Movie Review: Hobo With a Shotgun [2011]

Hobo With a Shotgun [2011]

Hobo With a Shotgun [2011]
Director: Jason Eisener
Genre: Action/Crime/Thriller
Language: English
Country: Canada

I’m not sure there’s a movie title that encapsulates the viewing experience better than Hobo With a Shotgun. It’s brash, in your face, and a perfect indication of the grindhouse shlock that it delivers.

Rutger Hauer stars as the shotgun-toting hobo, who doesn’t have a proper name. After living a life on the rails, the hobo arrives in the anarchic wasteland ironically known as Hope Town. After witnessing murder and general mayhem created by the town’s evil ruler, The Drake (Brian Downey) and his deranged sons, Ivan (Nick Bateman) and Slick (Gregory Smith), the hobo grabs a shotgun and starts dishing out justice vigilante-style.

Hobo With a Shotgun [2011]

Hobo With a Shotgun is as over-the-top as one would expect, and it dispenses gore by the truckload. In the first 10-15 minutes alone, there is a brutal decapitation, and Ivan and Slick even torch a bus full of small children with flamethrowers. This is only the beginning of a fucked up exploitation ride, as we run into a bizarre grab bag of freaks — a pedophile dressed as Santa Claus, a douchey director who films his own version of Bum Fights, and there’s even an oddly random encounter with some sort of tentacled object.

Seemingly the only other ‘decent’ person in Hope Town is Abby (Molly Dunsworth), a prostitute that the hobo saves and subsequently befriends. Watching the two of them team up together to take back the city is a blast, and they make a great, albeit unlikely, duo.

Hobo With a Shotgun [2011]

First time director Jason Eisener does a brilliant job making Hobo With a Shotgun feel like “you could have pulled [the movie] off a VHS shelf in the 80s”, as he once said. The movie is generally very dark with a nihilistic view that works well within its low budget. In fact, Eisener has crafted the genre almost too well because there is little to differentiate this from other like-minded titles. In a way, this is both a blessing and a curse.

There’s no denying that Hobo With a Shotgun is a well-made tribute to the grindhouse days of the late 70s/early 80s. It obviously has a limited audience, but those into over-the-top madness will have a great time with it. Hobo is a cut below Planet Terror and Machete, but it’s still a lot of fun.


10 thoughts on “Movie Review: Hobo With a Shotgun [2011]

  1. Custard says:

    I keep hearing really great things about this film. One of my friends has it as his new top film!!

    I must get a copy and get it watched!!

    Thanks for writing this up. Great!


  2. Tim Popple says:

    Nice little review – sums it up well. Found your site after your comment on my blog, cheers for that!
    Machete is better then is it? I missed it at the cinema and am tempted to blind buy it on BR.

    • Eric says:

      Thank you! Yeah, I liked both movies but I think I prefer Machete overall. Definitely worth checking out if you’re ever looking for a grindhouse fix.

  3. Craig says:

    Nice review. Really enjoyed it too, in a guilty-pleasure kind of way, yes its rough, the acting is mostly awful (bar Rutger) and the effects dodgy – but isn’t that the point?

    • Eric says:

      Thanks! You’re right — that is most certainly the point. I could see how it would be a guilty pleasure for some, but I don’t feel guilty at all for liking it! 🙂

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