Hobo with a Shotgun  (2011)    79/100

Rating :   79/100                                                                       86 Min        18

What a great ‘splatterhouse’ film. This, like ‘Machete’ (10), began as a trailer for a movie that didn’t exist, shown during the ‘Grindhouse’ (07) double bill of Robert Rodriguez’s ‘Planet Terror’ and Quentin Tarantino’s ‘Death Proof’ (filmmakers Jason Eisener, John Davies, and Rob Cotterill, based in Canada, won an international competition to secure their trailer in the slot) . Rutger Hauer brings the titular Hobo to life, traveling into a town where all notions of law and order have been torn to shreds, and life is effectively dictated by the whims of the ruling drug lord’s family, which, naturally, our (anti) hero will take exception to. A film whose entire premise is encapsulated by the title, and at the same time we can’t wait for the Hobo to pick up his shotgun and start kicking some ass – and really, who better to do it than Hauer?

This is a bloody, bloody film, but it is highly enjoyable. Some of the scenes have been heavily colourised, to the extent that they are effectively completely blue or orangey yellow – it’s terrible, and yet it somehow works for this film! Directed by Jason Eisener, it offers an interesting perspective on the raging debate over the portrayal of violence in film, as watching this not long after ‘Elysium’ I found a scene here where a school bus full of children is deliberately torched much less disturbing than the one in ‘Elysium’ that simply has a young girl being verbally threatened. The reason of course is entirely down to the way each is filmed (we only really see an exterior shot of the bus in flames, whereas in the latter it is very obvious there is a real young girl in the room), with Eisener having a much better idea of what he was making, and the fact that here the violence has an unreal tongue in cheek manner to it laced with dark humour.

With a perfect retro soundtrack in accompaniment, this is one irreverent action film to fall in love with.


Quotes

“I can promise you, when I get out of here, I’m gonna bite your face off!”   Rutger Hauer/Hobo

“You want to know if I’m homeless? So you can kill me! Some people, got a bed to sleep on. Where they can crawl under the covers and have a good night’s rest. But other people, they don’t got beds at all. Instead they got to find a alleyway, or a park bench, where some fuckers not going to stab them. Just because they don’t got beds doesn’t mean they’re homeless! Cos guess what? They got the biggest home of any of us. It’s called the streets! And right now, we’re all standing in their home! So maybe, we should show them some God damn respect! If this is their home, they got a right to keep it clean don’t they? Sometimes, on the streets, a broom just ain’t gonna fuckin’ cut it! That’s when you gotta get a shotgun! So if you wanna kill me, go ahead. But I’ll warn ya, from where I’m standing, things are looking real fuckin’ filthy!”   Molly Dunsworth/Abby

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