Director: Jason Eisener
Stars: Rutger Hauer, Molly Dunsworth, Brian Downey, Gregory Smith, Robb Wells
On a purely sensory level, seeing Hobo with a Shotgun for the first time in a packed, albeit small and independent, theater was one of 2011’s more enjoyable cinematic experiences. Surrounded by folks who either grew up on the exploitation genre pics of the 1970s and early ’80s or could simply appreciate a trashy good time, we laughed, we cheered, we squirmed, and we couldn’t wait to watch it again. If that’s not the mark of a successful motion picture, then we don’t know fuck-all about movies.
Better than any filmmakers who’ve tried before him (even Grindhouse collaborators Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez, whose fake trailer contest inspired the original Hobo short), first-time feature director Jason Eisener and writer John Davies perfectly recaptured the anything-goes spirit of old drive-in schlock fests. The great Rutger Hauer’s antihero remains hilariously deadpan while giving ridiculous monologues (the best one explaining his fascination with bears), the violence goes way overboard, and the music sounds like it was unearthed from Eli Roth’s personal 8-track collection.
Hobo with a Shotgun is about as unpretentious as horror-comedies get, and for that, it’s a roaring success. Severed limbs and all.