Dir: Jason Eisener, 2011
Like it’s sister film, Machete, Jason Eisener’s Hobo With A Shotgun has its roots in Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez’s joint venture, Grindhouse.
Made as a fake trailer to accompany the two features that make up Grindhouse, Eisener’s film is a fantastic vigilante tale with gallons of blood drowning the viewer.
A hobo (Rutger Hauer) needs money to buy a lawnmower. Underworld king, Drake, controls the town, causing death and destruction at the drop of a hat.
When a shop is held up, the hobo grabs a shotgun off the wall and kills the robbers. This sets off a trail of vigilante justice, with the hobo taking out the evil in the town.
A joy from start to finish, Hobo With A Shotgun ticks all the right boxes. Sexy girls, ultra-violence, buckets of blood and a ridiculous plot. Eisener, perfectly captures everything that is needed to make a successful B-movie.
Despite being part of the Grindhouse family, there is no deliberate scratches, jumps or tears. Aside from a seventies-inspired credit sequence, everything else is entirely contemporary. The saturation of the film is too high, giving the actors an orange/yellow look. Grindhouse movies, generally, tend to be washed out and pale, after numerous turns through a projector. That’s the only flaw that the film suffers from.
The tone of a grindhouse feature is there, with its nonsensical plot and loose ends. Why does the hobo want to buy a lawnmower? He hasn’t got a garden. This isn’t explained, preferring to tease the audience with shots of the hobo visually masturbating over the grass cutter.
Far more gory than Machete, gallons of blood is spilled, in the never ending barrage of exploded faces and torn off heads. But the violence is so over the top, it has a cartoonish feel to it, rendering the goings on amusing and removing any sadism.
Hobo With A Shotgun is an empty film, but it’s meant to be. No one is expecting it to rival Citizen Kane or The Godfather on a best of lost (even though it’s better than both of those films). The premise was born out of a love for the genre, and a desire to entertain. Jason Eisener succeeds, spectacularly, in providing film fans with two hours of non-stop action and joy.