Originally a faux “trailer” shown in the Tarantino-Rodriguez sleazy masterpiece Grindhouse (although I distinctly preferred Rodriquez’s entry Planet Terror over Tarantino’s Death Proof, even though it starred Kurt Fucking Russell himself), Hobo with a Shotgun raised such a fervor as to get it’s own due as a feature film. Staying with the Grindhouse exploitation theme, replete with garish colors and over-the-top violence, the feature-length Hobo does more than enough to qualify itself among the original two entries.
Starring Rutger (the Man Who Will Always Be Batty) Hauer as the Hobo, a solitary figure who ambles into town off a train car and into a nightmare, trading his dream of owning his own lawn care business for a shotgun, and relentless justice. His targets are The Drake (Brian Downey, better known as the hapless Stanley Tweedle from LEXX), the local crime lord and his sons Ivan (four-time Martial Arts World Champion Nick Bateman) and Slick (Gregory Smith). His only ally in this conflict is Abby (Molly Dunsworth), the Hooker with a Heart of Gold.
The film is a swiftly-paced grimy manifesto to the exploitation genre, filled with enough gore, nudity and black humor to satisfy any who may consider themselves to be fans. I personally liken it to Pepe Moreno’s early work in Heavy Metal, but that may be too vague a reference. Needless to say, all performances (especially Hauer’s and Smith’s) are suitably over-the-top and perfectly tuned to the subject matter, and I dearly hope to see more from writer/director Jason Eisener. It’s so nice when something that is set to appeal to a select few does just that, and so well.