-Jason Eisener (the underground filmmaker behind films such as Treevenge and The Teeth Beneath) directed and co-wrote this insanely over the top revenge filled gore fest bloodbath. Starring John Ryder himself, Rutger Hauer, in a perfectly casted role as the title character.
For the people who are not aware of the background of how this film came to be what it is. It won BEST TRAILER for the Grindhouse contest back in 2007 when Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino were promoting their exploatation saga. Few years later it finally was able to be made into a full length feature.
Now the past few years it has seemed that exploatation films have really been re-discovered and have been brought back to life. With films such as Hell Ride, Black Dynamite, Piranha 3D, Machete (which went down the same path as Hobo did, starting out with a fake trailer...), and of course Planet Terror/Death Proof. Most of them usually fall right on their ass and fail but then others actually totally succeed and reach out to B-Movie loving audiences in a tasteful way, like the surprisingly successful Piranha 3D.
With Hobo however, I felt it to be a bit of a bomb in my eyes. The film has a terrific concept though, centering on an old beat down hobo (Hauer) who returns to his hometown, only to see it now filled with even more violence, including corrupt cops, broken down hookers, junkies, pimps, and pedophiles dressed as Santa Clause, in which he decides to begin taking out with his trusty pump action shotgun that he finds at a pawn shop. All the while forming a unique bond with a hooker he rescues from a sleazy police officer trying to rape her.
Now if you watch the new, unrated, uncut trailer for this film it practically makes you cream in your pants. I mean, it just looks like a borderline masterpiece (for exploatation films of course...). I couldn't wait to get my hands on it. Needless to say, I was unfortunately disappointed with the outcome. Now I am one of the few people who really didn't like this film. The majority of the audiences went insane over it. My main problem was the fantasy element. It was WAY too over the top and sort of just stupid with it's low brow humor. That was their intention, but I just don't think it was executed well. I mean, don't get me wrong, the violence is gorgeous. BUCKETS AND BUCKETS AND BUCKETS OF FAKE BLOOD!!! Almost as much as Piranha 3D. And I truly love vigilante, revenge stories and really appreciated their overall message, being pro-hobo. That homeless people are just as human as you or I. That element I connected with. But it was just a little too over the top for my liking. That silly fantasy world can get stale after a while. I just wish it'd be a little more realistic, (in the vein of Ms. 45 or Death Proof) but again, that's not what Eisener intended it to be. I mean, the film definitely has its pros.
The deaths are extremely creative (the bumper car head squash, the manhole incident in the beginning...), the gore is terrific, and Rutger is wonderful. So if your looking to be heavily entertained and taken away from reality for 86 minutes and absolutely love gore and fantasy violence/characters, then this film is for you. But just be in mind, that it's basically Superman rated NC-17.
"I see filmmaking as a business and pity anyone who regards it as an art form."
-Hershell Gordon Lewis