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Hobo With a Shotgun: Film Review

Hobo With a Shotgun
Karim Hussain

The Bottom Line

Double-barreled mayhem as if Sergio Leone designed a video-game.

Opens: 

May 6

Venue:

Sundance Film Festival, Park City at Midnight

Cast:

Rutger Hauer, Gregory Smith, Robb Wells, Brian Downey, Jeremy Akerman

Director:

Jason Eisener

Screenwriter:

John Davies

Jason Eisener's grindhouse feature, which will be distributed by Magnet Releasing later this year, stars Rutger Hauer as a no-nonsense killer with dreams of starting a gardening business.

PARK CITY – (Park City at Midnight) Hobo With a Shotgun is not an art film.

You wouldn't probably tab it a "date movie" either, unless your date is a deviant or gore-monger. But, Hobo is perfectly placed here in the Park City at Midnight Section on Main Street. It should be a huge crowd pleaser, particularly if they've just come from the No Name Saloon down the street and are really trashed.

Down to buckshot, a grizzled Rutger Hauer hops off a train at some scum town. The place is a hellhole of sadists and whackjobs, ruled over by a snot-wad named Drake. In the shoot-em'-all tradition of The Man With No Name, Hauer starts knocking off the bad guys, not necessarily one-by-one.

A generic blast, Hobo with a Shotgun unspools like a spaghetti western but amped with enough testosterone to fill a video-game warehouse.

Like such non-jabbering, straight-shooting icons as Clint Eastwood and Charles Bronson, Hauer is not much on chit-chat and seems nagged by an old problem with the bottle. He panhandles at first – "Need Cash to Buy a Lawnmower" but soon sets his sights on rightin' wrongs.

In this campy, shoot-'em-up, director Jason Eisener plasters the screen with gory imagery and wildly stylized action scenes. Blazing with a nasty neon glower and smoked with nutso action, Hobo with a Shotgun is a grindhouse hoot.

Although its numerous sadistic scenes will turn off many, writer John Davies has scattered it with odd and witty dialogue, as well as an on-target, vigilante storyline. Davies' also flecks Hobo with some unexpected sentiment and smartly bizarre monologues for Hauer. Oddly enough, Hauer really does want money to buy a lawnmower so that he can start his own grass-cutting business.

With his once blond hair turned a steely silver, Hauer is an intimidating and likable force. As the hooker-with-the-heart of gold, Molly Dunsworth wins Hauer's heart and admiration.

Tech contributions are bad-ass perfect. Cinematographer Karim Hussain charges the mayhem with electric hues, while production designer Ewen Dickson kicks in a wild blast of apt Mad Max-like settings. Costume designer Sarah Dunsworth threads together a wonderfully bizarre range of devil-ish duds, including Hauer's righteous hobo-wear.

Section: Park City at Midnight
Production: Rhombus Media, Whizbang Films, Yer Dead Prods.
Cast: Rutger Hauer, Gregory Smith, Robb Wells, Brian Downey, Jeremy Akerman, Mark A. Owen, Nick Bateman, Molly Dunsworth
Director: Jason Eisener
Screenwriter: John Davies
Story: John Davies, Jason Eisener, Rob Cotterill
Producers: Rob Cotterill, Niv Fichman, Paul Gross, Frank Siracusa
Executive producers: Mark Slone, Victor Loewy
Director of photography: Karim Hussain
Production designer: Ewen Dickson
Music: Russ Howard III
Costume designer: Sarah Dunsworth
No Rating, 84 minutes