It perhaps doesn't say much when I consider the best part of Hobo with a Shotgun to be the closing credits where inexplicably Run With Us by Lisa Lougheed is seeing out the frantic proceedings - which also played during the closing credits of one of my favourite childhood cartoons, The Racoons. Thankfully though the comparisons between the two properties very much end there.
Hobo with a Shotgun, following in the footsteps of Robert Rodriguez's Machete, is the latest exploitation film to spin-off from the infamous fake Grindhouse trailers of 2007. It tells the tale of the institutional Rutger Hauer as, yes you guessed it, the Hobo with said shotgun who takes it upon himself to go on a daft mission to clean up the outrageously brutal streets of Hope Town - which is overrun with gangsters, punks, pimps, paedophiles, drug dealers and prostitutes. Typical Sunday afternoon faff as you can imagine.
In respect to Hauer, who forever has a 'get out of jail free' card for being in Blade Runner and Batman Begins, I get the impression he probably had a lot of fun with this ridiculous role and if the writers had taken it a bit more seriously could've made his character quite a likeable anti-hero. Though the opening scene shows hints of a more reflective nature, it unsurprisingly lets the ultra-violence take over and what we're left with is an uninspiring and frankly boring film. There wasn't even any room for the film to be a parody of itself like the excellent sleeper hit of 2010, Black Dynamite. I was never sure whether it was truly trying to be funny, but for a large part I just found it to be needlessly obscene.
The support cast just added to the idiocy, and at times the comic book-like antagonists might have even been at home as a faction in Walter Hill's The Warriors back in 1979. Some people may like the film being nothing more than what is promised on the poster, call me a film snob if you will but I prefer to get something a little bit more out of films in general. There was times where I found it impossible to even root for the main character because his levels of madness just delve too deep.
I suppose once you get past the intense levels of blood, guts and the rather inventive and oh so subtle death scenes, you at least have to credit director, Jason Eisener for giving it a distinctly retro early 80s feel. Even went to the effort of filming in in Technicolor. That's one thing it had going for it I guess. Em...right...
In hindsight you only get from these sorts of films, whatever you put into it mentality. Hobo with a Shotgun was too incoherent, obscene and contained too little dark comedy to ever be a mindless, fun, trip down memory lane, to a time when these sorts of films were much more commonplace. Nevertheless if you belong to the culture of getting a few beers in you with some mates crowded around your TV, getting pleasure out of repugnant death scenes such as children being burnt to death in a crowded bus, then Hobo with a Shotgun is for you. Though I say with absolutely no regret it's just not for me.
Hobo With A Shotgun is showing in selected cinemas throughout the UK now. American visitors can get the film on DVD and Blu-Ray now.