Hobo with a Shotgun Review

As someone who watches a lot of movies, it is easy to become desensitized to offensive material. I have no problem with excessive language or violence in films and can sometimes even laugh at it in dark comedies. That being said, I can safely say Hobo with a Shotgun is one of the most shocking and caustic films I have ever seen.

Originally a Grindhouse trailer, Hobo with a Shotgun tells the story of one homeless man’s attempt to bring order to a town completely devoid of any morals.  The plot is relatively simple. After seeing the violence and corruption in “Hope Town”, the nameless Hobo, played by Rutger Hauer, tries to rid the town of its sadistic, Mad Max-esque criminals. However, once a crime boss known as The Drake catches wind of his vigilante actions, The Drake makes it his mission to get rid of the Hobo by any means necessary.

If you’ve seen the movie, then I think you would agree that its most notable feature is its obscene violence. Throughout the film, people get dismembered, beheaded and blasted so often that it’s hard to tell if the movie has a real plot or if it’s just a thinly veiled excuse to kill as many people as they can in the most gruesome and horrifying ways possible. It’s absurdity almost reaches comedy.  But unfortunately, the killings are far too brutal to laugh at, and are so over the top that they kind of ruin the movie entirely.

While I am talking about offensive material in this film, it’s important to mention the way the villains in this film speak. Of course crude language is to be expected in a film like this one, but the characters speak without even a hint of subtly or innuendo making the film almost unwatchable at times, especially in combination with the horrifying violence. To be honest, I had to watch this movie in three sittings just to get through it, not because it was bad, but because is was just gratuitous and seemed to lacked any kind of restraint.

Ultimately, it is difficult to explain how I felt about this film.  On one hand, I did really appreciate the unique style and atmosphere that this movie had, but at the same time the violence was so grotesque and the language was so abrasive that I had real trouble connecting with this film. It seemed more intent on shocking its viewers than giving them any real content. Although I ended up liking the movie overall, the violence is so excessive that it would be difficult for me to actually recommend this film.

Rating: 3 out of 5

30 thoughts on “Hobo with a Shotgun Review

  1. Steve May 31, 2012 / 1:39 am

    My thoughts exactly. This sh/c/would have been a fun film, but it just wasn’t that much fun. Poor execution of a great idea.

    • andrew626 May 31, 2012 / 1:41 am

      Really all they did was make it difficult to watch, and similarly difficult to enjoy.

  2. Mr Fuzms May 31, 2012 / 2:17 am

    They were showing this at a local cinema recently but I missed it. I think I can live with that after reading your review!

    • andrew626 May 31, 2012 / 2:19 am

      It is on netflix if you are interested. It isn’t a bad film, but it is really off-putting.

  3. lewispackwood May 31, 2012 / 11:35 am

    Someone recommended that we watch this for 101 Films You Should Have Seen, but I’m not entirely convinced – do you think it’s worth doing?

    • andrew626 May 31, 2012 / 11:50 am

      You know, that’s a hard one. It isn’t really a bad movie, but I think it all comes down to how easily offended you are. It is full of people being beheaded, stabbed, shot and carved up, so if that isn’t something you can deal with then I wouldn’t. It’s is only around an hour and twenty minutes though, and is on Netflix, so I say it’s worth a shot if you are interested.

      • lewispackwood May 31, 2012 / 2:52 pm

        OK, I think we’ll give it a shot, sounds like there’ll be plenty to talk about even if we don’t like it that much!

      • andrew626 May 31, 2012 / 8:16 pm

        Tell me what you think if you end up watching it. I’m interested to see how other people felt about it.

  4. jlo2000 June 2, 2012 / 4:51 pm

    I watched this with my son who’s 15. I found it really unusual. And compelling. A surreal mix of 70s amateurism, with extreme violence, a wafer-thin plot, ludicrous acting and a colour scheme that I can’t get out of my head. All together it worked. The violence and language and setting was cartoon enough that I didn’t mind my son watching it.

    • andrew626 June 2, 2012 / 5:57 pm

      I agree, but it just didn’t all quite work for me. They just overdid everything a bit to much for me, and the violence was not really offending me as much as it was making me say, “really? this again?” All and all it sort of spoiled the movie for me.

  5. rochpikey June 2, 2012 / 5:12 pm

    This movie was insane and random making it an unusual watch. Don’t get me wrong the flow of events works but were just so unpredictable. Rarely do I find myself completely aloof as to what is going to happen next but because this movie was so random and pretty grotesque that I new there were no limits a to what would happen next. I’d give it the same rating because this movie was fun to watch with others. If I had watched it on my own, I might have different thoughts but overall it is something I think people need to watch at least once.

    • andrew626 June 2, 2012 / 6:00 pm

      I watched it by myself, and I think that was part of the reason I didn’t like it. There just doesn’t seem to be a point to the violence or even the movie at the end of the day.

  6. mithil293 June 3, 2012 / 12:47 pm

    agree about the violence in the movie…. first half is pretty much all blood and broken limbs and head splayed around on the streets. Second half i remember contributes heavily. Although even i detested the violence, but the set’s were so realistic.. it all made it so real.

    • andrew626 June 3, 2012 / 12:52 pm

      I agree, for me the best part of the movie was the setting combined with the bright colors. All the graffiti was so vibrant compared to bleakness of the city, and I think that aspect of the film turned out really well.

  7. Sheena June 4, 2012 / 3:54 pm

    I saw the previews and wanted to see this, I expect the violence it being a Grindhouse film…maybe…it sounds like a bit much 🙂

    • andrew626 June 4, 2012 / 5:02 pm

      It is significantly more violent then Grindhouse, I suggest you try it if you are on the fence, you can always just turn it off.

  8. suburbanwifey June 5, 2012 / 11:43 pm

    His best movie was “The Hitcher’ that film put me off hitching or picking up hitchhikers for life! Not that I ever had given a stranger a lift, I’m not that daft lol

    • andrew626 June 5, 2012 / 11:46 pm

      I have yet to see that movie, but I may check it out. Would you recommend it?

  9. Gregoryno6 June 6, 2012 / 1:24 pm

    HWAS was a late night feature at Revelation Film Festival in Perth last year. The deaths and mutilations did wear me down after a while. But right out of nowhere Rutger Hauer stood the movie on its nose with a soliloquy in a maternity ward.

    • reelgirl327 June 14, 2012 / 10:56 pm

      This was probably my favorite scene. I won’t lie – these types of movies are guilty pleasures.

      • Gregoryno6 June 15, 2012 / 9:36 am

        Mad Max 2 trumps The Sound of Music any day of the week.

  10. sstatus June 9, 2012 / 4:39 am

    I happen to love everything about this movie, and Mother Teresa is a goddamn saint!

    • andrew626 June 9, 2012 / 12:45 pm

      Dispute our differing opinions, there were certainly a few memorable lines from that movie. I certainly can’t say it is forgettable.

  11. Tammy Salyer June 10, 2012 / 12:53 am

    I haven’t seen it and probably won’t after this review. But I do have to say that the poster is bitchin’!

    • andrew626 June 10, 2012 / 1:48 am

      I agree. If you look at it though, it is a pretty good representation of what happens in the movie.

  12. Goddess JR June 11, 2012 / 12:36 am

    Where oh where is the Rutger Hauer of Ladyhawke and Blade Runner?

    • Andrew King June 11, 2012 / 1:06 am

      I am not quite sure where he went sadly.

    • Gregoryno6 June 15, 2012 / 9:27 am

      He got waylaid by Buffy The Vampire Slayer and never really recovered.

  13. crow237 July 1, 2012 / 6:22 pm

    Very difficult to watch. Took a few tries. Not something I want to see again.

    • Andrew King July 2, 2012 / 2:02 pm

      I am with you. And there are much better movies out there if you want something “hard to watch”.

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