At the urging of one of my “functional” acquaintances, I viewed the 2011 Canadian flick Hobo with a Shotgun starring Dutch actor Rutger Hauer of Blade Runner fame. Generally, I enjoyed the film and recommend it to anyone interested in vigilante justice. However, I cannot recommend it to anyone with a weak heart. Even though the violence is so over-the-top as to be comical, the nonstop gore may be too much for some viewers’ sensitivities.
The film depicts a hobo protagonist (Hauer) who comes upon a dyspotic city much like that in A Clockwork Orange. A bloodthirsty man known as the Drake (Brian Downey) along with his two amoral sons (Gregory Smith & Nick Bateman) ransack the town at will, committing seemingly indiscriminate acts of violence. Their favorite act involves placing a sewer top around a victim’s neck, dropping it into the sewer manhole, then wrapping barbed wire connected to rope around the head, and pulling it for decapitation, ultimately causing a fountain of blood to spew into the street (see video below; WARNING: very graphic). The hobo, whose only wish is to start a lawn-mowing business, attempts to bring justice to the town through use of a shotgun he buys in lieu of a lawnmower. In his quest, he receives assistance from a local prostitute he befriends (Molly Dunsworth).
It’s a lot like Dirty Harry only with intensity to the max.
Like the Machete franchise, Hobo with a Shotgun is based on a fictional trailer shown in the Robert Rodriguez/Quentin Tarantino double feature Grindhouse. Though Canadian Jason Eisener, who created the original trailer, directs the film, it is largely reminiscent of Tarantino’s neo-noir style. Though the plot leaves little to the imagination, irony is bountiful throughout and themes of justice and the rule of law in moral decadence are compelling enough for thoughtful viewers.
While the film is available on Movie4k.to, I hope those interested consider purchasing the film to reward those who made it possible. Regardless, if you choose to watch this film prepare for 86 minutes of pure entertainment.