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Hobo With A Shotgun – Review

Hobo With A Shotgun – Review

Oct 6, 2011

reviewed by hallo
directed by Jason Eisener, 2011
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Hobo With A Shotgun is a Canadian horror exploitation film directed by Jason Eisener.  The film was originally a fake trailer to promote the release of Quentin Tarantino’s Grindhouse, but due to popularity was transformed into a full-length picture.  The movie stars film legend Rutger Hauer.

The central theme of Hobo With A Shotgun is anything but original.  A small town called “Hope Town” is run by a greedy, sadistic villian known as “The Drake” and his two severely demented sons, Ivan and Slick.  I must admit to chuckling when I realized I had just partly described the plot to Roadhouse.  Anyway, the film opens with Slick and Ivan brutally killing The Drake’s brother to set an example to the town folk, who idly stand by and watch the carnage as if they were zombies who could care less.  After the decapitation of the brother, the towns people just slowly go back to their lives as if nothing had ever happened.  The hobo finally has enough when he witnesses Slick attempt to sexually assault and kill a girl in an arcade, prompting him to attack Slick and save the girl.  The hobo drags Slick to the local police station and demands to speak with the Sheriff.  Unfortunately, the Sheriff and the police are corrupt and eating out of The Drake’s hand.  The hobo is knifed and thrown out on the street.

Soon, the hobo meets up with Abby, the girl he saved from the hands of Slick, and she nurses him back to health in her small apartment.  The two become friends and decide to start a new life in a different city.  The can’t leave town fast enough, however, because Ivan and Slick show up to finish off Abby.  They severely injure Abby, but the hobo is able to save her and kill Slick.  What remains is a final showdown between the hobo, The Drake, and the town people who decide they have finally had enough.  The hobo sacrifices his life so that no one else will get hurt, taking down The Drake with him.  There is hope in Hope Town.

Hobo With A Shotgun has a very positive reputation among horror fans.  After hearing so much praise for the film, I was eager to experience this “instant classic” for myself.  I must admit to being somewhat disappointed.  The exploitation genre is a difficult one to master.  One the one hand, one must recognize that making broad and over-the-top statements about the underlying issue is a necessary component of exploitation.  On the other hand, a successful exploitation film understands how those sensationalist images adds to the story being presented and doesn’t turn on itself by simply seeking to shock the audience without any ongoing connection.  Anyone can put together a bunch of violent, gross scenes.  It takes talent to make them tell a compelling story.   At the end of the day, Hobo With A Shotgun is just too much violence with not enough story.  The story isn’t meant to be believable, but still yet, this story is really, really unbelievable.  There are still fun moments and interesting deaths, but overall I found myself somewhat bored with the “how crazy can we go” violence and mayhem.  Probably worth a viewing just for Hauer’s performance, but doesn’t live up to the hype.

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