Jason Eisener had directed a fake grindhouse trailer as an entry for Robert Rodriguez's "South by Southwest" Grindhouse competition, upon winning the event the trailer got a very high honour of appearing with a few other fake trailers (made by todays bigger names: Edgar Wright, Eli Roth e.t.c) that would show before Robert and Quentin Tarantino's 2007 exploitation double feature "GRINDHOUSE" (Planet Terror/Deathproof).
"Grindhouse Cinema" for those who don't know...
Back in the 70's, Televison was really starting to break out in means of programming, videotape and censorship, this sudden wave had a devastating impact on movie theatre going (but obviously not film-making because some of the greatest movies ever made came out in the 70's in my opinion). this led many theatres to opt out and provide something television could not.
Enter Grindhouse, movies filled with over-the-top violence, sex, sleaze, narrative - "the works", this impact was so large Porn had almost became a new Genre, finally the public was at the end of it's teather and burned down many of these theatres, so little exist today...
Finally with the release of Tarantino/Rodriguez's Double Feature in 2007 was this age-old era reborn with a fierce impact on Pop-Culture, most notably songs and one of those fake trailers ("MACHETE") being turned into a feature length along with 2 planned sequels...
And of course here we are now with "Hobo With A Shotgun", whoever gave Jason Eisener the money for this is a saint, but the really big sellpoint for this movie was that RUTGER HAUER has signed on to play the Hobo.
Rutger Hauer to me is the finest Dutch actor to ever live, i have seen so many of his performances and wondered how on earth did they get him into in such a small independent film?
Well Hauer explained that good old "you only live once" scenario and he blew this role out of the water, i mean even when i heard that he was available i was puzzled yet thrilled at what perfect casting that was.
Aside from Gregory Smith who is a small indie actor, everyone else is virtually an unknown yet give very convincing and engaging performances (given the style this film is after).
The film opens with the Hobo train hopping and departing at a place called "Hope Town" (where the word "scum" has been graffiti sprayed over the word "hope") there everything is constantly in a strong cycle of crime and violence, most notably headed by "The Drake" (Brian Downey).
The Hobo makes friends with a kind prostitute Abby (Molly Dunsworth) and has intentions of buying a lawnmower to start a buisness, however the stench of crime proves to much and eventually decides to opt out for a shotgun "Delivering justice ONE shot at a time".
From there on then as you can deduce everything spirals out of control, riots, bloodshed, OTT violence, armoured henchman, makes for a film on repeated viewings largely entertaining and true to the grindhouse phenomena.
The film is also highly stylised to look old and dirty thanks to sharp editing skills also done by Jason Eisener, the script while not amazing never gets too cheesy thanks to John Davies and the beginning credits bare the title in the stylised font from swedish grindhouse classic "They Call Her One Eye", while the end credits roll with the unearthly catchy song used for a children's programe, see if you can find out which one ;-)
Final Verdict: Messy, violent, bloody but goddammit is it fun, It's not anyway smart but for following traditions. "Hobo With A Shotgun" get's my seal of approval.