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Rutger Hauer Stars in New Exploitation Masterpiece

Written By: E. Thomas

04/01/2011

Movies/hobo_with_a_shotgun.jpg

Director: Jason Eisener

Writers: John Davies, Jason Eisener & Rob Coterill

Starring: Rutger Hauer, Molly Dunsworth, Brian Downey, Gregory Smith and Nick Bateman

All too often the term "grindhouse" is used as a catch all phrase to describe a number of different films from a number of different genres. Many films fall under this all expansive label. Crime dramas, horror movies, comedies, action films, blaxploitation and more. We can partially blame the 2007 movie Grindhouse, directed by Quenten Tarrantino and Robert Rodriguez, for all this confusion. Ever since that film re-ignited the World's love of the exploitation genre there has been a "grindhouse renaissance." The public is hungry for more. Movies like Machete (2010) continue the revolution. And the stores are filled with DVD collections of classic grindhouse films. Now comes the movie Hobo with a Shotgun. This gritty crime drama is one film that is truly deserving of the label "grindhouse." And unlike previous efforts at making a modern grindhouse film this movie doesn't pretend, its not an imitation, its the real thing.

In the Beginning: Hobo with a Shotgun actually owes a lot to the film Grindhouse. That movie featured a collection of fake movie trailers, all created by some of the biggest names in Hollywood. Before the release of the film Director Rober Rodriguez was hosting a grindhouse movie trailer contest. "Hobo" was the winner of this contest, and as such, the trailer was shown during certain screenings of the movie Grindhouse. (Mostly in Canada.) The original trailer for Hobo with a Shotgun can be seen at the end of this article along with the new trailer for the completed film. And in an interesting side note, the star of that trailer (David Brunt) also appears in the new film.

Basic Plot: A homeless drifter arrives in a town full of corruption and violence. Hoping for a fresh start he instead finds himself fighting a war against the evil Drake, a criminal boss who runs the town with his two rotten children Slick and Ivan. The drifter's only chance to make a difference is with his trusty pump action shotgun!

The Script: Hobo with a Shotgun has it all. Action, violence, a shotgun, and a surprisingly moral tone set in a world full of corruption. One could say this film is a revenge flick. And in keeping with that popular genre the hero is someone who truly stands for justice. In fact the entire film can be seen as a comment on morality in the modern world. Its refreshing to see a movie that isn't afraid to show a real hero, someone who is willing to stand against the evils of the world. Someone who actually knows the difference between right and wrong... well for the most part.

The Cast: Rutger Hauer stars with Molly Dunsworth in "Hobo." The film also stars Brian Downey as the villanous Drake. Gregory Smith and Nick Bateman round out the cast as the Drake's two children Slick and Ivan.

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Rutger Hauer gives one of the best performances of his entire career. Hobo with a Shotgun is Rutger Hauer's "Gran Torino." His work in this film is top notch. Although the script material is great, it takes a talented actor to drive that vehicle. Hauer proves he can be both tough and vulnerable at the same time. The script provides him with moments of compassion, self dellusion and violent, righteous indignation. His character is one that simply does not stand for any level of corruption. And his feelings about the world around him are powerfully stated in dialogue that truly drives home the point of the film. To put it short, Hauer is the perfect choice for this role, not only for his skills as a veteran action movie star but also for his ability to deliver a believable performance set in a world gone mad.

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The lovely Molly Dunsworth stars along side Rutger Hauer as "Abby," a prostitute working the dangerous streets of the city. The two form an immediate bond after Abby has a life threatening encounter with one of the villains from the film.

Molly's work in this movie is outstanding. Her part in this film seemed especially grueling. This cannot have been an easy film to make. Despite the obvious challenge of this role she does an amazing job with the material. Her character is believably tough and yet still gentle and compassionate. Her chemistry with Hauer is perfect. And her enthusiasm for this role is apparent in every scene of this film.

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Rounding out the cast is Brian Downey as "Drake." Gregory Smith and Nick Bateman play his two evil sons "Slick and Ivan." They say a movie is only as good as its villain. Brian Downey's performance as Drake is so convincing that if I ever saw him in public I would have a hard time not hating him. He is literally that good. His character oozes pure evil. He brings this exceptionally dark material to life in an extremely frightening way.

As for Gregory Smith and Nick Bateman, they quickly prove why they were chosen for this film. Gregory Smith is despicible as "Slick." And I mean that in the best possible way. He's more than just a bad guy, he truly relishes his role as the evil number one son. Nick Bateman is perfect as the hapless side kick and second born son, Ivan. He not only has the acting chops but he also has a great look which help provides for one of the best shots in the film. (On a side note Bateman is also an accomplished martial arts expert.)

The Bottom Line: Hobo with a shotgun is masterfully directed by Jason Eisener. It is full of amazing visuals and non stop action. And yet despite all the violence and insanity it still finds time to show the human side of our heroes. The Hobo and Abby are real people, with feelings, hopes, and dellusions. Its this human element that draws you into the film. It makes you care about the characters. It makes the film so much more than just violence and gore. Even the evil Drake shows moments of depth and complexity you wouldn't normally expect from a villain in a exploitation film.

The film also holds true to the long tradition of action revenge films. One man stands against overwhelming odds in the name of justice. A lone hero, a street wise prostitute, a corrupt town, good VS evil, madness, mayhem and gore. Its a satisfying recipe for a great "meat and potatoes" film. And the cleverly written story actually delivers a strong message about the nature of right and wrong. One that applies not only to this corrupt little town, but also to the world at large.

If you're a fan of Rutger Hauer you should see this film. If you're a fan of exploitation or "grindhouse" movies you should see this film. And if you want to have a great time at the movies on may 6th you should see this film!

Hobo with a Shotgun: The Original Trailer

http://www.magnetreleasing.com/hobowithashotgun/