pieces and flesh out the burn scene ourselves.

And if you look at the movie with a pair of analytical goggles, then it could be said that the movie really doesn't put on velvet gloves as in its views on the things portrayed in the movie; drugs, crime, gangs, child molesters, and such. Personally, I don't go that deep into analyzing a movie, as a movie is for me only a means of being entertained. But there were several aspects of society and life being painted out here and then dealt with accordingly, one shell at a time.

I was thoroughly entertained by "Hobo With a Shotgun" and do believe that I will actually be watching it again at another time, because the movie did have enough value to support a second watching. The movie had a good story that was captivating from the start and was easy to follow. It had good acting performances and a great setting. But best of all, it had lots and lots of mean, visual violence.
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3/10
For Hauer's Blue Eyes Only ...
Coventry18 October 2021
A decade ago now, when "Hobo with a Shotgun" instantaneously became a modest cult hit upon its release, something strange happened. I hated it. I hated it with a passion, even though it was supposed to be straight up my alley and featured all the things I normally worship in horror/cult: uncompromising violence, 70s grindhouse atmosphere, Rutger Hauer, sadist gore and whatnot. I reckoned it was due to a strange short-circuit in my brain, and didn't even submit a review.

Ten years and another two-thousand genre-movies later, I was quite sure I'd love it this time around, but alas. For once and for all, "Hobo with a Shotgun" isn't for me. Released in a period when, thanks to Q. Tarantino and R. Rodriguez, the 70s drive-in/exploitation cinema was going through a revival, this film started out as a fake two-minute trailer. "Machete" already proved fake trailers shouldn't be turned into long-feature movies, and this "Hobo with a Shotgun" confirms that theory. Trailers are edited together out of movies, and not the other way around. Also, it's perfectly possible to capture the 70s grindhouse spirit in a two-minute trailer, but it loses its charm quite quickly when stretched out for an hour and a half.

None of the hundreds of 70s exploitation movies I watched is anything like "Hobo with a Shotgun", by the way. Instead of shocking, this film is just tasteless. Instead of provocative, it's vulgar. Instead of explicit, it's mindlessly gory and dumb. I love horror and cult, but I personally draw my limit with movies where a school bus full of children are torched to death, or where innocent hospital staff is strung up the ceiling. I also don't want to blatantly give a rating 1/10, because Rutger Hauer remains a fantastic actor, and the opening credit sequences (filmed from inside a train) are stunningly beautiful. In fact, the opening credits are the only part of the film truly breathing genuine 70s exploitation cinema.

Yes, I know, I'm a whiny old sourpuss...
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8/10
Vigilante violence!
michaelRokeefe11 June 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Rutger Hauer is in kick ass mode as a bum that rolls into a town more or less held hostage by a ruthless crime boss. The town is saturated with violent crime, corrupt cops, and open brutality on the streets. The bum only wanted to find a place to start his life over; wanting to buy of all things...a lawnmower to earn a meager living. Instead this hobo buys a shotgun, because he is fed up with the unanswered crime. He begins to lay waste to every lowlife involved with drugs, rape and senseless murder. This is a visceral gore-fest; a high octane rampage in the name of cleansing a town of a criminal mob boss and his mindless minions. A hobo with a 20-gauge shotgun and nothing to lose. This movie has a dark comedy element about it and is not for the faint of heart. Hauer couldn't be any better. Also in the cast: Glen Matthews, Brian Downey, Nick Bateman, Molly Dunsworth, Agnes Laan and Brian Jameson plays a pedophile Santa.
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8/10
Joyous Outrageous Trash.
hitchcockthelegend10 September 2011
Hobo with a Shotgun is directed by Jason Eisener and written by John Davies. It stars Rutger Hauer, Brian Downey, Gregory Smith, Molly Dunsworth, Robb Wells and Nick Bateman. Music is by Alexander Rosborough and cinematography by Karim Hussain.

A homeless hobo (Hauer) hitches a freight train lift into Hope Town and finds a city imploding with corruption, violence, drugs and sexual deviance. Initially trying to keep out of the way and get on with his meagre existence, the hobo finally cracks and decides he can no longer sit back and watch such lawlessness. Helping himself to a shotgun from the local pawn shop, hobo goes on a one man killing crusade.

Born out of a trailer that accompanied the original full release of Rodriguez/Tarrantino's Grindhouse venture, Hobo with a Shotgun is horror exploitation made with abundant glee. Blending Death Wish like vigilantism with 70s and 80s styled schlock, Jason Eisener has crafted an utterly tasteless, yet wonderfully entertaining, piece of cinema. Violence is broad and completely bloody, as heads are exploded, bodies punctured and characters slotted in a series of increasingly strange ways, while the characters that inhabit Hope Town are downright nasty and equally as weird. From bully boy Tom Cruise homage brother bastards Ivan & Slick, to a paedophile Santa Claus, and on to The Plague-two metal suited fetish killers sent to take out the hobo-it's bizarreville for sure.

It's all driven by a great turn from Hauer, who manages to play it with raw and subtle emotion, even as the rage takes control of him and he deals death as surely as he delivers a memorable line. Around him are a bunch of no mark actors, but this works in the films favour, the material doesn't need star wattage to drive its motor, besides which, you will undoubtedly come out of the film remembering the characters these actors have played. Shot in suitably lurid Technicolor by Hussain and featuring an on the money score by Rosborough, all the elements for a Grindhouse feature fall into place. It basically does what the title suggests it will, yes it may at times veer towards crassness, and what social comment depth intended gets lost as Eisener gets carried away with the carnage, but this is a whole bunch of fun for adults who remember the past movies this homages and parodies with aplomb. 8/10
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4/10
Jumps The Giant Squid
Theo Robertson14 June 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Despite the very limited scope vigilante dramas strike a chord with the mainstream audience . There's something very cathartic seeing pond life getting tortured , mutilated and executed by " good criminals " who only became criminals because the public servants who supposedly are meant to enforce the law couldn't be bothered to do their job . As I said it's a self limiting sub-genre but had high hopes for it since it's a spin-off from Tarintino's GRINDHOUSE series and is directed by Jason Eisener who directed TREEVENGE a short film that showed a grotesque sense of humour . Unfortunately a knowing tongue in cheek post modernist type of humour is what this film needs and the audience didn't get it

There's certainly a vein of humour running through HOBO WITH A SHOTGUN but alas it comes over as silly , crass and incomprehensible . The humour should be totally dead pan similar to that seen in DEATH WISH 3 . Okay you can claim DW3 wasn't meant to be funny but the production team behind HOBO seem to be trying to hard to amuse the audience which makes for a totally unrealistic movie that is chaotic and will have the audience scratching their head at some of the scenes such as Rip and Grinder battling a giant squid ! It's a bit like Robert Ginty stalking the mean streets of New York and suddenly finding himself battling an alien invasion . Very little in this movie makes little sense and its sense of unreality shows little sign of post modernist wit

Another annoying aspect is the look of the film which might be a slightly more generic criticism of cinema today but HOBO has the same type of colour clash you'd expect to see in almost every film made in the last few years . Look at the cinematography used in the last couple of Danny Boyle films , or MISSION IMPOSSIBLE 3 or a recent Scorsese movie and you'll notice the primary colours are very prominent , perhaps too much so and HOBO is no different . If you're going to do a homage to 70s exploitation vigilante cinema couldn't the cinematographer have made it look like it belonged to that era ? In fact I would even hesitate to call this a homage since it lacks any tongue in cheek knowing humour
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10/10
Hobo with a Shotgun
Scarecrow-8828 May 2011
Warning: Spoilers
Hobo (Rutger Hauer) gets off his train box car and enters a city you might as well title "Hellhole" as he must witness the horrors that live and breathe every day and night within its boundaries. The human monster responsible for this is called The Drake (Brian Downey, would make a good Satan), with two sons, Slick (Gregory Smith as you have never seen him) and Ivan (Nick Bateman) who are as warped and sadistic as he is.

What happens in Hellhole: bums are paid to take a beating for cash (Hobo actually eats broken glass!) while being recorded on VHS, pre-teens are prostituted wide open by a vicious pimp, the police are as debase and cruel as The Drake, cocaine is offered like candy to an arcade full of teenagers shortly after one among them has his arm broken for not paying his debt, women are chained in the basement of foul, overweight drug users who play cards as their whimpering captives cry in horror, a pederast in a Santa Claus suit loves to kidnap children from playgrounds in open daylight (giggling as one child captive beats on the back seat glass for help!), punks use bumper cars to crush an old man's head in, the Drake executes his nephew in front of a crowd of witnesses through a decapitation technique he calls the "hole", Slick and Ivan blow torch a school bus full of kids just for kicks, and the homeless are slaughtered for the hell of it to make a point to Hobo that there are no limits to what The Drake is willing to cross.

Molly Dunsworth is a beautiful young whore with a sour past Hobo befriends, willing to give up turning tricks for his sad desire to start a lawnmowing business. She will pay a steep and anguishing price for being associated with Hobo.

The film is a chamber of horrors with Hauer an avenger for the innocent who packs a shotgun he lifts during a store robbery where he blasts the criminals to kingdom come. He starts a mission of extermination, "cleansing the streets" of the infidels and miscreants who have delighted in terrorizing the citizenry. We see the weary faces of those victimized, seemingly helpless to stop The Drake who basks in the joy of tyranny. Hobo defaces this power and threatens to bring a revolt against The Drake, Slick the object of vengeance for the family's many atrocities. Lots of bloody carnage thanks to Hobo's shotgun which turns many cretins to mulch. Hauer, although at times incoherent, is in fine form, his character, in rags with wrinkles of a difficult life, quite an unusual hero. Lots and lots of blood-letting, including the use of a hacksaw to the throat, a hand is shredded in spinning blades, SKUM is carved into Hobo's chest, among other nasty bits of ultra violence.
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8/10
An infectious dose of cinematic insanity.
Hey_Sweden29 January 2012
Director / editor Jason Eisener and writer John Davies's popular modern exploitation flick derives its entertainment value mainly from its go-for-broke, take-it-to-the-extreme mentality. Basically, it's because it's so over the top that makes it as much fun as it is for an exploitation fan such as this viewer. Granted, it's clearly not suited to all tastes, but it's definitely got its heart in the right place and the pacing never flags. Expanded from the faux trailer hatched by Eisener, Davies, and producer Rob Cotterill for competition in Robert Rodriguez's Grindhouse contest, the title makes the high concept story quite clear. Veteran actor Rutger Hauer is aces in the title role, his best in a long time. He's come to a city via rail (to the strains of Michael Holm's theme from the 1970 movie "Mark of the Devil") that is appropriately dubbed "Scum Town"; it's a stylized, ugly urban Hell presided over by an omnipotent criminal, played by a hilariously campy Brian Downey, who refers to himself as The Drake. His two sons, Slick and Ivan, are two seriously demented cretins themselves, and are played by Gregory Smith and Nick Bateman. Eventually, The Hobo, who only wanted to buy a lawnmower and start himself a little business, can take no more of the unrelenting crime, filth, and despair around him and doles out some brutal punishment. When seeing some scenes, such as the public execution of The Drake's own brother (portrayed by 'Trailer Park Boys' actor Robb Wells in a cameo), soon to be followed by a shot of a young woman bathing herself in the resulting blood spray, or the infamous sequence involving flamethrowers, a school bus full of children, and the song "Disco Inferno", one can see what the movie is all about. It refrains from making obvious throwback references - such as contriving a beat up look for the print - in favour of having the actors play the material straight and never quite winking at the viewers. In fact, Hauer's big standout scene has him giving a rather heartfelt speech to some newborn infants, and the connection that he makes with hard luck prostitute Abby (sexy Molly Dunsworth) is quite touching. The carnage is plentiful and just delicious, with the red stuff spurting all over the place and assorted body parts getting utterly mangled. The widescreen cinematography by Karim Hussain and the production design by Ewen Dickson, in addition to the location filming in Halifax and Darthmouth in Nova Scotia give "Hobo with a Shotgun" a great look. The two "man" team known as The Plague are also a fine touch. As utterly crazed escapism goes, it's hard to beat a movie with this much pizazz. At the least, it's wonderful to see Hauer kicking so much ass. David Brunt, the original Hobo from the trailer, also makes a cameo appearance as the dirty cop. Eight out of 10.
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3/10
It goes WAY too far
preppy-38 May 2012
Warning: Spoilers
A hobo (Rutger Hauer) arrives in Hope City--a city full of violence. He sees people being killed, beaten up, tortured, mutilated and killed primarily by a gang run by Drake (Brian Downey) and his two violence-loving sociopathic sons--Slick and Ivan. He tries to get the police to help...but they're working with Drake! One day the hobo is a pawn shop and its attacked. Something snaps in the hobo. He grabs a gun, kills all the robbers and sets out killing all the evil people he sees. He also makes friends with Abby (Molly Dunsworth)...but Drake wants him dead.

Shot in hyper bright colors and with TONS of gratuitous violence shoved in your face. Now I have nothing against gruesome violence and I know this is a VERY black comedy...but it goes too far. We see screaming kids held at gunpoint, a whole busload of kids burnt to death, women being threatened with a machete, a man gets his whole foot crushed (in close up no less)...it just never stops. It's not really funny or anything...just sick and disgusting. Also the one likable character in the entire film (Abby) is tortured and mutilated...TWICE! It all leads to a needlessly negative ending. I admit it was never boring and Hauer was great in his role but it was just too sick and cruel to like. I can only give it a 3.
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6/10
'You can't solve the worlds problems with a shotgun.' Fun little gore film.
poolandrews24 July 2011
Warning: Spoilers
Hobo with a Shotgun starts as a homeless man (Rutger Hauer) arrives at Hope City, there he experiences the crime & corruption up close as the city is run by criminals & the innocent live in fear. After witnessing mob boss Drake (Brian Downey) & his two sons Slick (Gregory Smith) & Ivan (Nick Bareman) murder someone in public he is at breaking point, after saving a pretty young women named Abby (Molly Dunsworth) from Slick later that night he is beaten up & left for dead. The next day in a pawn shop he witnesses a robbery & decides to act, he picks up a shotgun off the shelf & shoots the robbers which is the start of a vigilante campaign in which he kills the criminals that have taken over Hope City. However Drake & his boys are not happy & set out to kill him...

This Canadian film was edited, co-written & directed by Jason Eisener & is an obvious attempt to recreate the exploitation films of the 70's, originally starting out life as a fake trailer on the Canadian theatrical release of Grindhouse (2007) this film is the resulting expansion of that trailer to full feature film length. To be fair this is more enjoyable that I expected it to be, it never takes itself too seriously & has a sense of humour & a slightly bizarre camp side but does deliver the goods in the main areas. There's plenty of violence & gore here although strangely very little nudity, there's plenty of foul mouthed one-liners & some funny dialogue along with one or two slightly more tender moments as the Hobo philosophises about the world & begins to fall for Abby who is the clichéd hooker with a heart but she comes across quite well. Hobo with a Shotgun can get outrageous at times with the burning of a school bus full of children, some amusing forms of torture & mutilation along with a Bumfights inspired scene where the Hobo earns the money to buy the shotgun in the first place. At a little over 80 minutes it's short enough to not become boring & the odd attempt to convey a moral message about the homeless or poverty or corruption or drug addiction & the like aren't too heavy handed but manage to make their point. The character's are quite cartoonish as is the violence but that keeps things from becoming too serious & as a way to pass to 80 minutes I am sure exploitation will lap this up. Better than much of the crap out there right now anyway.

Hobo with a Shotgun has a very bright neon look to it, like it was shot using brightly coloured lights, again it's rather cartoony at times & that suits it quite well. There's some satisfying gore here, peoples feet & smashed, heads are decapitated, hands chopped up, people are gorily shot, a guy has his cock shotgun blasted off, people eat broken glass, arms are broken, bodies are mangled & sliced open while heads are blown off too. You don't have to wait that long for some blood to get splattered. There are touches that try to evoke the exploitation films of the 70's like the pimp, the graffiti strewn walls & the style of car seen throughout.

With a supposed budget of about $3,000,000 this wasn't big budget but wasn't as low budget as some films out there, like I said the visual look of the film is very nice & the special effects are also good with no obvious CGI computer effects. The acting is pretty good, everyone plays it up while Rutger Hauer has the right sort of tired look & gets to act in a couple of scenes as he ponders things & makes the odd speech about how things are.

Hobo with a Shotgun is a fun ride for sure, it's not a stand out classic but I liked it all the same. There's plenty of gore & exploitation on show which helps while the script does try to make a few valid points without ever getting bogged down in moral message or drama. Well worth checking out.
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10/10
This Hobo Shells Out Justice With A Shotgun!
zardoz-1315 July 2011
Warning: Spoilers
Freshman director Jason Eisener's contemporary vigilante thriller "Hobo With a Shotgun" epitomizes the essence of grindhouse movies from the 1970s and the 1980s. Grindhouse movies are typically low-brow, low-budget,politically-incorrect, R-rated epics the exploit shocking, often sensational subject matter for drama and comedy. The most talked about examples of grindhouse illuminated screens during the 1970s and 1980s. These movies acquired the designation as 'grindhouse' because they were shown in antiquated, dilapidated theaters on the fringe. In Columbus, Mississippi, for example, Malco operated the Princess Theater as a grindhouse. Minor Hollywood studios and foreign producers churned out these films by the hundreds. European sword & sandal sagas, Continental crime thrillers, historical hell-raisers, Spaghetti westerns, Hong Kong chop-socky epics, German/Italian cannibal adventures, American International biker flicks & teenage horror chillers, Blaxploitation movies were popular, especially with drive-in movie audiences. Many are finally being released on DVD and Blu-ray. Generally, these movies ran no longer than 90 minutes but some achieved fame, notably "Fistful of Dollars" (1964), "Night of the Living Dead" (1968), "Satan's Sadists" (1969), "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" (1974), and "Cannibal Holocaust" (1980). If you thrive on these 1970s and 1980s trash cinema, then "Hobo With a Shotgun" is right up your alley. Rutger Hauer and Gregory Smith co-star in this orgy of blood, gore, and profanity. Naked babes appear in a few scenes, but nudity is largely restrained in this 86-minute, Technicolor release.

A hobo (Rutger Hauer of "Blade Runner") arrives in Hope Town. Actually, vandals have crossed out Hope and replaced it with Scum. The hobo isn't in town long before he encounters the local crime boss, Drake (Brian Downey of the sci-fi TV show "Lexx"), and watches Drake dispense justice. "Mercy ain't my style," he screams, wearing an ice-cream white suit and tie with an automatic pistol jammed into his waistband. Drake and his two juvenile delinquent sons, Slick (Gregory Smith of "Small Soldiers") and Ivan (Tom Cruise lookalike Nick Bateman), show up with pistols drawn. They surround their Uncle Logan (Robb Wells of "Trailer Park Boys, The Movie") who pleads desperately for mercy from the crowd that gathers on the scene. He begs the Hobo to slice the rope that binds his wrists. Drake makes Logan an example of his power to strike fear into the hearts of citizens. Logan has a man-hole cover wrapped around his neck so he looks like his head is on a platter. Slick and Ivan deposit Logan in a man-hole and Drake loops a barbed wire noose over his neck. Slick reverses his truck and off comes Logan's head. Of course, the special effects are marginal in this scene. Meanwhile, no sooner has Logan's head been torn from his neck than a bikini-clad babe in a white mink coat dances in the geyser of blood that erupts. If you can stomach this kind of ghoulish violence, you will love what Eisner and scenarists John Davies and Rob Cotterill have concocted.

Basically, "Hobo With a Shotgun" combines vintage town tamer westerns, like "Fistful of Dollars," with vigilante epics, like the Charles Bronson "Death Wish" franchise. All the poor Hobo wants is buy a $49.99 lawn mower so he can cut grass and earn money. Ironically, there isn't a blade of grass in sight. He collects aluminum cans and other assorted garbage in a grocery shopping cart, but he doesn't get very far along in reaching his goal. Predictably, few folks ante up dimes, and the degenerate ruffians who run around leather jackets with Mohawk hair-cuts spit on him. Eventually, the public-spirited citizen lurking within the Hobo emerges when Slick tries to beat up a defenseless hooker, Abby (newcomer Molly Dunsworth), who treats him with utter contempt. Wielding his walking stick along with a sock filled with coins, the Hobo clobbers Slick and hauls him off to the local police department. Surprisingly, after a sympathetic police chief (Jeremy Ackerman of "K-19: The Widowmaker") applauds the Hobo's efforts, he turns on him and lets Slick carve the word SCUM into the Hobo's chest. Once they finish with him, Slick and the Police Chief pitch the Hobo into the trash.

You cannot keep a good man down long. The Hobo staggers out of the trash, and Abby takes pity on him and lets him spend the night in her apartment. She gives him a sweatshirt with a bear on it and the Hobo turns into a bear of a vigilante. During a pawn shop hold-up, three hoods grab a mother and her baby in a carriage and threaten to kill them if the owner doesn't empty his cash register. The Hobo happens to be in the pawn shop admiring the $49.99 lawn mower when this takes place. Abruptly, Hobo seizes a pump-action shotgun and splatters the three robbers with blasts to the belly. Things get so bad that Drake that he offers a reward for the Hobo.

According to the Dread Central website, Canadian filmmaker Jason Eisner made a bogus trailer of "Hobo With a Shotgun" and entered it in Robert Rodriguez's South by Southwest "Grindhouse" trailers competition in 2007. The trailer won first place, and Eisner set about making the film. The Internet Movie Database reported that this $3-million movie has coined slightly more than a half-million dollars during its brief May release and has since gone onto DVD and Blu-ray. Indeed, Eisner upholds the standards of "Fistful of Dollars" and the "Death Wish" movies in terms of blood, gore and more. The Hobo cleans up the town and inspires citizens to gun down their corrupt police and reclaim the streets. Nevertheless, Eisner doesn't drag out the inevitable in this formulaic thriller. The villains are utterly despicable and deserve the worst that they get. Despite its depraved subject matter, "Hobo With a Shotgun" delivers more creativity and verve than most big-screen fare. If this kind of movie appeals to you, you can slump into your recliner and have a blast.
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7/10
Hauer delivers all the grindhouse guilty pleasure glory gory.
george.schmidt7 May 2011
Warning: Spoilers
HOBO WITH A SHOTGUN (2011) **Rutger Hauer, Molly Dunsworth, Brian Downey, Gregory Smith, Nick Bateman, Jeremy Akerman, Pasha Ebrahimi. Hauer – in a somewhat 'comeback' turn – gives it his all as a downtrodden homeless man attempting to gain some self-respect but instead finds himself knee-deep in a no-man's land run by a ruthless ganglord and his sadistic sons (teeth-gnashingly good/awful Downey and Tom Cruise manques Smith and Bateman) who push him to the limit to become the titular avenger – including his only friend, a hooker with a heart of gold (Dunsworth) – with buckets of blood & guts in this old-fashioned grindhouse guilty pleasure. While rookie filmmaker Jason Eisener (FYI: did a faux-trailer for the Canadian release of Robert Rodriguez' "Grindhouse") pulls out all the stops with his direction but the screenplay he co-scripted with John Davies and Rob Cotterill is even rank by most sub-B-flick quickies. But it is just worth the price of admission to see good ol' Rutger dishing out vigilante justice in all its gory glory.
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Excess for its own sake...
JoeytheBrit23 August 2011
I don't know what it is about titles like this, but there's some base, self-punishing part of me that won't let me pass this kind of thing by without taking a look. I know it's likely to be bad in almost all departments, and will possess little in the way of merit, but – well, there you go – some people sit alone in their bedrooms cutting up their legs with razor blades, I subject myself to worthless trash like this when the other half's gone to bed.

Hobo with a Shotgun isn't a complete loss. Rutger Hauer – looking pretty grizzled and weather-beaten these days – is pretty good in the title role; the use of saturated colour gives the film a fresh, original look that's deliberately at odds with the subject matter; and a few key scenes shine like diamonds in a pile of manure, but the filmmakers have no idea about when the time is right to take a step back so that we can lift our heads and take a breath for a moment before being submerged once more in their foul world of violence and gore.

Excess for its own sake is a pretty juvenile practice, so anyone over the age of twenty-five will probably be turned off by this.
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8/10
Hobo With Hauer!
anaconda-4065830 April 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Hobo With a Shotgun (2011): Dir: Jason Eisener / Cast: Rutger Hauer, Gregory Smith, Molly Dunsworth, Brian Downey, Rob Wells: Extremely violent film about defending what little one possesses. Rutger Hauer plays a hobo who arrives in a small town via train hitching but the acts of violence he witnesses turns his stomach. People live in fear of the Drake, who apparently controls everything and everyone including the local police. After witnessing an attack on a young call girl Hauer takes action. After suffering a severe beating he is aided by the call girl whom he first helped. Director Jason Eisener goes after the drive-in appeal that served the Grindhouse films for which this film was originally a mock trailer. It is well made independent filmmaking with a violent yet effective screenplay. Hauer holds strong as a hobo who cannot take the fear driven society anymore but his escapades with the shotgun are hardly inspiring. He gives his life only for people like Abby the call girl. She is played by Molly Dunsworth who goes through her own transformation once Hauer needs rescuing. Gregory Smith brings sadistic enthusiasm to the taunting role of Slick, Drake's son. He will burn a school bus full of children to prove himself until a shotgun is aimed low. Brian Downey as Drake is an unconvincing villain full of hate and we expect the worst for him. Rob Wells of Trailer Park Boys fame makes a brief appearance as someone who meets end when the Drake decides his services are not needed. One can argue a message about violence in society but the shotgun of the title is clearly there to entertain the ugly nature of violence at its most graphic. Score: 8 ½ / 10
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9/10
'All brand new and perfect......'
FlashCallahan29 September 2011
Warning: Spoilers
A vigilante homeless man pulls into a new city and finds himself trapped in urban chaos, a city where crime rules and where the city's crime boss reigns.

Seeing an urban landscape filled with armed robbers, corrupt cops, abused prostitutes and even a paedophile Santa, the Hobo goes about bringing justice to the city the best way he knows how - with a 20-gauge shotgun.

Mayhem ensues when he tries to make things better for the future generation.....

The title of the film says it all.

It's ferocious, nasty, sick, unflinching, and quite brilliant.

This is the sort of stuff that Bronson dreamt of making when he put on Paul Kerseys shoes.

A film not to taken seriously, it reminds one of such seedy films as Street Trash, and The Extermintor.

Hauer plays his role with the confident ease w all know and love about him, and the rest of the cast just follow his lead.

Eisener has made a terrific debut, and with the state of Rodriguezs recent track record (Machete excused), he could be the next big thing in B-movie trash.

There isn't a real story, the story is in the tag line and the title, and thats what you get, a controversial film that will get the media crying out 'scapegoat!!' and ans cheering.

A real one off, with a very nasty edge.
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9/10
Effing rad
zetes10 July 2011
Warning: Spoilers
When Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez made the double feature Grindhouse a few years back, they ran a contest for fake grindhouse trailers. The winner was called Hobo with a Shotgun. It took four years, but the trailer has finally become a feature film. This could have been a terrible thing, but, fortunately, there was a lot of talent behind the making. It's like Jason Eisener was under the impression that nobody would ever let him make a movie again, so he just went nuts and put every crazy thing he could think of into his only chance. The result is not just a corny B-movie like Planet Terror and Death Proof (and Machete, a Grindhouse spin-off Rodriguez made last year), but something especially unhinged. Rutger Hauer plays the titular hobo. He arrives in a town that seems plagued with crime, run by a monstrous crime boss called "the Drake" (Brian Downey) and his two evil sons (Gregory Smith and Nick Bateman), who are introduced while killing their brother/uncle. They rule the town with an iron fist, killing anyone who gets in their way, using them for piñatas or whatever. Hauer quickly gets fed up and trades his fistful of dollars (earned from eating glass for a dude with a video camera) for a shotgun. That could lead to an entertaining enough exploitation flick, but Eisener keeps ratcheting up as it moves on. He takes the advice "go big or go home" to heart. Hell, when he sees a schoolbus full of kids, he flamethrows it. I damn well pray that someone else throws their money at Eisener, because there's some honest-to-God craziness in his head, and we should cherish it.
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9/10
back to the seventies
trashgang10 May 2011
Rutger Hauer is back. And let me say that he IS back. Man, did I enjoyed this exploitation. Be honest, the score is back to the grindhouse era, the sun into the lens of the camera giving all those flair faults like in the heydays, the yellow credits and the way they were shown. And then of course the way they exploit the gore and red stuff. I thought Machete was a way to go but Hobo goes much further. Jason Eisener, the director made contact to put his fake trailer in between the grindhouse flicks of Rodriguez and Tarantino. They did and immediately it became a fav of the geeks together with Machete and Werewolf Women Of The SS. Jason had a wet dream about putting Rutger as a main lead, and by stupid circumstances he was able to contact him and Rutger agreed. I know that some people will have difficulties with the last 20 minutes when the squid appears as did The Plague but that's what exploitation and grindhouse is all about. But the gore is extreme here, when someone is shot the red stuff do flies in gallons and the decapitation in the beginning is so well done. Knowing that Robert Rodriguez helped Ethan Maniquis to direct Machete and that this is Jason's first attempt I go for Hobo, much gorier and without the big names. So now it's up to Werewolf Women Of The SS. Way to go, back memory lane to exploitation field.
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I gave this movie a seven while my wife gave this movie a one
mm-3928 March 2011
Warning: Spoilers
For date night I took my wife to view Hobo with a shotgun! Strangely there was not many females in the audience. My wife's first response was stupid, stupid, stupid! My wife's other comments were this movie is a vile piece of crap, and the movie was garbage. She also gave the movie a one out of ten. I am not sure, but I think my wife did not like the movie. For myself, I did not mind Hobo wit a shotgun. I found Hobo relaxing! The movie probably was therapy for all those years I worked at the Post Office. The movie started out with Ricky from Trailer park boys getting into trouble. If you hate Ricky you should watch it. Rick gets decapitated, and the movie goes down hill from then on. There really is no story, the acting is over the top, and just when you thought the movie was stupid the creators make it even more stupid. I give Hobo with a shotgun a seven while my wife give the movie a one. I guess that give's Hobo four shells out of ten. I cannot wait to see how this movie does with the Oscars! Lol!
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