‘Hobo’ keeps the gore, laughs and gasps coming

By Glenn Battishill

Jason Eisner’s “Hobo with a Shotgun” is a gory homage to the urban violence films of the 1980s and was made into a feature length film after winning a trailer contest when “Grindhouse” debuted. This is the second fake “Grindhouse” trailer to get adapted into a feature film after the awesomeness that was “Machete”, and it follows the same idea, homage to exploitation films of the 70s and 80s.

The whole idea of doing a grindhouse-based film is to pay homage to the sleezy, low budget and often-gratuitous action films of the 1970s and 80s and, in that regard, “Hobo with a Shotgun” is flawless.

“Hobo with a Shotgun” is about Rutger Hauer, a homeless drifter who moves to Hope City in an attempt to start a lawn mowing business. Upon arriving in the city, he witnesses local kingpin, Brian Downey’s The Drake, murdering his brother by decapitation. (This is, by the way, six minutes into the movie.)

Over the course of the next thirty minutes: someone has their head smashed between two bumper cars, another person has their foot smashed by a carnival hammer and a boy has his arm broken over an arcade joystick. It goes without saying that the movie is a hard “R” rating.

Then, the Hobo saves a prostitute (with a heart of gold of course), played by Molly Brunsworth, from The Drake’s son, Slick, played by Gregory Smith (Mel Gibson’s non-Heath Ledger son from “The Patriot”).

Seeing the injustice in the city all around him, the Hobo picks up a shotgun and starts delivering justice one shell at a time. This is when the movie kicks into overdrive. The next fifty minutes are a spectacular thrill ride of violence, violence and more violence interrupted briefly by a great monologue by Hauer’s Hobo to a nursery full of babies.

As far as the story goes, it moves exactly like you’d expect it would with really one big surprise, and this is the part of the movie that was too much for me. Two villains step onto a school bus and burn several small children to death.

Did I mention this movie is violent?

All in all the movie looks better than it feels. The over ex¬posure and color filters are perfect mirrors of the poorly made action films the film is based on, and the synthesized soundtrack is gloriously nostalgic of every 80s film, John Carpenter’s in particular. It’s so over the top and that’s what makes it fun.

The zaniness is perfectly exemplified during a scene where the villain has a serious discussion with one of his minions, while three topless girls beat an upside down man with baseball bats.

When I liked “Hobo with a Shotgun”, I LOVED it. Every scene with the armored villains, The Plague, is awesome. The gore in the film is over-the-top and gleeful. The dialogue can be tiring at times but can deliver lines of solid gold such as, my personal favorite, “You and me are goin’ on a car-ride to hell… and you’re riding shotgun!”

But when I disliked “Hobo with a Shotgun” I couldn’t stomach it. The violence can often be disturbing and, once again, there is a scene in this film where several innocent children are burned to death.

At the end of the day, I was entertained for 95 percent of the movie, but the other 5 percent make me want to take a shower.