Hobo With A Shotgun
Rutger Hauer stars in second feature spawned from Rodriguez and Tarantino's Grindhouse homage
This blood-splattered Canadian shlocker is, following Robert Rodriguez’s Machete, the second film to be expanded from one of the handful of tantalising fake trailers inspired by Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino’s exploitation movie homage Grindhouse. The trailer’s cult following allowed the first-time filmmakers, director Jason Eisner, writer John Davies and producer Rob Cotterill, to up the budget from $150 to $3 million and cast as the titular vigilante Rutger Hauer, the iconic star of 80s genre classic such as Blade Runner and The Hitcher.
It’s the actor’s menacing screen presence in the latter film that Hobo draws most obviously plays on, although here Hauer’s nameless drifter becomes a force for good by single-handedly taking down the evil kingpin and corrupt cops of a city so riddled with crime it makes Gotham look like Disneyland. Hauer’s the right actor for the role, given the filmmakers are paying homage to 1980s exploitation cinema, but although Eisner cites Walter Hill’s street gangs actioner The Warriors (actually made in 1979) as a source of inspiration, Hobo has more in common with the far trashier films made by the Roger Corman-esque independent studio Troma such as The Toxic Avenger.
That’s no bad thing if you like your exploitation homage poorly-made as well as pushed to the extreme. Hobo is in no way on par with Rodriguez and Tarantino’s well-made neo-trash, but it is gleefully gruesome and knowingly funny as well as being shamelessly inept. And Hauer’s mighty presence holds together a film that would otherwise have been little more than a cacophony of carnage.
Selected release from Fri 15 Jul.