Grindhouse cinema a cult genre in the 70s and 80s. Low budget, exploitation films in which usually were cheap rip-offs of more popular movies, notably gallons of gore, a little nudity and plots that were ludicrous. A dying art that Quentin Tarantino tried and failed to reproduced with his extravaganza, Grindhouse. Now comes Hobo With A Shotgun, a film that really does capture the essence of those early films. And it’s a pretty outrageous, sick experience to boot.
A hobo arrives in a small town hoping to change his life and raise money to buy a lawn mower so he can start his own business. Only problem is, he has entered a town that is this side of hell, where crime is an everyday occurrence and it’s run by a man named Drake and his two thuggish sons. When caught up in a robbery, the hobo grabs a shotgun and blows the masked robbers away, leading into a personal war against Drake, his boys, the police and anyone who gets in his way.
The vigilante movie isn’t a new formula but never has it been produced with such velocity. This is a relentlessly gory show with blood splattering all over the place. Every limb is either cut, crushed, hacked at or removed. From the imaginative beheading to a shocking scene in which a hacksaw is used on a neck, this is not for the faint-hearted.
Director Jason Eisener creates a technicolour nightmare. Most of the film is lit in one of two bright colours while he joyfully produces another form of torture or bloody death. He’s not afraid to push things over the top with a scene involving a bus load of children that will definitely shock even the hardest of gore fans.
So you are thinking, how can this film be the least bit entertaining? It does have a touch of class in the form of Rutger Hauer as the title role. More well known for playing the replicant in Blade Runner, Hauer brings a heart to a role that could quite easily just be another character with a gun. He makes a speech in a hospital while looking at new born children that is not only surprisingly insightful but is delivered with sincerity.
This really isn’t for everyone, especially those who cannot stand violence but in a time where cinema has become rather routine and too afraid to try things, it is refreshing to see a film that pushes the boundaries and I can almost guarantee that this will be the cult film of the year. Disturbing, ulta-violent and just loads of fun too…in a very sick way.