Official Film Synopsis:
A train pulls into the station – it’s the end of the line. A hobo jumps from a freight car, hoping for a fresh start in a new city. Instead, he finds himself trapped in an urban Hell – a world where criminals rule the streets and Drake, the city’s crime boss, reigns supreme alongside his sadistic murderous sons, Slick & Ivan.
Amidst the chaos, the Hobo comes across a pawn shop window displaying a second hand lawn mower. He dreams of making the city a beautiful place and starting a new life for himself. But as the brutality continues to rage around him, he notices a shotgun hanging above the lawn mower… Quickly, he realizes the only way to make a difference in this town is with that gun in his hand and two shells in its chamber. — Courtesy of Magnolia Pictures
Director Jason Eisener’s debut film premiered at South by Southwest to a packed midnight crowd at the Alamo Drafthouse Ritz. In ”Hobo with a Shotgun”, Rutger Hauer plays a homeless vigilante who blows away crooked cops, pedophile Santas, and other scumbags with his trusty pump-action shotgun.
In the grand tradition of exploitation cinema, ”Hobo with a Shotgun”, is fueled by the ultra-saturated technicolor of streetlights and graffiti-tagged nightclubs, arcades, and neon pawnshop signs are all that illuminate the streets. The inspiration for the look and feel of the film can be found in classic exploitation films such as Gary Sherman’s Vice Squad and Walter Hill’s ”The Warriors”, with the added splash of Brian Trenchard-Smith’s ”Dead End Drive-In” and Danny Steinmann’s ”Savage Streets”.
It’s obvious Eisener loves his cult cinema, and if I’m not mistaken, his Nightmare on Elm Street films as well. There’s a particular scene in the film where Abby (Molly Dunsworth) – a hooker with a heart of gold – suits up to fight the city’s scum. The final touch to her wardrobe? A slap bracelet – an obscure reference to ”Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master”, where Alice (in classic ’80s montage fashion) prepares for her ultimate confrontation with Freddy. The whole scene is basically Alice strapping and wrapping things around her body – a subtle nod, not to mention the Dokken “Dream Warriors”-inspired soundtrack.
There’s nothing quite like watching a grindhouse picture at the Alamo Ritz with a midnight crowd comprised of people who fucking love movies and appreciate exploitation cinema. ”Hobo with a Shotgun” lived up to every bit of the hype, with a double-barreled dose of blood and guts. This movie has it all: homeless vigilantes and prostitutes as heroic champions of decency and vile scumbags deserving of horrible, grotesque shotgun-related deaths, what more could you ask for?
Let’s put it this way, for every time Machete slices an appendage off or Stuntman Mike commits vehicular homicide, someone is getting a body part blown off with a shotgun in this film – and I’m not talking squibs or your standard “blown away from the force of the blast” wire work, either. I’m talking about meat and blood and bones exploding and spraying all over the screen in 35mm glory.
To give you an example, at one point a character loses their hand (meat grinder or a garbage disposal or something of the sort) and the result is an exposed radius bone protruding from the bloody stump that was once their hand. The character goes on to use the exposed bit of jagged bone as a weapon, stabbing street scum and ultimately utilizing it as a lever to lift a manhole cover. FUCKING INSANE!
I fucking loved this movie. I think it’s destined to be a cult classic. Thanks to Tarantino and Rodriguez’s magnum opus, ”Grindhouse”, moviegoers are enjoying a brand new generation of blood-splattered exploitation cinema, and Jason Eisener proudly carries the torch (or shotgun) onward.
Enough words, watch the trailer and see for yourself.