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Hobo with a Shotgun (2011)

Reviewed on 2011 April 24

Before I review this thing, I need to point out that I haven’t watched any real grindhouse stuff. I was expecting this to be more like Planet Terror — you know, more tongue-in-cheek and better dialogue — and I thought this thing was just too…freaking much. I wasn’t expecting a Disney film, thanks to the title and Rutger Hauer being cast as our hobo with a gun and a problem with the scum around him, but I wasn’t expecting to feel like I needed a shower after watching it either. On the other hand, Mr. Shukti loved it, saying it was like the old grindhouse stuff from his childhood. Your mileage may very.

Our rail rider (Hauer) winds up in Hopetown, a cartoony-bad town run by an eeee- vil sadist, Drake (Brian Downey). Drake and his two spores, Slick and Ivan (Gregory Smith and Nick Bateman), like to do things like decapitate people and other stuff that would make Roman gladiatorial spectators puke. The hobo just wants to get by, but he snaps when Abby (Molly Dunsworth), his only friend in the town, is menaced. He sees a shotgun at a pawn shop and decides to clean the streets of “Scumtown” himself.

There’s the plot. That’s fine, sometimes story-wise the streamlined stuff is the best. As always, Rutger was great, and the acting from the rest of the cast was campy and overwrought enough to be perfect. The problem was I thought this was just too gross and just went too far. An example: there’s a funny throwaway bit with Drake, our villain, blathering away about something while in the background two topless bimbos are randomly beating some poor schmuck piñata-style with a ball bat. I actually got a kick out of that, until Drake gave them an upgraded weapon. Then it was just nasty. Don’t get me wrong; if Rob Zombie actually does make a Werewolf Women of the SS movie, I might need to get a tub of popcorn and see that, because who doesn’t enjoy watching Nazis get et? Innocent civilians are another matter entirely.

One morsel. Just bear in mind it’s coming from someone who apparently doesn’t like the real thing.



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