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