I recently went to the New York screening of the independent film Hobo with a Shotgun. It was a great treat to see that the film’s director Jason Eisener was there (with other people dressed up in character) to introduce the film in person. This is a new exploitation film. Now I know what you might be saying. “Well what does exploitation really mean these days?”, considering films like Saw or Human Centipede are pushing the limits of what people will tolerate violence wise (not that I personal care). Well, “Hobo” is a parody of sorts. The film takes place in the 80’s complete with an amazing 80’s score. The film is a parody of the old exploitation or grind house films. What I believe to be true is that Jason Eisner’s “Hobo with a Shotgun” is better handled and more entertaining than both Robert Rodriquez’s Planet Terror and that self-indulgent piece of shit Death Proof directed by Quentin Tarantino. It’s not that I don’t love those other directors BUT “Hobo” was more even handed and 100 percent entertaining the whole way through. That can not be said for Planet Terror and especially in the case of Death Proof or as it should be called Death Poop.
Robert Rodriquez is one of my hero’s so when I heard that the “Grind House” style film Machete was coming out I was very excited but when I saw what a mess that film was, I was really brought down. It looked like more of a producer’s experiment. You know like “Let’s hire Robert Dinero and Steven Segal for two days and see how many scenes we can shoot with them”. That’s fine if you’re like me on a tight budget but these are Hollywood films. Machete was a fucking mess going from serious issues to camp to just plain shit. It’s as if Rodriquez just decided to make a shitty film rather than a sharp parody of the genre.
Back to “Hobo”. Hobo with a Shotgun new exactly what it was and stuck to it with great care and with an obvious love for bad 80’s cinema. It was perfect with its one-liners, it’s sets and costumes, its bitching 80’s sound track, it’s A-Team “gear up” scene and then there’s Rutger. I love Blade Runner. You can watch that film even today and fall into that universe and by the time you see the soul of Roy Batty at the end of this incredible film you know that Rutger Hauer has given a performance for the ages. His “Tears in the Rain” scene partially written by Rutger and David People’s is an incredible sentiment on par with any Shakespeare. After I saw that performance I began seeking out other Rutger Hauer flicks, like Blood of Hero’s, Blind Fury, Split Second. Then Robert Rodriquez used him in Sin City (Which I believe is an amazing film) and when he showed up in Dark Knight I started to realize many people in the industry have an incredible respect for Rutger Hauer as a performer. He is AMAZING in Hobo with a shotgun. He can go seamlessly from camp and silly ones liners, to somehow pulling off sincerity never breaking the tone of the film and always understanding that he can’t take the performance too seriously. This is a hard thing to do and he does it well.
“Hobo” is jam-packed with amazing practical blood and special effects. It is a sight for sore eyes. A great action film that isn’t riddled with terrible CGI. It is simply one of the coolest Independent films to be made in years and even Robert Rodriquez and Tarantino could take a lesson from “Hobo”. I give it an “A” Also I’m posting my ticket stub online to show support for Indie film! Pay to see this film or films like this will go away!