Hobo with a Shotgun (2011)

hobo with a shotgun poster 2011 movie
6.5 Overall Score
Story: 6/10
Acting: 7/10
Visuals: 8/10

Insane violence, Rutger Hauer

Not much of a plot (but not expecting one)

Movie Info

Movie Name: Hobo with a Shotgun

Studio:  Rhombus Media/Whizbang Films/Yer Dead Productions

Genre(s):  Comedy/Action/Adventure

Release Date(s):  January 21, 2011 (Sundance)/May 6, 2011 (US)

MPAA Rating: R

hobo with a shotgun rutger hauer

As promised, a hobo…and his shotgun

Hope Town has been renamed Scum Town.  It is ruled by the Drake (Brian Downey) and his sons Ivan (Nick Bateman) and Slick (Gregory Smith).  When a hobo (Rutger Hauer) comes into town with the hopes of starting a lawn mowing business, he finds himself attacked by the Drake and his followers.  When the hobo saves a prostitute named Abby (Molly Dunsworth), the hobo finds an ally.  The hobo is forced to trade in his dreams of lawnmowing for a shotgun…and the Drake and his family are going to pay the price!

Directed by Jason Eisener, Hobo with a Shotgun is a grindhouse style comedy-action picture.  The film is based the short Hobo with a Shotgun which appeared as a preview in Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez’s Grindhouse film as a fake trailer.  The film received mixed to positive reviews.

hobo with a shotgun plague rip grinder

Oh no! The Go-Bots have come for the Hobo!

One of the better parts of Grindhouse were the fake trailers for other grindhouse films.  A few of the films (like Machete) were turned into pictures…and Hobo with a Shotgun was a natural follow-up.  The movie works on some levels but also in parodying a “bad film”, it kind of becomes ones.

The film is pretty much classic grindhouse.  Everyone in Hope Town is the worst of the worst.  The criminals have no fear of the law and the law itself is corrupt.  There is no “Hope” in Hope Town.  Likewise, the hobo is a typical character.  Like a Rambo type, he simply wants to be left alone and is forced into violence (“to win war you must become war”).  The hobo both scares people and inspires people to rise against their oppressors…in the goriest way.

Rutger Hauer is always a fun watch and his grumbling, mumbling hobo is fun.  He is a little unbalanced naturally and just needs the extra push to become a war machine.  Brian Downey is the over-the-top villain and surrounded by great “sidekicks” in Gregory Smith and Nick Bateman who are his dim but violent sons.  Molly Dunsworth is an “impure” girl who rises above her prostitution and becomes a hero to the others of the city just by being associated with the hobo.

hobo with a shotgun brian downey molly dunsworth

I’m going to over-act in a movie that calls for over-acting

Hobo with a Shotgun and other grindhouse movies are all about the visuals.  The violence is magnified and the gore is intense.  People don’t just die…they explode.  The blood flows, body parts get hacked, and monsters called the Plague (Rip and Grinder) are like machine beasts killing everyone in their way.  It is crazy, but it tries so hard to be crazy that it feels unreal instead of surreal.

Hobo with a Shotgun is entertaining, but it also leaves you wanting to just watch a real grindhouse film.  The movie has its moments, but the title is more fun than the actual movie (which is the case with a lot of grindhouse movies).  I could have seen a series of Hobo movies going if the film had been more popular…unfortunately, there’s only one Hobo with a Shotgun, and it is a bloody adventure.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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