Hobo with a Shotgun
Hobo with a Shotgun, like Robert Rodriquez’s Machete, is much better as a trailer than it is as an actual movie. And like Machete, it is based on a trailer– the award-winning trailer from Rodriquez’s own South by Southwest Grindhouse trailers contest. It is a single punch line stretched into an feature film. Fortunately, the punch line is a pretty good one.
Rutger Hauer is a crazed hobo that runs around with a shotgun, cleansing his corrupt town (Hope Town) of the evil scum that inhabits it. This is done in interest of protecting a wayward prostitute named Abby that the hobo befriends. Think Toxic Avenger meets Taxi Driver. “You can’t change the world with a shotgun,” she tells him. “It’s all I know,” he replies.
It doesn’t seem like the hobo actually has an action plan, other than to cause as much bloodshed as possible within Hobo’s 80-minute runtime. Oh yeah, he wants to start a landscaping business. Abby tells him they can do it together, move somewhere else and start over. “They have grass in other places,” she tells him. “Really?” he replies.
Actually it doesn’t seem like there is grass in Hope Town, just blood-soaked pavement. I didn’t say this is a nice looking film. It looks like shit. There are some brutal death scenes that keep things interesting, though. A guy gets stomped in two by a man wearing ice skates, a school bus load of children is fried by a flamethrower, someone’s hand is even minced to bits by a lawnmower and early on Ricky from Trailer Park Boys gets beheaded in a fun way involving a rope, a truck, and a man-hole cover.
For some reason the final showdown of the film takes place on a Running Man-style game show battle royal, where the hobo and Abby take on a tag-team of giant robot men called The Plague (sigh). I would have preferred for Hobo with a Shotgun to be less comic-booky, but whatever. In the end, it is a nice little Troma tribute kept interesting by the great Rutger Hauer, brutal violence and some funny characters (I forgot to mention the Santa Clause pedophile). It’s not bad for an inebriated midnight viewing.