6 Jan 2012

Hobo with a shotgun

"I'm not watching that!" my partner said with firmly with a hint of disdain. Her pretty face marred by the wrinkle in her forehead as she glanced at the DVD cover. It was as if she had just noticed bird poo on her jacket or someone listening to Justin Bieber.  I could not blame her. The wounds of watching Conan were too fresh, too raw.

But while I respected her wishes, the lure of Rutger Hauer was too much.
But why? How many decent films has Mr. Hauer made?  Bladerunner is of course is his seminal work.  Lady Hawk  is a cult classic.  The Hitcher,  also another classic, and you can probably think of more.  But he has also made a truck load of bad movies too.
In my opinion the reason that I watch all his movies, good or bad is because my nostalgic love of those cult classics. It is also the reason why I forgive him those awful B grade German science fiction films like Omega Doom. But then that pulp is also something I enjoy as well. I revel in the sheer awfulness of it all.

Anyway a synopsis of Hobo with a Shotgun:

A Hobo (Rutger Hauer) arrives in a town hoping to make a new start. His dream is to buy a lawn mower so he can start his own business. But this town is run by the psychotic crime lord Drake (Brian Downey), who revels in nothing more than public displays of torture and murder.  The police are in Drakes pocket, and the public are paralysed in fear. The Hobo can take it no more and makes a stand. He gives up his dream and instead of buying a lawn mower, he buys a shotgun. He is going to dispense justice one shell at a time.

 When Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez made Grindhouse/Planet terror  in 2007 they had a competition for people to make exploitation trailers. The best would be included in their films. Hobo with a Shotgun was one of the winners. They went on to make the movie based on their trailer.

Here it is the winning short http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mZaUOe4cNNk

Hobo with a Shotgun is a exploitation movie, but it is also a homage to the exploitation movies of the seventies. The whole opening credits, with the titles, the music and even the colour is reminiscent of seventies film making. If for nothing else the first five minutes were for me, worth the rental.

For the level of blood and gore Hobo with a Shotgun matches Braindead, but lacks the wit. With punks crushing peoples heads with bumper cars, and disembowelment with baseball bats with razorblades, it gets pretty messy.  The thing is with exploitation movies is that they are just like any other movie, Just lower the production value and increase the gore and sexual content to compensate.

The Plague
Basically it's pretty bad, but then again it's meant to be.  Brian Downey,  who you may know as Stanely Tweedle from Lexx,  is completely over the top as the sociopathic villain. But is campy performance is perfect for the ludicrous plot. And putting all sense of believability aside in regards to the basic premise, there are elements of fantasy. The School bus full of dead children seeking their revenge. Who are the plague? Where did they get a giant octopus from? Why do they have a giant Octopus? Are they seriously expecting us to  believe that they killed Lincoln?

It's a bizarre, airline sick bag of bloody gore being smashed into the face of the love child of good taste and wit, while she was playing happily on her new pink bike.  And I am sure it will be a cult classic. Rutger is great as the brooding lone gunman/vigilante seeking justice against the degenerate minority that is holding society to ransom holds true. I laughed when he shot the nonce Santa in the head, and applauded when the pimp goes flying.

I enjoyed it, but would hesitate to recommend it unless you have a taste for this sort of movie.  And I couldn't really give it more than five monkeys. But if you are a fan of Rutger Hauer, then don't miss Hobo with a Shotgun.


  1. I can feel myself giving it a miss. Here it comes ... missed.

  2. I think i need to see this , sounds awesomely awefull.

  3. Wooohooooo a must see for me....
    Rutger Hauer AND gore and guts.

  4. I watched about 3 minutes when I came home from work tired and grumpy. Then I realised I COULD actually walk away and that made me less grumpy.