johnlink ranks HOBO WITH A SHOTGUN (2011)

So in trying to find a movie to watch, I settled on this one. I knew it would be silly, but I hoped for silly good, not silly terrible. When going into a grindhouse film, you can’t expect art. You just want some fun.


I watched HOBO WITH A SHOTGUN (2011) on 12.4.14. It was my first viewing of the film.

This is a film, directed by Jason Eisener, that was pulled from a trailer created for the Rodriguez/Tarantino GRINDHOUSE movie. Rutger Hauer plays the titular role. He is an old guy who sees some violence in the new town he comes into. He decides to try to do something about it with a shotgun.

This is a movie which is intentionally over saturated with color in an attempt to look 70s. That’s fine. It’s silly and derivative, but fine. It is uber violent and poorly shot with camerawork that wants to feel creative, but which limits itself by being so color heavy as to have no good looking moments. That’s also fine.

This movie becomes silly fun for awhile. The Hobo starts killing people. It’s stupid-silly in its violence, and it all is harmless fun. But then, in trying to make its villains truly bad, it has the two bad guys get on a bus and literally blow torch all of the kids on the bus to their death before displaying the corpse of one of those kids on TV.

I suppose that’s supposed to be funny. Or clever. Or edgy. Instead, it comes across as devoid of any kind of nuance. It comes across as doing something no one else would do. Not because no one else dares to be so edgy, but because no one else has to resort to that lowest common denominator. Or, put another way, if you laugh off the slaughter of children where do you draw the line between entertainment and stupidity?

It’s too bad. That bit spoiled the rest of the movie for me. Rather than being able to view this as a silly movie with a solid performance from the lead, I instead couldn’t filter out that this was a movie that used child-killing as a punchline. I am a firm believer in the George Carlin school of thought. Anything can be funny. Anything can be a joke. But it takes skill, talent, and nuance to turn child murder into something laughable. These filmmakers don’t bother with any of those prerequisites.

If you are looking for a solid, content based review out of me, I’m afraid I can’t give it. Maybe I didn’t ‘get’ this movie. I tried. I respect Hauer’s performance, and the female lead (Molly Dunsworth) gave a noble effort to some terrible material. But, in the end, this was nearly unwatchable for me.



The negative bonus is for the crappy color remastering which manages to make this movie look worse than it should.


FINAL SCORE: 1.75 out of 10

~ by johnlink00 on December 4, 2014.

6 Responses to “johnlink ranks HOBO WITH A SHOTGUN (2011)”

  1. I loved this film a bit too much 😀

  2. Good review John. Could have been even crazier, but as it is, it’s still a fine piece of grindhouse.

  3. You had me at dead children.

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