BR: Hobo with a Shotgun (2011)

May 30, 2014 | By


HoboShotgun_BRFilm: Very Good

Transfer: Excellent/ Extras: Excellent

Label: Alliance / eOne

Region: A

Released:  July 5, 2011

Genre:  Exploitation

Synopsis: Brutalized by a city’s kingpin and his sadistic sons, a hobo decides to clean up the town using a shotgun and his own severe moral code.

Special Features:  Audio Commentary #1: director Jason Eisener and star Rutger Hauer / Audio Commentary #2: director Jason Eisener, writer John Davis, producer Rob Cotterill, and ‘original hobo’ actor David Brunt / Making-of doc: “More Blood, More Heart” (45:20) / Deleted Scenes (5:59) + Alternate Ending (:32) / Video Blogs / Camera Test Reel (3:29) / Fangoria Interviews with Jason Eisener and Rutger Hauer (44:30) / HDNet: A Look at Hobo with a Shotgun (5:11) / Grindhouse Trailer Contest Winner: the original Hobo with a Shotgun (2:06) / Hobo with a Shotgun Faux Trailer Contest Winner “Van Gore” (2:00) / U.S. Redband and Canadian trailers & TV spots / Shotgun Mode: plays  making-of clips during film.




After making a winning faux trailer for a contest to promote the release of Grindhouse (2007), Jason Eisener hit the jackpot with an opportunity to expand his short-form teaser of a fed up, shotgun-wiedling hobo cleaning up a scummy town into a feature film. The resulting work is a surprisingly fun homage to sadistic, reactive action-dramas of the eighties, but with a healthy sense of self-deprecating humour packed into an over-the-top, wet-and-violent cartoon.

A sense of the ridiculous doesn’t temper the film’s gore factor, though, as much viscera is pulled, mashed, and draped over shopping carts, and yanked with force from cadavers. Perhaps the film’s nastiest scene has the heroine’s hand being pushed into lawnmower blades with devastating results. Nothing is sacred in Eisener’s film, which feels like a game show cum carnival, and yet Rutger Hauer really invests a lot of heart into the star role of a lonely man who just wants to buy a lawnmower and make a few bucks cutting some lawns, but finds himself battling the town’s ruler, Drake (LEXX’s Brian Downey).

Actress Molly Dunsworth plays an independent-minded hooker who spurns the advances of the Drake’s youngest son Slick (Gregory Smith) and discovers the deep psychosis of the boy’s entire family, and both Smith and Nick Bateman (playing older brother Ivan) clearly had fun playing amoral sickos with New Wave clothes, ever-present sunglasses, and hair helmets and rubber-like movements evocative of TV’s Max Headroom.

Hobo celebrates a lot of behavioral wrongness – a Santa Claus beating off by a schoolyard, and the Drake boys incinerating a packed school bus – but the excess strangely provides momentum to the film’s kinetic flow. Eisener may pack a lot of vulgarities into every scene, but he doesn’t dwell on the mayhem, and as the film’s editor, there’s some outstanding action scenes. A particular highlight involves The Plague – an iron-suited, two-man tag team of death – who massacre a hospital with brutal efficiency.

Filmed in and around Halifax, Eisener milks his hometown’s great locations, and injects a lot of cheeky Canadian references, be it the Drake boys driving a clean white Bricklin gullwing sports car, maiming the Hobo with ice skates, or the street’s hard currency consisting of 1960s and 70s Canadian $10 bills. The soundtrack is also a puree of original score, songs, and soundtrack cues, all of which work surprisingly well and often augment a scene’s insanity, or certainly with Darius Holbert’s score, add extra dimension to the vigilante Hobo.

The Blu-ray edition is filled with dual commentaries, deleted scenes (including a pre-End Credit coda), and making-of documentary material, plus the original faux Hobo with a Shotgun trailer that starred David Brunt, and an interview with Brunt, who has a nice, small role as a dirty cop.

A podcast interview with composer Darius Holbert is also available.



© 2014 Mark R. Hasan



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Category: Blu-ray / DVD Film Review

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