Exploitation throwback flick Hobo with a Shotgun was banned from The Roxy Theatre due to the complaints of some buttinksi zealots with no sense of humour.  These fascist cowards also took it upon themselves to surreptitiously tear down the posters for some other indie horror movies that were supposed to be screened the week prior to Hobo, negating the hard work of The Dark Bridges Film Festival-runner, John Allison.  However, the movie finally came out on DVD a few weeks back, so you can see it if you missed the one time screening that The Broadway Theatre was able to do after the local censorship scandal (which actually drew a bit of embarrassing national attention that made us look like intolerant hillbillies).

Anyway, Hobo with a Shotgun had its genesis as a fake trailer for the Rodriguez/Tarantino Grindhouse contest, and was then turned into a feature film starring Rutger Hauer as a Hobo who 'can’t take this s#&t no mo!'  It’s a fun, campy, vulgar romp through the dirty, soul-staining streets of urban decay.   No doubt the very urban decay that our poster-destroyers are working hard to help us avoid.

The movie almost seems like it happens in an alternate universe, where the human body is not only more gelatinous, but also filled with geysers of blood; bodies explode with the greatest of ease, spraying blood and gore to and fro.  It’s obviously not for everyone, but if you like a good grindhouse movie, it’s a solid entry into the genre, and I would argue, better than Machete, which was trying to do the same thing.

It’s cool that the movie is Canadian and got some support from Telefilm Canada --- we usually can’t seem to get past committee thinking long enough to fund or put out something with such character.  Though the story takes place in the US (you can tell by the money they use), you can spot touches of Canadiana, like some hockey stick and skate kill gags and cameos by Rob Wells (Ricky from Trailer Park Boys) and Strombo (which was less lame than the usual Canadian entertainment celeb cameo --- thank God it wasn’t ultimate lame-o Ben Mulroney or even Rick the Temp).

The movie is of course derivative of a lot of other stuff, from exploitation flicks to John Carpenter movies and obviously Grindhouse the film, but it’s a good time and it’s well put together.  The characters have enough back-story and motivation to make them interesting and the music is awesome, aping Ennio Morricone’s freaky 80s electronic horror movie scores.

The best line in the movie comes when an assailant is grappling with the Hobo, and he shouts, “You’re crushing my smokes!”

Seek it out on DVD!

Craig Silliphant
CFCR Board Member