HOBO WITH A SHOTGUN (2011)
There’s not a whole lot of viewing latitude for Jason Eisener’s Hobo with a Shotgun —you’re either gonna hate it or love it. I’m the later, and from the beginning with the colorful Technicolor® opening and spaghetti western music was hooked and found the film refreshing. There’s no candy-coating here folks. From what I can tell, the people that hated it were turned off by the school bus scene.
Some movie-goers walked out at a screening at Sundance. In an interview at this year’s “Texas Frightmare Weekend” Eisener laughed it off —that was his goal, to push the film to the limits. Some film’s do reach my limits. I can’t watch Salò (1975) or for that matter Pink Flamingos (1972). I don’t ever want to see A Serbian Film (2010) and I had problems with The Human Centipede (2010)(3 of the 4 mentioned films feature scenes with coprophagia). And, I think the “Saw” films have contributed to a general downward decline in horror film making.
I think Hobo closest resembles Street Trash (1987), which is gritty, foul, offensive and a lot of fun. Eisener’s seen the movie and pays homage to it with various lines. “Trash” is a witty movie. My friend Joe considers it, along with Hunter’s Blood (1986), to be a modern film masterpiece. Is Street Trash actually based on Kurosawa’s Dodes’ka-den (1970)?
One time at Cinema Wasteland, Joe approached Street Trash writer Roy Frumkes and said, in reference to a memorable line about “bare naked women” (I am being polite): “Sir… Did you come up with that line? I want to shake your hand!!!” I’ll have to review that film later down the road.
Rutger Hauer has regained some attention for the lead role as the hobo, but he’s actually been quite busy in film, with Batman Begins and Sin City, as Cardinal Roark in the “Marv” story (both 2005). And of course who could forget Rutger as Roy Batty? He’s good as a villain. I also like him as the hero who dreams of his own lawn-care business. Hobo also benefits from actor Brian Downey as the Drake. We’ve seen him in the series Millennium and Lexx.
Hobo with a Shotgun deserves a look. You may hate it, but the movie is different with a distinct 80’s look and gritty feel. Along with the magnificent “13 Assassins” (see previous review) it’s one of my favorite films of the year.