I have 471 movies in my Netflix Instant queue. I tend to watch one thing for every five that I add, but now my library is close to being full and I have to make room. So, every Monday I’m going to pick a random movie out of my queue and review the shit out of it. But (like Jesus), I’m also thinking of you and your unwieldy queue and all the movies in it you want to watch but no longer have the time to now that you’ve become so awesome and popular. Let me know what has been gathering digital dust in your Netflix Instant library and I’ll watch that, too. One Monday for you and the next for me and so on. Let’s get to it.
What’s the movie? Hobo With a Shotgun (2011)
What’s it rated? Unrated for splattering guts, bone and sinew explosions and Rutger Hauer turning “iconic” into a verb.
Did people make it? Written by John Davies, Jason Eisener and Robb Cotterill. Directed by Jason Eisener. Acted by Rutger Hauer, Molly Dunsworth, Gregory Smith, Brian Downey, Nick Bateman, Robb Wells, Drew O’Hara and Jeremy Akerman.
What’s it like in one sentence? It’s a grindhouse homage that manages to be it’s own complete thing instead of just a series of winks and nods like Planet Terror was.
Why did you watch it? I’d been waiting to see it for a while and since it just jumped onto Instant Watch along with 13 Assassins, now seemed like the time.
What’s it about in one paragraph? Rutger Hauer is an old school hobo, riding the rails from city to city, filling a sock with change and following his dream of one day owning his own grass cutting company. When he arrives in Fucktown (or Fuck Town or Scum Town. I’m not really sure since there’s not too many signs or anything and people call the city all kinds of shit) he is caught up in the bloody rule of The Drake (Downey) and his two evil sons. At first he just tries to get along, but there comes a time where even the most peace loving of hobo’s must wield a shotgun and fight for the freedom of the subjugated masses. Will Hobo bring down the corrupt system with the help of a hooker with a heart of gold (Dunsworth), or will all of the hate, violence and insanity be too much for our homeless hero? Only his shotgun has the answer.
Play or remove from my queue? This is another one of those movies that you need to be in the perfect mood for, or else it will just come across as grating and a bit annoying. I liked it quite a bit, but kind of in spite of itself. Rutger Hauer is easily the best thing about the film, as he delivers a performance that’s at once gleefully over the top, while simultaneously being grounded in genuine emotion and feeling. Without Hauer, this film would just be an interesting exercise in style, gore and tone, but with him it’s a genuine genre treat that repays your patience with some wonderful little character moments. He carries this movie so effortlessly that it really makes you long for a day when he could lead more movies instead of being relegated to quirky supporting roles.
The score for the movie reminds me of a lost John Carpenter synth composition that he was saving for his next Snake Plissken adventure. It adds to the retro cinematography and cheap sound design a true feeling of authenticity that unsticks this film in time instead of just feeling like a throwback. I’m on record as loving Death Proof and hating Planet Terror and Hobo with a Shotgun cements those feelings even more. Death Proof exists as a piece of grindhouse cinema without feeling beholden to it and it would exist with or without the homage it keeps time with, whereas Planet Terror is so in love with the grindhouse genre, it doesn’t aspire to actually be a real film. Hobo manages to have it’s cake and eat it too, with all the gore and nudity you can shake a stick at, but also having a center and a heart that gives it a reason for existing.
It’s a fun movie, there’s not much more to say than that. This film kind of defies any real in depth look into it’s soul or else you’ll start seeing all the fake back drops and wires sticking out. I don’t know anyone who watches this kind of stuff for those purposes anyway, they just want some blood, guts and titties for 90 minutes while not having to think about the real world. If that’s what you’re looking for then this movie will be exactly what you need.
Do you have an interesting fun-fact? I’m sure you know this, but Hobo With a Shotgun came into existence through a fake trailer competition for Robert Rodriguez’s SXSW Grindhouse competition. It won and so did we.
What does Netflix say I’d like if I like this? Vigilante (Robert Forster and Fred Williamson Vs. 1980’s version of street punks?? Yes, please), Freak Out (in my queue. Anyone seen this?), Deep Red (are my nerd credentials revoked if I tell you I haven’t seen this yet?), Sukiyaki Western Django (I…sort of hated this movie), Bad Boy Bubby (sounds amazing).
What does Jared say I’d like if I like this? You’d like all the newer Grindhouse shit we’ve been talking about. Except for Planet Terror because that isn’t very good. Machete is worth your time, though. Oh, and A Breed Apart, which is Rutger Hauer protecting rare birds with the power of his bow and arrows.
What is Netflix’s best guess for Jared? 4.0
What is Jared’s best guess for Jared? 3.0
Can you link to the movie? I sure can!
Any last thoughts? If you like fun, Rutger Hauer and heaps of gore, then Hobo With a Shotgun will be a blast!! See what I did there?
Did you watch anything else this week? I watched 30 Minutes or Less which was decent and The American which was great.
Next Week? Little Otik, son!