In the late 1970’s and early 80’s; the world became obsessed with what was going to happen next, nuclear war? Out of control crime? These were serious issues that concerned everyone, prayed upon by film studios seeking an opportunity to line their pockets cheaply. During this time in Europe directors started making hundreds of movies that played on our fears, generally dressing up parts of Italy to look like America, and recruiting big movie stars of yesterday to give them credibility, or American film-makers recruited cheap European directors wanting to break into the Hollywood market. These movies were so far fetched, and appallingly done, yet to some degree the audiences of the day really thought such a day would come. This is where Hobo With A Shotgun comes in.
In a future or parallel world, a hobo (Rutgar Hauer) walks into Fuck Town, the armpit of society, where things could not get any worse. The town is controlled by a man called The Drake (Brian Downey), and his two sons, who rules his town with a rod of iron. As Hobo arrives he sees Drake decapitate one of his own family in order to satisfy his own blood lust. Hobo understands that this is not the way things should run, and when he arrived in town he planned to buy a lawnmower and set up his own business. In the pawn shop instead of buying a lawnmower, he opts to purchase a shotgun, sick of the decline of society he vows to clean up the neighbourhood.
Hobo With A Shotgun is the ultimate homage to 80’s nastiness, a movie that follows in the footsteps of Machete andGrindhouse, except what Hobo does that the others failed with, is succeeds. Hobo is the only one of these type of movies that looks like a genuine product of the genre, it pretends to come from. Its soundtrack is of the day, as is its look, a mix of bad 80’s fashion and things so ridiculously futuristic; we’ll never see them. This is not only the ultimate homage to the movies of that era, but something that is incredibly watchable.
The film is without a doubt, fairly bloody (as the movies of the day were) but with each act of grotesqueness, comes a great follow up of humour. For example one of the characters hands get chopped off and they are left with just a bony stump, the stump is then fount to be the idea size to fit into a slot to remove a drain cover.
Without trying to do Hauer a disservice, he was the ideal casting for the movie, because he was an A-list actor two decades ago, Blade Runner and The Hitcher made him one of the most recognised actors in the world, but the years and the movie offerings he has received have not served him well. Hopefully Hobo will allow him to get back what he has lost. As far as performance goes, he is brilliant, walking around issuing these hard lines, while wearing a nasty 1970’s bear T-shirt and talking about his love of bears. As an action star as an actor almost seventy years of age, he looks fantastic; such an amazing talent to be able to be hard and funny at the same time, and to 100% pull it off.
Hobo With A Shotgun is an amazing movie, filled with action, gore, and fast paced humour. It’s one of those movies that you will want to watch again, and certainly falls into the category of being so bad it’s good.