SXSW Film: Hobo With A Shotgun

Hobo With A Shotgun proves that the slice of film genre known as Grindhouse is slowly, but surely making a comeback. Director, Jason Eisener, got the chance to make that happen because of a little contest that he won. A few years ago he entered a grindhouse trailer into a Robert Rodriguez competition. Winning that competition allowed him the chance to make a full length film about a hobo with a shotgun. The plot of the film is pretty self-explanatory, as you would expect. A hobo comes into a new town on the train and starts to notice the lack of morals that are taking place on the street. Anything from bum fights, to beat up hookers on the street to bad Santa’s kidnapping children and the worst of all is a gang of men lead by the evil Drake (Brian Downey). There doesn’t appear to be a clear reason why he is yanking people’s heads off by tying them to a truck and making people watch other than to set fear into the eyes of the town. He also has the police in the town wrapped around his finger, so you could say that he runs this town.

Mr. Hobo (Rutger Hauer) is just sitting by minding his own business looking on in disgust when they start to bug him too. All he wants to do is raise fifty dollars so he can purchase a lawn mower. Why a lawn mower? Well I haven’t a clue. Usually you need a yard before you need a lawn mower, but hey, that’s his prerogative. Maybe it helps him recall memories of a time when he wasn’t homeless. That’s what is great about grindhouse flicks though, the subplots do not matter as much. You came to see carnage and mayhem and Eisener delivers.

One of the highlights of this film is the way it looks. Everyone now a days is filming on what is commonly called “The Red”. A super advanced camera that does all kinds of nifty things in HD. Anyone can film a movie on The Red and it will look absolutely stunning. Eisener filmed it on The Red and it looks like it was filmed in the 70’s, in HD. Imagine that you have an HD camera and a time machine, now take that camera back to the 70’s and film Woodstock in the style that would have been popular in that time, that’s what I’m talking about.

The other part of this film that was fantastic was the gore, guts and evil carnage all over it. There was no shortage of blood, fights, rage and laughter-inducing deaths. One particular scene that was really mind-blowingly gross was that of a girl’s hand being shoved into a moving fan blade and we see each finger get pulled back and off with the corresponding blood to follow. It doesn’t end there though, the arm gets shoved in so far that we see her arm get chopped down to the bone until it’s just a sharpened knob hanging off of her shoulder.

Overall the film got a lot of laughs and shocking sound effects from the crowd and that is what it sought out to do. You really can’t judge the plot or acting and such too much because of its grind-house category. Jason Eisener has a future in film for sure as he showed with his skill behind the lens. Look for Hobo With a Shotgun to come to a theater near you, most likely a late night screening, and be sure and take a friend to enjoy the laughs.

I give Hobo With a Shotgun 3.5 “lawn mowers” out of 5

By Angela Davis

About Angela

Angela is the Editor-in-Chief of Lost in Reviews. She and Ryan created Lost in Reviews together in 2009 out of a mutual hatred for all the stodgy old farts currently writing film reviews. Since launching the site, Angela has enjoyed reviewing indie films over all other films, picking up new music from all corners of the world and photographing live shows. She is the co-host of Blu Monday and a member of the Kansas City Film Critic Circle.

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