Hobo With A Shotgun (TBC)
Running Time: 86 mins
Director: Jason Eisener
Writers: John Davies, Jason Eisener
Starring: Rutger Hauer, Gregory Smith, Rob Wells, Molly Dunsworth
Reviewed by: Matt Wavish, Official HCF Critic
So, it’s finally here, ‘that Hobo film’ that everyone’s talking about, Rutger Hauer’s big comeback, the vigilante film that leaves nothing to chance. Will it deliver on the promise of so many teaser trailers, a full length trailer, competitions, adverts and just about any other form of advertising to get this film noticed? Does Rutger Hauer’s comeback delight, or is he just another ageing has been? And just how violent is Hobo With A Shotgun? All those questions will be answered, dear readers, over the next few paragraphs: but I will say this, Hobo With A Shotgun is destined for Cult status!
Hobo With A Shotgun is a short little film, it has incredibly fast and fresh editing and the pace will pretty much leave you breathless. It leaves no room for reflection or dangerous thinking; it won’t allow you that pleasure. Because one great scene is quickly followed by another and another and it’s all gelled together by Rutger Hauer’s straight talking, wise cracking killer Hobo who has quite simply had enough! “I’m gonna sleep with your bloody corpses tonight!” he yells at some robbers who have held up a corner shop, the corner shop where he gets his shotgun from. In fact, it is this very scene where he gets the shotgun; he yanks it off the display, fills it with shells and empties them into the robbers. The poor guy behind the counter is a quivering wreck, and our dear Hobo could have just walked off with his new best friend, but instead he pays for it and heads of to rid the city of all its bad people. So, why has this homeless guy flipped, and what gives him the right to be judge, jury and executioner? Society, that’s what, and it has got the better of him…
The film opens in glorious style as the city’s Crime Boss and his two son’s exact revenge on some poor guy. Dressed in perfectly white suits and having a ball, they laugh and joke as they shove a manhole cover over the guys head and shove him in a drain in the road. The residents look on in horror, including our Hobo, as the poor guy has his last writes said allowed and the gangsters mock him. The camera swoops around, close up, slithering up and down each character, flicking to the Hobo, cigarette in mouth and angry look on his face, back to the head sticking out the manhole cover and all the while the grainy picture and bizarre music set the tone for how this film intends to be. Depraved, and having some serious fun with it! A noose is tied around the victims head, then attached to a car which one of the son’s reverses, laughing his head off (excuse the pun, wasn’t intentional!) and tears off the victims head. A thundering drum beat arrives, and a half naked woman who is with the gangsters slides on the floor so that all the spraying blood goes all over her while the Crime Boss issues a stark warning. What a way to start a film, it feels incredibly fresh but impressively authentic at the same time and the film keeps up this level of excitement and ferocity from beginning to bloody end, and it is glorious!
We move on to the Hobo and his homemade sign “I am tired, need $ for a lawnmower”, no idea what it means, but the film is full of bizarre things like this that just show the makers just wanted to have some fun, and not always feel the need to make sense. There are no rules here, no cliché’s that don’t work or feel over-used, everything in the film has a sense of purpose, whether it be to offend, confuse, drive the story or just show the audacity of the whole thing. Everything feels pumped up, energised; the film feels like you’ve entered some crazy new theme park ride which last 90 minutes. Christ, this film has more energy and excitement than a bungee jump, it’s quite simply a crazy, mental film, and it loves it. Our Hobo starts off bitter, but allows people to push him around, for now. He gets into an argument with a couple of guys and attempts to fight back, angry at their disrespect at religion “Shut your filthy mouth! Mother Theresa is a God damned Saint!!!!” he bellows, and not long after he bumps into another group of bullies who make him eat glass, or now. Life for a homeless guy is clearly tough, no one respects you and you live under constant threat. But, our Hobo has a heart of gold, he wants to help people really, he is not nasty and not violent but he is soon to be pushed over the edge. It all comes together one night, after eating glass, arguing and becoming more and more angry, he is tipped over the edge and you can almost see the veins in his incredibly hairy face about to burst. He witnesses a prostitute being bullied by one of the Crime Boss’ son’s, he decides to save her, her name is Abby and she is grateful. Making a citizen’s arrest, he takes the guy to the police, only to find out the police are just as bad and once again he gets bullied and they carve open his chest. Literally throwing him out with the garbage, the Hobo has had enough, gets his shotgun at the robbery scene and goes on the rampage.
It’s brilliant, his one liners are guaranteed to have you laughing your ass off. Witness the murder of a paedophile Santa who is starring at young kids in his car “Jerk on this you child molesting shit licker!” states the Hobo as he blasts him away. The newspaper reports are just as fun, with the headlines “declaring justice, one shell at a time” or may favourite “Hobo stops begging, demands change!” It’s fair to say, it feels like Rutger Hauer was born to play this role, he is clearly having the time of his life as he walks around smoking and shooting and delivering one liners. He can’t even tell his new best friend Abby that he needs to take her to the hospital without it sounding comical “I’m gonna get you to a Dr!” Or, when he randomly appears at her home in the hope of laying low for a while, he has a go at her “Why you out so late, it’s dangerous!” Hauer, hats off to you, you have made an impressive comeback and there is no doubt that he is here to stay. It’s a mammoth performance, stunning, blistering, perfect. He becomes an outlaw as the Crime Boss declares war on him and offers up a huge reward to who can kill him, prompting the police to head out “Grab your guns boys, we got homeless to kill!!”. Ah, the script to this film is genius. Everything about the film, style, music, characters, remind you of the good old days when films could be sick, depraved but incredibly fun. The film even has strong Argento influences in its incredibly well produced use of primary colours. See the Hobo standing in the hospital starring at new borns (he talks to them through the glass and they all cry!), the room is a very strong blue, while outside the Hobo is standing in a blinding yellow colour. Its looks incredible: even get a bizarre pink colour as two bizarre hired killers in seriously creepy outfits and masks appear to hunt the Hobo.
The weapons on offer are superb too, one particular favourite was a baseball bat covered in razor blades. Yes, the film is sick, but in an almost cartoonish way to become ultra offensive and, incredibly, ultra cool. 80’S style synthesizer music makes the whole thing feel like you’ve gone back in time as well, and it really adds to the atmosphere. The Hobo continues his one liners “Get your hands off my Demons, your crushing my smokes!” and actually decides to make a life for himself by mowing people’s lawns. As he confesses his ideas to Abby, a sentimental moment between the two is broken up into classic comedy as he tells her he has a slogan for his lawnmowing business “you grow it, I cut it”. This is met with Abby changing it to “We cut it”. Aww, aint they a cute couple! Anyway, Hobo With A Shotgun is awesome, sick, funny, depraved (the burning of school kids on a bus pushes things a little too far) and brilliantly fresh and fun. You will not see another film like this all year, there will be many imitations, but nothing will top with for all out excitement. You don’t get time to get bored, and you will find yourself jumping up and down at scenes SO over the top they make you want to shout to the high heavens how much you are loving it. Hell, there’s even a killing using a broken arm, the sticking out bone is used to stab the attacker! I mean, have you ever heard anything like that before? This is mental, absolutely fuckin mental and I loved every God damned second of it.
[pt-filmtitle]Hobo With A Shotgun[/pt-filmtitle]