Hobo With A Shotgun (18)

Film image

The ViewLondon Review

StarStarStarStarNo Star
Review byMatthew Turner15/07/2011

Four out of Five stars
Running time: 86 mins

Impressively directed and featuring a terrific performance from Rutger Hauer, this is an entertaining, absurdly violent exploitation thriller that's pretty much non-stop action and doesn't skimp on the gore factor.

What's it all about?
Directed by Jason Eisener, Hobo With A Shotgun is based on a competition-winning trailer that was included on the Canadian release of 2007's Grindhouse and stars Rutger Hauer as, well, a hobo with a shotgun. When the unnamed hobo arrives in Hopetown (renamed Scumtown on the sign, though everyone refers to it as Fucktown), he finds it ruled by vicious local gangster Drake (Brian Downey) and his two sadistic sons Slick (Gregory Smith) and Ivan (Nick Bateman).

Despite witnessing Drake and his sons murdering one of their own family members when he first arrives, Hobo initially keeps his head down, intending to buy a lawnmower in order to earn a living. However, after he saves kindly prostitute Abby (Molly Dunsworth) from Slick and Ivan, Hobo decides that enough is enough and he spends his lawnmower money on a shotgun instead, before embarking on a blood soaked clean-up-the-streets campaign.

The Good
Essentially, this is the film that Machete should have been: Eisener directs with obvious affection for the exploitation genre and the film has such a 1980s vibe that it feels like its natural home is a charity shop bargain bin with other straight-to-VHS shlock-fests. This is heightened by some skilled pastiche work that extends to blocky yellow credits, a gloriously synth-heavy soundtrack and a strong use of garishly coloured photography, courtesy of cinematographer Karim Hussein.

Hauer is terrific as Hobo, dispensing shotgun-based justice with impunity and growling his way through some amusing speeches (including a monologue about thinking the pain away and an extended metaphor about bears). Similarly, Dunsworth is excellent as the tart with a heart (who has a knack with a customised lawnmower), while Downey, Smith and Bateman are all clearly enjoying themselves as the ludicrously evil trio (at one point the boys torch a school bus full of children with a flame-thrower – it's that kind of film).

The Great
The gore effects are extremely well done and some of the set-pieces are imaginatively staged, if rather gruesome. In addition, Eisener has a strong eye for surreal throwaway touches (such as the brothers fighting a giant octopus) and there are several blackly comic highlights (e.g. Paedo Santa).

Worth seeing?
Much closer to the Grindhouse spirit than the likes of Machete, Hobo with a Shotgun is a hugely enjoyable, absurdly violent exploitation thriller that does exactly what it says on the tin. Recommended.

Film Trailer

Hobo With A Shotgun (18)
Be the first to review Hobo With A Shotgun...
image
01 The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies (tbc)

Lee Pace, Benedict Cumberbatch, Evangeline Lilly, ...

image
02 The Theory of Everything (tbc)

Felicity Jones, Eddie Redmayne, Emily Watson

image
03 Pride (15)

Bill Nighy, Andrew Scott, Dominic West, Imelda Sta...

image
04 What We Did on Our Holidays (12A)

David Tennant, Billy Connolly, Rosamund Pike, Anne...

image
05 The Guest (15)

Dan Stevens, Maika Monroe, Ethan Embry

Content updated: 28/08/2014 02:17

Latest Film Reviews

Film of the Week

Night Moves Film Review

Engaging and provocative, this is a fiercely introspective thriller from writer-director Kelly Reichardt, starring Jesse Eisenberg and Dakota Fanning.

UK Box Office Top 5 Films

Hot Tickets

Film 4 Summer ScreenFilm 4 Summer Screen

Taking over the big screen at Somerset House again for August 2014, the Film 4 Summer Screen series brings a variety of classics and brand new films to audiences in the capital.