Film Review: “Hobo With A Shotgun”

It’s a grindhouse mess but it stars Rutger Hauer!

Rutger Hauer has 11 movies listed on IMDb for 2011. In the past five years, Hauer has made 25 films! How many Rutger Hauer films have you seen? BLADE RUNNER (1982)? THE HITCHER (1986)?

I have a persistent theory why Rutger Hauer did not make superstar status after his riveting, sexy, iconic portrayal of Roy Batty in BLADE RUNNER.

Harrison Ford.

Not only did Ford refuse to do any press for BLADE RUNNER, for decades he refused to even talk about it in interviews. He basically disavowed his connection to the film. Sure, that has recently changed, but only because he started to look like an ass once BLADE RUNNER reached classic status. And he rightly appeared a miserly old fool to the film’s worshipful fans.

The BLADE RUNNER soundtrack is on my iPhone.

Rutger Hauer in Blade Runner

Why has Ford hated BLADE RUNNER? Bad blood between Ford and director Ridley Scott? Or, was he jealous of Rutger Hauer’s Roy Batty?

How many memorable scenes and quotes from BLADE RUNNER are there? What about the bedroom scene between Tyrell and Batty? And why did Scott reproduce that scene in toto in GLADIATOR? Rick Deckard (Ford) gets beaten up by Batty and spends most of the film with his mouth wide open in shock and confusion. How come Batty got that great, sympathetic death scene?

“I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I’ve watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die.”

How about that interview scene between Holden and Leon?

Harrison Ford sabotaged Rutger Hauer’s career. It’s my lone opinion and I’m standing by it. How else do you explain Hauer’s lackluster Hollywood career after BLADE RUNNER? I’m ignoring insignificant LADYHAWKE. Yes, I read Hauer’s autobiography, All Those Moments: Stories of Heroes, Villains, Replicants, and Blade Runners by Hauer and Patrick Quinlan. I did not expect him to trash Ford. He is gracious.

Rutger Hauer has fans, so, even though I hated Robert Rodriguez’s MACHETE (2010), based on a fake trailer for Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino’s 2007 GRINDHOUSE, I wanted to see Jason Eisener’s HOBO WITH A SHOTGUN because of Hauer. Like MACHETE, it started out as a fake exploitation trailer for GRINDHOUSE.

Thanks to imaginative marketing, HOBO WITH A SHOTGUN became a real film when there was “fake trailer” contest held surrounding the release of GRINDHOUSE. Some Canadian screening releases included the South by Southwest-winning trailer by Eisener. It’s not included on the DVD for GRINDHOUSE.

Rutger Hauer looks every bit his 67 years old in HOBO, because he’s playing a homeless man who collects plastic bottles and spends his time observing the ultra-violent activities of a gang of thugs run by insane psychopath Drake (Brian Downey) and his merry, sadistic sons Slick (Gregory Smith) and Ivan (Nick Bateman).

These villains make Alex and his “droogs” look like choir boys.* Drake (“Summon the Plague” is his war cry) and his sons are cartoon killers who hold, as I like to say, “pageant killings” in shark-infested Scum City for the residents.

Scum City is populated by violent men and prostitutes. Abby (Molly Dunsworth) is your typical teen hooker with a heart of gold. When Hobo saves her from being sold into white slavery and/or raped by Slick, she brings him home. She gives him her bed but not a shower.

Finally fed up with saving money for a lawnmower (he’s thinking of starting up a business), Hobo kills a few robbers in the pawn shop and plucks down this $49.99 for a shotgun.

Hobo: “You and me are goin’ on a car-ride to hell… and you’re riding shotgun!”

As fitting a grindhouse movie, it’s intentionally cheaply filmed and all the villains are screaming, way over-the-top chainsaw slashers. Blood spurts all over and intestines fly. It’s like the SAW franchise, but without a film rating.

Hobo takes a shotgun to every head – except Ivan, who gets his penis shot-gunned off. Hey, what about that naked man hung upside down beaten by a foursome of naked teenage girls wielding baseball bats? I’m keeping an eye on you, Jason Eisener.

Our heroine Abby does not go by unscathed. But adding that would be a spoiler. I’d also hate to ruin the surprise finale.

Hauer plays it straight – he’s damn serious. And he’s committed to the role. He looks 77 years old and appears quite invested in giving his character hobo wisdom.

If you are a fan of intentional, foaming-at-the-mouth bad acting, cheesy, grindhouse-style movies, HOBO WITH A SHOTGUN is bloody fun.

*A CLOCKWORK ORANGE (1971)

Member of Broadcast Film Critics Association: www.bfca.org/
Member of the Las Vegas Film Critics Society: www.lvfcs.org/
My weekly column, “The Devil’s Hammer,” is posted every Monday. http://www.fromthebalcony.com/editorials.php.
If you would like to be included on my private distribution list for a weekly preview, just email me at masauu@aol.com.
Victoria Alexander lives in Las Vegas, Nevada and answers every email. You can contact Victoria directly at masauu@aol.com.

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