Hobo With A Shotgun Midnight Movie Review
By Bret Dorman
Midnight Movie Goers, however enthusiastic we may be, are for the most part passive in the movie selecting process. This changed when Music Box posted a viral campaign to get Hobo With A Shotgun via Facebook. And we responded.
For those of you who don’t know, a while back there was a contest to create a fake movie trailer for a ‘Grindhouse Movie’ for the movie Grindhouse (of course). Hobo won that contest and was turned into a feature film.
The Story: A Hobo (Rutger Hauer) wanders into ‘Scumtown’ to find the place an absolute mess. Its not long before he finds himself armed with a shotgun, ‘delivering justice one shell at a time!’ Also, he befriends a prostitute.
This is the kind of movie that when you were a pre-teen, if someone told you all the reasons why its bad and you should not see, it would only want to make you see it more. In that vain:
If you have a weak stomach, do not go see this movie.
If you hate tasteless humor and are offended easily, do not go see this movie.
If you can’t find your own enjoyment in an otherwise un-engaging script, do not go see this movie.
If you think every movie should strive to be art, do not go see this movie.
If you think ALL life is precious, do not go see this movie.
Yes, the title is Hobo With A Shotgun. The movie is violent, rude, crude, vulgar, disgusting, trashy, and most importantly, insanely fun.
Robert Rodriguez’s Planet Terror and Machete were both great Grindhouse parodies. Quentin Taratnino’s Death Proof was a great Grindhouse homage. But Jason Eisener’s Hobo is a Grindhouse movie.
Shot with a more limited budget and for the most part amateur actors, Hobo brings the true essence of these older trash films out. The script moves fast, has some clever gags in it, and embraces the violence. Where Hobo goes that Rodriguez or Tarantino don’t is complete and utter absurdity. And right from the get go.
‘Scumtown’ is filled with people beating each other up on the streets and a madman named The Drake (Brian Downey) terrorizing everyone into complicity. He runs the town by brutally killing people in public, making them cheer him on, and running drugs.
When The Hobo gets his shotgun, all bets are off. A pretty bold move to make by the first third of the movie. As long as the blood keeps flying, we’ll keep cheering. Even as the story slows down at some parts (but never losing its weird tone), Hauer commands the screen. He has some moments where he’s talking to a character, just looking off, and spouting some crazy dialogue about pain, his brain, and bears. The scariest part is Hauer is totally convincing while delivering these lines. Is he a great actor? Or has he just gone totally insane? I’d like to think maybe a little bit of both.
What surprised me the most was a little section near the end. Without ruining anything, I can say The Drake sends two Metal Marauders (credited as Grinder and Rip) to go out and capture The Hobo. When it comes to violence, you want to try to have an upward slope in intensity throughout the movie. You don’t want to peak too early. (For a great example of this: see Dead Alive) Hobo continually challenges itself by being extremely violent right of the bat and skyrocketing the ‘action/violence’ stakes. The scene with the two Metal Marauders though, as violent as it may be, caught me off guard by its efficiency. Up until that point you have The Drake and his two over-the-top sons, Slick and Ivan dishing out uncontrolled and sloppy violence. The hobo’s way of dishing out violence is at a minimum, completely chaotic. But Grinder and Rip enter a building looking for The Hobo, and it not only shows how controlled their movements and precise their teamwork is, but how haunting their aftermath can be.
Hobo knows what kind of movie it is, it knows its limits, and it tries to push them. Not just happy being an exploitation flick, it wants to be one of the best exploitation flicks. Luckily the filmmakers have the ability to look back at the originals with a certain amount of retrospect, see what they did best, strip away most the serious tone, and deliver a true joy ride.
Why You Must See It At Midnight: Because you wanted it. Hobo With A Shotgun was not supposed to make its way to Chicago but you spoke out. You could sit at home and watch this alone, or with a couple of friends. But you know you’ve made the right choice to see it at Music Box at Midnight when the theater starts alternating chants of “HO-BO!” and “SHOT-GUN!” I went to go see a sneak peak viewing of Grindhouse at a cineplex. The place was crowded and they were all into it. But this crowd for this showing managed to equal that energy with half as many people. “HO-BO!” “SHOT-GUN!”