Title: Hobo with a Shotgun
Directed by: Jason Eisener
Starring: Rutger Hauer (Blade Runner, The Rite), Gregory Smith (Conception, The Patriot) and Robb Wells (The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day)
Written by: Karen Benardello
While some highly-anticipated movies live up to their pre-release hype, others fail to include the aspects that fans hope to see. The new grindhouse-inspired Magnet Releasing movie, ‘Hobo with a Shotgun,’ is unfortunately part of the latter group. The movie’s fake trailer, which was included in the Canadian release of the 2007 double feature ‘Grindhouse,’ received massive fan support, and the public demand it be made into a full-length feature. Jason Eisener, who has risen to fame as a short-film director and who helmed the fake trailer, was ambitious enough to give into the fans’ demand, but was ultimately unable to create relateable characters and a developed story.
‘Hobo with a Shotgun’ follows the title character (played by Rutger Hauer), simply known as Hobo, as he travels into a destitute city on a freight train. While he hopes to make a better life for himself, what he really discovers is that the city’s crime boss, Drake (portrayed by Brian Downey), and his two murderous sons, Slick (played by Gregory Smith) and Ivan (portrayed by Nick Bateman), rule the streets. The three incite fear into, and control, everyone who lives in the city, even the police.
After Hobo sees a second-hand lawn mower in the window of pawn shop, he is determined to clean up the city and make it a better place. But once he realizes that he won’t be able to do that while Drake and his sons rule, Hobo steals a shotgun from the pawn shop, and kills everyone he deems as a threat.
Expectations for the grindhouse-inspired film were high, as Eisener and screenwriter John Davies have long been fans of the genre. While Eisener has said ‘Hobo with a Shotgun’ isn’t a true tribute to the grindhouse films of the 1970s and ’80s, which he and Davies continuously watched together growing up, it does embody “everything that we love about the genre; and (it) continues to build on it.”
Also, ‘Hobo with a Shotgun’ won the Grindhouse Trailer Contest that was held at the SXSW Film Festival. Robert Rodriguez, who directed ‘Planet Terror,’ one of the two films included in ‘Grindhouse,’ picked Eisener and Davies’ fake trailer as the winner of the contest; their prize was having the trailer be included in the Canadian release of ‘Grindhouse.’ The trailer then received massive industry support from such outlets as Ain’t It Cool News, as well as a huge fan base through YouTube.
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