I was going to say HOBO WITH A SHOTGUN is the worst movie I have seen in the past year … but after watching rookie director Jason Eisener and his crew creating their lo-fi f/x with such loving care and attention to detail (on the DVD) I decided to soften my stand.
Okay, it’s only ONE of the worst movies I have seen in the last year. (After all, I have a Blockbuster Favorites pass so I have seen quite a few duds, just in the last month.)
Yes, I realize the flick has been designed as a heaveworthy homage to vintage “grindhouse” cinema.
And I know Jason and the boys actually took this to Sundance (and talked Hitcher heavy Rutger Hauer into starring as the title character.)
Still , a little bit of this goes a long way for anyone over the mental age of 12.
If you haven’t already read about the movie somewhere else, let me tell you that Hauer plays a hobo who rides into the ironically named “Hope Town” (it’s actually shot in the scuzzier section of Halifax) just in time to watch Robb Wells (that’s right, Ricky in Trailer Park Boys) decapitated with the aid of a manhole cover (don’t ask) by a couple of young villains (Nick Bateman, Gregory Smith) dressed up like Tom Cruise in Risky Business.
Despite all the mayhem happening around him, our grizzled anti-hero keeps his cool until he goes into a pawnshop to purchase a lawnmover (no, I’m not making this up) and comes out with the titular shotgun instead.
To be fair, Hauer, with his ravaged features, looks the part and he hasn’t lost his flair for serving up some old school ultraviolence.
Molly Dunsworth earns her action stripes as Abby, a tough cookie with a soft centre who becomes the Hobo’s unlikely ally in his war against local crime.
I found Bateman especially scary as one of the villains but that’s probably because he reminds me of my last radio station program director.
Whether you survive or thrive on this unapologetic splatterfest (and some truly raw dialogue) depends on your tolerance for cinematic gore and/or your knowledge and appreciation for ’70s/’80s blood’n’guts exploitation filmmaking.