Blogging 101, Film Reviews

Hobo with a Shotgun (and Bear Sweatshirt)

The Film:

Hobo with a Shotgun (Appreciate that I was watching this in the middle of the day in a sandwich shop between shifts.)

Where to Watch:

Amazon Prime, Hoopla (shamelessly promoting the shit out of library resources)

The Premise:

A corrupt mob boss rules Scum Town through violence and terror until he encounters Rutger Hauer, the titular hobo with a shotgun (yeah, I know he’s in Blade Runner, but I always think of him as the Huntsman from 10th Kingdom).

The Uncondensed Version:

Our film opens with deceptively cheerful music accompanying shots of the hobo riding the rails, waving at the occasional car, and generally enjoying the sunshine and greenery he passes. All of this exists solely to provide contrast with the environment of Scum Town. There’s graffiti everywhere, street fighting (some of which has been staged for filming), litter filling the streets, and the sounds of nearby gun shots.

Yeeeeeeeah, there's no way this movie is going to be about the simple joy of a life spent riding the rails.
Yeeeeeeeah, there’s no way this movie is going to be about the simple joy of a life spent riding the rails.

The villain of this film arrives on the scene, a really obnoxious mob boss who calls himself “The Drake.”  He’s pursuing a guy with a manhole cover around his neck. After catching this guy, The Drake and his sons (Slick and Ivan) put him back in the manhole, attach a spiky rope to his neck, and drive, thus decapitating him.

At this point the hobo lays low; he just wants to collect bottles and get enough money for a fucking lawn mower (seriously).

Later, the hobo follows Ivan and Slick into a seedy club with deadly bumper cars and other games generally involving blood and torture. The hobo saves a prostitute named Abby from Slick, making a citizen’s arrest and taking him to the police station. At this point, the hobo finds out the hard way that the police are corrupt; he is thrown into a cell. Later, Slick and Ivan arrive, carving the word “SCUM” onto his chest. That’s just rude.

Abby helps the hobo to her apartment and lets him stay for the night. She gives him a sweatshirt that rivals 3 Wolf Moon.

“I like it ironically.”

Then the hobo tells us some facts about bears: They live in a magic circle; You should never hug a bear. It made me wish the movie were Rutger Hauer talking about bears.

In the morning, the hobo leaves the apartment and chews glass for the guy filming street fights. AT LAST he has enough money to buy a lawn mower.

Unfortunately, he arrives at the pawn shop as it’s being robbed. At this point, the hobo becomes the titular hobo with a shotgun, shooting the robbers and saving the people in the pawn shop. What we need now is a montage (even Rocky had a montage) to show the hobo shooting the bad guys and cleaning up the city. And we get it, along with the newspaper headline “Hobo Stops Begging, Demands Change.”

HOBO WITH A SHOTGUN.
HOBO WITH A SHOTGUN.

In retaliation, Ivan and Slick light a school bus on fire in case anyone is still confused about whether they have any moral scruples. Then The Drake tells the town to kill the entire town’s homeless or he’ll kill all the children. “Bring me that hobo” becomes a line that receives significant use.

The hobo saves Abby again after Ivan and Slick try to kill her in her apartment. Ivan likes to walk around on ice skates, which is a convenient set up for him being electrocuted with a toaster.

Abby ends up in the hospital, where the hobo brings her some flowers in a Dixie cup. He then gives the babies in the hospital the most de-motivational speech: essentially, some day you’ll all be prostitutes, drug dealers, or maybe a hobo with a shotgun.

At this point, The Drake unleashes the Plague (basically robot Nazis), who catch the hobo.

The Plague also has some kind of tentacle monster...?  Maybe this script was written by Alan Moore?
The Plague also has some kind of tentacle monster…? Maybe this script was written by Alan Moore?

Now the movie is Abby with a shotgun. She rallies the townspeople by forcing them to confront the nature of being homeless; what does homelessness mean? Who is truly homeless?

The Drake begins a public execution of the hobo, but Abby arrives in the nick of time with the shotgun and a hacked lawnmower. She threatens to shoot his son Ivan (Slick has already died), which doesn’t faze The Drake. He shoots Ivan, then grabs Abby and sticks her hand in the mower (total Romancing the Stone moment). Abby then stabs The Drake repeatedly.

Bizarrely, Abby kills one of the Plague robots; the other tells her she must replace him as a member of the Plague. When she declines, he just walks away.

I would have liked to see Abby join the Plague, honestly, if only to figure out what the actual fuck the Plague IS.
I would have liked to see Abby join the Plague, honestly, if only to figure out what the actual fuck the Plague IS.

Meanwhile, The Drake is miraculously still alive and attempting to escape. The hobo is just about to shoot him when the police arrive and order him to stand down. He shoots The Drake, and then dies when the police open fire. Shortly after, the townspeople arrive and rebel against the corrupt police force, order is restored, etc.

The hobo’s last words: You’re riding shotgun.

The Critique:

This movie looked like it was shot in a 13-year-old’s basement. Maybe it’s supposed to.  Because this movie is a tribute to ‘70s exploitation films, the acting is soooooooooooooo bad; the dialogue is worse.  I don’t really understand how they convinced Rutger Hauer to appear in this movie.  The plot is really predictable except for maybe the sudden appearance of the Plague.  It’s still not clear to me what the Plague IS except for robot Nazis.  Do they work for The Drake or just generally anyone who wants to commit evil acts?  Are they evil fairy godmothers?  THIS IS AN IMPORTANT ISSUE THAT REMAINS UNRESOLVED.

The Rating:

Small Pink PantherSmall Pink Panther2/5 Pink Panther heads

Apparently this movie was based on the winning entry in a trailer contest. It probably should have just stayed a trailer.

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2 thoughts on “Hobo with a Shotgun (and Bear Sweatshirt)”

  1. “Then the hobo tells us some facts about bears: They live in a magic circle; You should never hug a bear. It made me wish the movie were Rutger Hauer talking about bears.”
    … FOR REAL?!

    Liked by 1 person

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