Sunday, May 1, 2011

Phil reviews HOBO WITH A SHOTGUN-May 1, 2011

In 2007, Canadian filmmaker Jason Eisener made Hobo With A Shotgun, a fake trailer for a contest that was held by Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino to help promote their big double feature film GRINDHOUSE. Eisener's trailer won, and it went on to be screened in some areas of Canada as part of the actual film. Three years later, Eisener's contest winner becomes a full length feature, and now HOBO WITH A SHOTGUN is unleashed onto an unsuspecting audience. And audiences will be cheering all the way through the film.

The film stars legendary actor Rutger Hauer (THE HITCHER, BLADE RUNNER, LADYHAWKE) as a hobo who rides the freight train into the town called Hope Town. However, there is no hope to be found anywhere. Also called Scum Town, it's ruled with a iron grip by a crime lord called The Drake (Brian Downy), and his two mischievous sons Slick (Gregory Smith) and Ivan (Nick Bateman). When push comes to shove, this hobo fights back. Armed with a 20-gauge shotgun, he goes on a killing spree, blowing away corrupt cops, armed robbers, drug dealers, and even a pedophile Santa. Along with his only ally, former prostitute Abby (Molly Dunsworth), they go after The Drake, who doesn't plan to go down without a fight. With the future of Scum Town hanging in the balance, there can only be one winner.

Eisener's tribute to 1980's grindhouse films is done perfectly, with shameless brutality, violence, gore and blood to satisfy even the most diehard exploitation fan. Eisener's directing was fantastic, blending humor, violence, and action to create one helluva visual nirvana. Also worth noting was the use of color lighting in the film. Reds, blues, oranges, and purples are set up in each scene to either create the mood or to reflect the personality of a particular character's emotional or psychological presence. Not since Dario Argento's classic SUSPIRIA have we seen a colorful pallet like this splashed across the big screen. Also as a treat for fans, look for David Brunt, who starred as the hobo in the original trailer, in a bit part in the film.

HOBO WITH A SHOTGUN doesn't pretend to be anything more than a fun-filled throwback ride to a time when exploitation films ruled New York's 42nd Street district. Eisener, Hauer, and the rest of the cast and crew pay tribute to exploitation's rich history by creating a film that could've played alongside films like THRILLER: THEY CALL HER ONE EYE, STREET TRASH, and SAVAGE STREETS. This reviewer praises Eisener for making the perfect grindhouse film, and looks forward to see what type of film he will do next. Hopefully, it'll be a bloody good time!

HOBO WITH A SHOTGUN opens May 6th in select cities nationwide. To see if it's coming to a theatre near you, visit The film is also currently available OnDemand. Check your local provider for more information.

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the show!

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