Hobo with a Shotgun

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When a city decays in its own filth and crime runs rampant, there’s only one person you can trust, a hobo…with a shotgun.

I wanted to be a hobo with I was a kid, thought it sounded fun. I’d travel the world by train (it hadn’t quite hit me at six years old that they didn’t have oceanic trains) following my own set of rules wherever I went. No one to tell me what to do, no one to tell me when to sleep, no school, no homework, and best of all, a little red sack tied to a stick containing all my belongings (my Nintendo was coming along too though how I was supposed to play it never quite entered into my mind). Screw those other kids that wanted to be doctors and cops and firemen, I was going to be a hobo. Instead, I got bit by a freaking zombie and ended up a member of the living dead, funny how life works.

Our film begins with a very tired looking hobo (played by the ever awesome Rutger Hauer) coming by train to the fictional city of Hope Town. Here, the hobo (known only as The Hobo) finds a city completely under the thumb of the criminal element. Pedophiles operate in the open, murderers kill without worrying about the law, and crime lord Drake does what he wants when he wants. After only a few days in this horrible town, The Hobo makes the mistake of crossing Drake’s son Slick, ending up on the receiving end of the sick boy’s love for violence. Luckily for him, a local prostitute takes pity on the injured man and invites him up to her place for some well-deserved rest, rest The Hobo can’t find while his heart weighs heavy about the evil infesting Hope Town. He wants to do something but he doesn’t know what, his only real goal was to buy a lawnmower and start his own landscaping business, and it’s while buying this lawnmower that he is finally forced into action, having to choose a shotgun over his prize to protect a mother and child. No longer able to ignore what is going on around him, The Hobo takes to the streets, dispensing his own brand of justice at the end of a shotgun. Little by little the city becomes a better place as criminals left and right are dispatched, but it’s only a matter of time before the city’s number one criminal is going to have to respond and the consequences may be more than The Hobo can handle.

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The minute you see Rutger Hauer’s name in a film you can pretty much assume that whatever character he’s playing is going to be crazy, in one way or another. The man is to crazy what Owen Wilson is to sappy nice guys but unlike Mr. Wilson (who only seems to have enough talent to play one constant character with the exact same voice and mannerisms), Rutger Hauer has taken his type to completely different levels. He could be kind of crazy, he could be subtlety crazy, he could be gleefully crazy, he could be broodingly crazy, and he could be all out crazy. Hobo with a Shotgun finds him somewhere in the middle of broodingly crazy and all out crazy, meaning he goes pretty freaking nuts, but he’s also got that brooding mentality he had in Blade Runner, and it was perfect for his character.

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{How they found Rutger Hauer each day before shooting}

Thankfully his character isn’t the only one you’ll enjoy, even if that enjoyment comes from a well-deserved hatred. Crime lord Drake (played by Brian Downey, the same man who played Stan in Lexx, have to admit, I loved watching Downey go from sexually depraved loser Stan into crazy badass Drake) and his sociopathic son Slick are truly evil individuals, the very definition of “Sick Bastards”, but I have to admit that you’ll kind of like them anyway. Don’t get me wrong, you’ll definitely seethe at the deplorable things they have no problem doing (though you might laugh at a few), but there’s something about their over the top characters that’ll just make you smile. I can’t say that any actor in this film didn’t do their part perfectly, even the bit players shine; I almost got the vibe that everyone really enjoyed playing the character they were chosen to play. My favorites were Rip and Grinder, otherwise known as The Plague, two men clad in a ridiculous amount of armor and carrying weapons meant to terrify as well as kill (including a gun that’s purpose is to shoot people up to a ceiling and let them hang by their neck).

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{The Plague}

Of course, most people are going to check this one out for one reason in particular…the promise of insane, absolutely enjoyable, and never disappointing violence. Even before our hobo picks up his shotgun (which never seems to run out of ammo), Hope Town is rocked by violent crime; imagine Detroit times ten and you pretty much have it. Every sick and twisted act imaginable is available in Hope Town, and the city’s more colorful characters take full advantage of it, making being on the receiving end of a shotgun one of the more preferable ways a person can die. The greatest thing about this is the exploitation feel of the film lets you smile at most of this bloodshed with a wide, vicious grin. It’s so exaggerated that at no time does it really become disturbing, just fun. The makeup is done well enough and (gasp) free of lame CGI as far as I could tell. It’s not excellent, but it’s far from poor, and I appreciated what they accomplished with the effects; a few even managed to make me cringe, especially one scene at the end involving a lawnmower, enough said.

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{I’m sure Ricky never had this in mind}

This is easily one of the best of the new series of exploitation flicks to come out and one I picked up not a week after watching the movie, a great example of what can be done with a corrupt imagination and a passion for film. I’d recommend this film to anyone just wanting to waste an hour and a half watching people die in an orgy of blood and madness, or if you just like Rutger Hauer.

 

The Undead Review

 

Directed By: Jason Eisener (The Teeth Beneath)

Starring: Rutger Hauer (Blade Runner, The Hitcher), Molly Dunsworth (Deeply, The Tenth Circle), Brian Downey (Lexx {and if you remember him as Stanley Tweedle on this almost forgotten show I love you}, Secret Nation)

Written By: John Davies (V/H/S/2)

Released By: Yer Dead Productions, Magnet Releasing, and Rhombus Media

Release Year: 2011

Release Type: Limited Theatrical Release

MPAA Rating: Unrated

About The Undead Review

When I was alive I was an asshole and after I died remained pretty much the same, if not a little worse. You’d think becoming a member of the walking dead would mellow a person out, no more worrying about awkward small talk with people, no more having to be politically correct, and the entire world is your upright, bipedal buffet. Don’t get me wrong, it’s fun as hell to be a zombie, just somewhat irritating at times, especially those times you have to watch a lame movie or read a lame book. Thankfully, when I am forced to watch these films or read those books, I’ve got places like The Undead Review to bitch and moan to my heart’s content. {When he’s not devouring the living or sinking his teeth into a good film The Undead Review (Andy Taylor) spends his time writing his own stories or hunting down the paranormal. Oh, and did we mention his blind dog once saved the world?)
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