‘Hobo with a Shotgun’ (DVD Review) – Oh, How I Wanted To Love Thee


For some reason I cannot jump on the bandwagon and scream with glee, “Best cinematic endeavor ever,” like I so wanted to. Everyone else seemed to love Hobo with a Shotgun. I mean how can you not love and adore anything with a title that exquisite? But alas I did not.

Hobo with a Shotgun stars Rutger Hauer whom I still love and fear, he will always be the original John Ryder of The Hitcher to me. Honestly, it was a while ago since I watched Hobo with a Shotgun, but I’m going to try to recall my thoughts as much as possible. Hobo with a Shotgun is gory, gleefully over-the-top revenge fantasy starring Hauer as the Hobo, a bum who rolls into town hoping to start over, only to find his adopted city saturated in violence and ruled by a vicious crime lord known as the Drake (Brian Downey). The Hobo’s answer? Pick up his handy pump-action scattergun and start laying waste to crooks, corrupt cops and every other lowlife who crosses his path.

Hobo with a Shotgun takes place sometime in the 80s and the overall look of the film was stylized to look as if you rented in from your local video store on VHS. They even scored it with overly synthesized music that sounded like it was made for a Nintendo game of the era. Sounds awesome right? Well it should have been but there was something missing. It all translated as kind of boring, even the extremely bloody killings didn’t hold my attention. Even during an inventive decapitation I neither laughed nor flinched. Sads.

The performances by the supporting actors were too terrible to pull off the over-the-top dialogue they were given to say. Again it’s been awhile so I can’t quote any of it. The one saving grace in the film of course is Hauer, which also added to making everyone else look bad. He was seriously eating the scenery on when he was on screen. You know doing what he does, Hauer seemed really committed to this film. This made the other performances seem worse than they actually might have been. Clearly, they were trying to walk the line between camp and corn; you know how horror in the 80s used to be. Think RoboCop or hell Maniac Cop . But, no one in the cast except Hauer managed to figure out the line.

Overall, I give this film a solid Meh! I really wanted to love Hobo with a Shotgun, because as I mentioned once or twice on the site before I heartRoboCop and Maniac Cop . Wait until Hobo with a Shotgun debuts on cable. This is time when USA’s Up All Night would come in handy.