Rutger Hauer as the nameless hobo in "Hobo With A Shotgun". Photo by Karim Hussain
Hobo With A Shotgun
Sundance Film Festival
Director: Jason Eisener
As soon as the bold vintage yellow font appears on the screen with Darius Holbert and Russ Howard III’s traditional 70s score playing in the background, it’s apparent director Jason Eisener has methodically examined the exploitation genre and adapted to fit today’s appreciation for the over-the-top filmmaking style. Rutger Hauer stars as a hobo who rides a train into the crime-ridden city of Hopetown and soon discovers the citizens hide in fear of the merciless Drake (Brian Downey) with his two ruthless sons, Slick (Gregory Smith) and Ivan (Nick Bateman), enforcing his lust for blood. Fed up with the injustices that run rampant through the streets and the crooked police force that do nothing to stop it, the hobo forgoes his dream of a lawn mowing business to purchase a 12-gauge shotgun and unleashes an unforgiving wave of death and destruction. Not for the faint of heart, Eisener spills gallons upon gallons of blood with limbs of every kind being dismembered and mutilated, but he does so in a fashion that advocates of the genre will enjoy with a solid grin on their face. The outlandishness of the film only gets better as the running time progresses, especially with silly sadistic scenes like children being incinerated on a school bus with The Trammps’ “Disco Inferno” booming away. Burn baby burn! Hauer genuinely has fun with the hardhearted character while delivering clever one-liners and blasting baddies across the screen. While some lines of dialogue are too campy and miss the mark, Eisener’s vibrant color scheme and edgy camerawork creates an intense and thrilling experience that instantly transports viewers to a world of cinema they’ll wish had never disappeared.