Hobo with a Shotgun (2011) movie poster

(2011) director Jason Eisenson
viewed: 08/28/2011

I know, I know, what does one expect from a film called Hobo with a Shotgun?  A film that was “adapted” from a fake trailer that accompanied the Quentin Tarantino/Robert Rodriguez Grindhouse (2007) double feature.  A trailer that won a contest to be included therein.

The answer is the hope of something silly, visceral, fun.  The whole Grindhouse concept, throw-back action genre films to the days of the drive-in’s the low-budget, high entertainment exploitation flicks of the 1970′s and 1980′s.  That is what Grindhouse was meant to be.   Although even at the time, only Robert Rodriguez’s Planet Terror (2007) seemed to be a worthwhile effort.  Even Quentin Tarantino’s Death Proof (2007) flailed at the attempt.  But Grindhouse has continued to beget offspring.  Rodriguez returned with Machete (2010), his own adaptation from his own fake trailer.  While I didn’t find it to be up to the snuff of Planet Terror, it had its moments.  Rodriguez seems attuned to the genre more so than some others.

One thing I will credit Hobo with a Shotgun with is that it sticks to its guns (yuk yuk) with its vigilante hero and isn’t steeped in irony and self-awareness so common to these post-modern attempts at re-engaging past styles and genres.

That said, it’s also pretty awful on its own.  We’ve got Rutger Hauer, once the strikingly handsome Teutonic star, playing a grizzled, wrinkled rag of clothes hobo.  And he’s not bad in it.  What annoyed me was the direction and art design, all the colored shots, blues and greens, I guess meant to evoke neon reflecting, infusing images,  And the whole thing was just clunky and not really any level of gleeful fun.

I don’t know what I was really expecting or wanting from this film.  Maybe that is the question that I should really be asking myself.  I mean, I did queue it up.  I did watch it.  Now in retrospect, outside of scratching it off my list, the whole thing was a bit of a poorly thought-out waste of time and effort.