A train pulls into the station it's the end of the line. A hobo jumps from a freight car hoping for a fresh start in a new city. Instead, he finds himself trapped in an urban hell. This is a world where criminals rule the streets and Drake, the city's crime boss, reigns supreme alongside his sadistic murderous sons, Slick & Ivan. Amidst the chaos, the hobo comes across a pawn shop window displaying a secondhand lawn mower. He dreams of making the city a beautiful place and starting a new life for himself. But as the brutality continues to rage around him, he notices a shotgun hanging above the lawn mower... Quickly, he realizes the only way to make a difference in this town is with that gun in his hand and two shells in its chamber...
A movie that truly lives up (or is that down?) to its title, Hobo with a Shotgun
brings on the giggly ick with a zeal that recalls the glory days of legendary exploitation mavens Troma Studios (The Toxic Avenger
, Surf Nazis Must Die
, Fat Guy Goes Nutzoid
, etc.). Beginning with an awesome Ennio Morricone homage, the film follows the nameless title character (Rutger Hauer) as he hops a train to a new town with dreams of buying a lawnmower and settling down, only to run afoul of an evil drug kingpin and his two severely messed-up sons. Disgusted by the level of corruption surrounding him, he stumbles into a sporting goods store and… well, the title tells you the rest, really. Expanding on his notorious short of the same name (the winner of a trailer contest originated by Grindhouse's Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez), writer-director Jason Eisener maintains a delicate balance between black comedy and ridiculously gross money shots, with precious little of the downtime between inspired gags that plagues so many films of its type. Anchored by Hauer's more-committed-than-it-probably-needed-to-be performance, this assuredly guilty pleasure ranks as a real rarity: a tribute to '80s VHS trash that functions beyond mere parody. Keep your thumb poised near the rewind button at all times. --Andrew Wright