And we want it now!
A decade ago, way back in 2007, Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez teamed up to make a film called Grindhouse. It was based on their shared love of exploitation movies, and the cinemas that used to play double bills of these shlocky films. Grindhouse was made up of two films: Planet Terror (a zombie survival film directed by Rodriguez) and Deathproof (Tarantino’s film about a murderous stuntman with an indestructible car). To add to the cinematic effect, a series of fake trailers were inserted before the beginning and between the two films. Amongst Thanksgiving, Don’t, and Werewolf Women of the SS (made by established directors Eli Roth, Edgar Wright, and Rob Zombie respectively) was Hobo with a Shotgun, directed by newcomer Jason Eisner, which won a competition at the South by Southwest film festival:
The guys behind the $150 (that’s not a typo!) trailer continued developing the idea, and with the added publicity managed to get together a $3 million budget. They also added genre icon and Blade Runner legend Ruger Hauer as their leading man, and what they delivered was a gloriously gory throwback of a film.
It was released by Magnolia Picture, the same studio that produced The Eyes Of My Mother, which left such an impression on Snooty Usher Rich that he still has not full recovered. Hobo with a Shotgun packs a similarly visceral gut punch. Rutger Hauer plays the Hobo of the title, who drifts into Hope Town. It is a crime-ridden town, run by gangster The Drake and his son Slick. The Hobo gets chewed up by Hope Town, with only Abby (Molly Dunsworth, daughter of the actor who plays Jim Lahey in Trailer Park Boys) taking any interest in what happens to him. After taking part in bum fights, the hobo has finally scraped together enough money to follow his dream. He plans to buy a lawn mower and start a small gardening company. While in the pawn shop buying the lawn mower though, the place is robbed at gunpoint, and the Hobo realises that there is something else that is the same price as the lawnmower – a shotgun. Which one will he choose…
The hobo then goes on a rampage, serving justice one shell at a time. This part of the film plays out like the original trailer, with his actions giving the townspeople hope. The Drake and Slick start getting worried about them standing up for themselves, and the Hobo has become an unlikely hero. They start using their connections in the police force to try and quell this uprising. Slick and the Hobo have a meeting that ends up in the following confrontation.
Eventually, the Drake sends The Plague – two warriors who look like they walked straight off the set of The Running Man via Robot Wars – to take care of the Hobo. There is an explosive stand-off, and Abby joins the Hobo to fight off The Plague. The Hobo kills the Drake before he is gunned down by the police, his heroic sacrifices inspiring the people of Hope Town to fight the corrupt police and criminals.
Hobo with a Shotgun is a great genre film, one that I really enjoyed, that reminds me so much of They Live, although not as quite iconic. It revels in the blood and guts on screen, and a sequel seems like the most natural thing in the world. Perhaps Lily can’t stand the injustice she sees happening to her students in her new found career, and we get a Teacher with a Shogun cleaning up the inner city. Perhaps another member of the homeless community uses another weapon to get rid of a new upstart crime family trying to move into the vacuum left behind, and Hobo with a Flamethrower is how they decide to escalate the violence.
Also, in what could spin-off a whole new series of articles, I think a straight to DVD prequel following the Hobo before he arrived in Hope Town would be great. I can imagine them casting an actor who looks a bit like a younger version of Rutger Hauer. Perhaps at one point he crossed paths with a certain Mexican Federal and we get Machete vs The Hobo. Or maybe we can get to see the rise of The Drake and how he built his empire, with plenty of blood and splatter.
Finally though, there’s one thing that would have to be in any sequel or prequel. Robb Wells (Ricky in Trailer Park Boys) has a very brief but memorable role…
But as you can probably guess, he meets a grisly end. The sequel would have to feature JP Tremblay or Mike Smith (or both… or all three!) being dispatched in an equally imaginative way. Lahey would approve.
We want a sequel to Hobo with a Shotgun… and we want it now!
Until next time, stay gold Ponyboy, stay gold. See you soonish.
PS As a special treat for reading all the way to the end, here’s an awesome poster for a potential sequel, made by Boniface. It can be bought here: https://store.iam8bit.com/products/hobo-with-a-shotgun-2-rips-revenge-by-boneface