Very seldom does one find a film so absolutely obscure and strange that they feel a combination of shock, amazement and sheer damn excitement. Hobo With a Shotgun is just that. A brilliant film that is so shocking and odd, it would be wrong to call it anything other than an experience.
First of all, the first act is filmed like a Nicolas Sparks film – bright colours, hopeful, uplifting music and wide shots over the impeccably beautiful landscapes. Juxtapose that with the brutal violence of a grindhouse film, and you have a film that will have you wide-eyed and shaking your head in disbelief. Not many films have the stunning visuals of Hobo With a Shotgun, and just that makes this film absolutely brilliant.
Rutger Hauer is an underrated legend, and this is by far one of his best performances. He has a spine-chilling monologue in the third act that is probably one of the best I’ve ever seen. He delivers this performance with such brutal honesty and passion, it becomes a very sensitive experience watching Hauer act in this film – and yes, I used the word “sensitive” to describe a character who shoots everyone through the head with a shotgun and tears through a cop’s body like the creature in Alien. This is by far one of the strangest, but most interesting, performances I’ve ever seen, and while overlooked by so many around the release of the film, it is sure to get a huge cult following.
Yes, a film with such an obnoxious title manages to become a true gem of 21st century cinema, and it is a delicate and loving homage to grindhouse films, and one that will stand as both a tribute and addition to the underrated genre.