Monday, January 9, 2012

Hobo with a Shotgun

Directed by Jason Eisener.
2011. Not Rated, 86 minutes.
Rutger Hauer
Molly Dunsworth
Brian Downey
Gregory Smith
Nick Bateman
Pasha Ebrahimi
Robb Wells
Timothy Dunn

This is for gore-freaks. Yeah, I’ll start there. After all, that’s where the movie starts. Almost no time is wasted before we get the first decapitation and subsequent geyser of blood splattering the screen. A damp cloth clears it nicely. Keep it handy, along with a poncho to wear over your clothing. That stuff is tough to get out of cotton. Throughout Hobo with a Shotgun we’re treated to all sorts of messy deaths and dismemberments. All of it is rendered in glorious, but not seen in quite some time, Technicolor. At least that’s what the opening credits say.

Technicolor is an appropriate choice for this movie. Everything about it feels like it’s from a bygone era. This includes the film’s star, Rutger Hauer. True, this is a more weathered version but he seems to have pulled this from the same pile of scripts he regularly drew from back in the 1980s. I mean that in a literal sense. The movie appears to be set back then, but it’s not something we’re told. The one possible exception is the guy that films bum fights, an internet era thing. However, even that guy uses VHS tapes and an old school camcorder.

What we are told is the town where our hobo (Hauer) finds himself is a very bad place. If you saw Sin City, think that and multiply it a few times. Local gangster The Drake (Downey) runs thins along with the two goons he calls his sons. The Drake starts things off by cutting his own brother’s head off in broad daylight and in public where he makes dozens of bystanders watch. Why? Mostly just so you know what kind of movie you’re getting into. Soon enough, the hobo is at odds with the bad guys over Abby (Dunsworth), the prostitute he’s taken a shine to in a fatherly sort of way. With that, he acquires a shotgun from the town pawn shop while stopping a robbery attempt. He then sets out trying to clean up the streets “one shell at a time.”

From beginning to end “Hobo” is a smorgasbord of ridiculousness. The story itself is rather simple. To say the acting is over the top is a massive understatement. Aside from Hauer’s relative subtlety, everyone is in full-ham mode. It helps they’re spouting lines ranging from hilariously bad to cringe inducing. To their credit, they say them with all the gusto they could possibly muster. Most important to this production though is the human body. It is destroyed and/or mutilated repeatedly in extremely graphic fashion. This is where it will either grab you or lose you. I can see plenty of people giving up after ten or twenty minutes. If we’re being honest, it’s disgusting. For us twisted folks who eagerly devour Saw movies, it’s so bad it’s awesome!

MY SCORE: -10/10

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