Dear God. This movie.....as far as contemporary grindhouse films (and homages to them go), this is one of the better ones. It's also one of the sickest, most violent, and disturbing films I've seen in quite a while, perhaps ever.
It's also really entertaining, sometimes quite fun, and actually pretty well made for what it is. It's a solid B movie, and that's also the grade it gets (for now). The story is pretty basic and concerns a nameless hobo who rides the rails into the ironically named city of Hopetown- an urban wasteland overrun by corruption, vileness, and degradation. He takes it upon himself to clean up the place using vigilante justice, with a shotgun as his primary tool.
Rutger Hauer gives a solid performance as the Hobo, and actually delivers delivers some monologues that help elevate the film from being purely a trashy exploitation fest. Molly Dunsworth makes her film debut as a hooker with a heart of gold who teams up with the hobo after they help one another out. Brian Downey, Gregory Smith, and Nick Bateman all chew the scenery superbly as the megalomaniacial kingpin and two equally sick sons who all control the city.
Despite being absolutely sick and disgusting ,the effects are really well done, hence their effectiveness. All of the violence is ridiculous and over the top (and almost non stop), but while most of it is supposed to be lighter in tone, some of it actually does become truly sick and disturbing tonally. Even then though, there's a lot of inventiveness to the kills, featuring some stuff I've never seen before, but kinda liked. The film overall is very stylish, featuring all kinds of garish lighting, a mish mash of various styles, and some truly odd set pieces (such as a twisted take on the Last Supper).
This film knows what it is, and isn't trying to be high art. There's a bit of room for some subtext, and you wouldn't have to do a whole lot of reaching to make your case in that regard. This is mostly just supposed to be a demented homage to trashy 70s exploitation flicks, and in that regard, it is highly successful, and not only that, but it firmly earns its place amongst the films it is paying tribute to.
If you are going to see this, and you should (at least once), just be prepared for some really messed up violence, revolting gore, and perhaps have a few drinks before hand.