Hobo With A Shotgun: The Best Movie TROMA Never Made"
Oscar Wilde once said "Talent borrows, genius steals." You can say Quentin Tarantino is a cinematic example of this. He may "steal" everything he does, but I think he makes it his own signature and he "steals" with love and respect. Then there's "Hobo With A Shotgun." For what it is, it's genius. Your mother may not agree with me, but it's definitely, like a Tarantino movie, made with love and because of that, I really enjoyed this film.
The reason I bring up Tarantino is because the origins of this film involve him indirectly. In 2007, director Jason Eisener signed up to make a faux "grindhouse" trailer a la the fake trailers featured in the Tarantino/Robert Rodriguez film "Grindhouse" for the SXSW film festival. The trailer, made for $150, respectively, turned out to be a smashing internet success and WON the contest. Of course, it was inevitable a feature would be made and here we are a few years later. The big question remained; does this 2 1/2 minute concept work as a 90 minute film? It certainly does....If you can handle it.
"Hobo With A Shotgun" stars Rutger Hauer as a train hopping hobo who ends up in a dead end, crime ridden town only to become it's crime fighting vigilante, a la Batman. The town is run by crime boss Drake (Brian Downey) and his two Tom Cruise-esque, Ray-Ban wearing sons Slick (Gregory Smith) and Ivan (Nick Batemen). They are sadistic, immoral, and a bit too over the top at times, but I digress. Our hero, the hobo, finds a lawnmower on sale for $49.99 in a pawn shop and dreams of cleaning up the city. Instead he finds a shotgun and amidst a robbery in the pawn shop, obliterates the criminals with said shotgun. During his crime sweep, he befriends a beautiful young prostitute called Abby (Molly Dunsworth) whom he looks after like a daughter. Their relationship is actually very sweet, and considering the insane, colorful, bloody world we are brought into, very real.
This is one major reason why I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. No matter how depraved, grotesque, or gory it gets, it maintains a sort of humanity. Casting Rutger Hauer was inspired and the scraggily, sad lines in his face are characters in and of themselves. The characters are played straight when needed and are turned up to 11 when needed. The villains, like I said can be a bit over the top, but that's part of the appeal. It's strictly a genre film. If you grew up with this VHS blood stained, synthesizer heavy muck, you'll get a kick out of the nods to other classic horror films (Dead Alive, Escape From New York, Street Trash, etc). If you didn't grow up with it and are willing to let it be what it is, it's still very entertaining and it certainly flies by at a frenetic 86 minutes. And unlike "Grindhouse" it doesn't wink at us, nor is it missing reels. It is what it is and you get what you get. So, leave your taste in the car and enjoy "Hobo With A Shotgun" because I certainly did.
Score: 0 out of -10 (perfect)
"Hobo With A Shotgun" will roll out in limited release starting May 6th, but if you can't wait (and don't) it's available NOW on VOD!!