Rutger Hauer plays a nameless hobo who rolls into town on the back a train. It becomes clear very quickly that this town is the scummiest dirtiest sleaze pit anywhere. The place is run by a psychopathic gangster Drake (Brian Downey) and his two evil little brats Slick (Gregory Smith) and Ivan. Drake runs the place by fear which he causes by public executions which the public are forced to watch at gunpoint. He does this to his brother near the start of the film, a drain cover is fixed around his neck and he is dropped in to a drain in road so just his head is above the road then a barbed wire noose is tied around his neck and attached to Drakes car, Slick drives the car off at top speed and off pops the head followed by a fountain of blood from the body. The hobo watches all this quietly.
Inside Drake’s club the hobo sees some other hobos killed by punks for kicks in fairground dodgem rides. Everywhere is casual brutality. Abby (Molly Dunsworth) is working as a whore in the club and she tries to stop Slick picking on a teenage kid. The hobo notices her and afterwards when Slick approaches her for sex he hobo decides to follow them as they go out into the alley. Lucky he did because there is a goon is waiting with a bin bag to drag Abby away in car but the hobo beats up the two guys with his walking stick then he drags Slick off to the police station. He demands to see the police chief (Jeremy Akerman) who comes out and talks to him. The hobo wants know what the police are doing about Drake and the others. He sympathises with the hobo, wishes he could do more but it turns out the police chief is Drake’s little bitch. Slick and Ivan appear together and they cut deep scars into the hobo’s chest then the cops throw him the dumpster outside the station.
He staggers through the streets then spots Abby being harassed by a cop. When Abby sees how badly cut he is she takes him back to her apartment to get cleaned up and rested.They talk about how the hobo thinks Abby should be teacher. Then they talk about bears until the hobo falls into a drunken sleep.
Next day he chews broke glass to earn money from a freak with a camera. He goes to pawn shop to buy lawnmower but three masked thieves come in with guns & knives and demand money by threatening to kill a woman and her baby. The hobo sees a shotgun for sale at the same price as the lawnmower. Moments later we have three very dead thieves.
Now we get a bloody montage as the hobo sets about cleaning up the town with his shotgun. The camera freak is first, shot in the guts and forced to eat his video tape. A Pedo Santa gets it then a pair of rapist coke-heads gets it and as the scum start dying the hobo becomes a hero to local people with positive stories about him on the local TV News.
Drake gets Slick to get really nasty against the hobo and what comes next is really nasty. He takes a flame-thrower to a school-bus full of kids. As the story is reported on the local TV news an ice skate blade slams the newsreader in the back and Drake, Slick and Ivan talk to the camera. They boast about burning up the kids on the bus with one of the bodies held up to the camera and they threaten to kill all the other kids in town if the people watching don’t start killing all the homeless.
This all builds to an amazing climax that gets weirder still with pair of armoured killers in motorbikes who call themselves The Plague and who fight octopuses?? I just loved this film. The colour is really intense and grainy which complements the nightmarish feel of the film. There is a lot graphic gore which you’ll get from the description above and they are really pretty good gore effects all done the old-fashioned way without CGI. Rutger Hauer is just perfect as the hobo. At times looking he’s scared and vulnerable then later he’s blowing his troubles away with his shotgun. The best bit has to be when he is ranting in despair at the babies in a maternity hospital
I used to be like you. A long time ago. All brand new and perfect. No mistakes, no regrets. People look at you and think of how wonderful your future will be. They want you to be something special, like a doctor, or a lawyer. I hate to tell you this, but if you grow up here, you’re more likely to wind up selling your bodies on the streets, or shooting dope from dirty needles in a bus stop. And if you’re successful, you’ll make money selling junk to crackheads. And don’t think twice about killing someone’s wife, because you won’t even know it’s wrong in the first place. Maybe… you’ll end up like me. A hobo with a shotgun.
I’m sure others will hate this film passionately but for me it’s a 10/10.
- Hobo With a Shotgun – review (guardian.co.uk)
- Hobo with a Shotgun (richardgwyn.wordpress.com)
- http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1640459/ IMDb page
- http://www.amazon.co.uk/Hobo-Shotgun-DVD-Rutger-Hauer/dp/B0051NH5J0 Amazon