Hollywood brought over the great Dutch actor Rutger Hauer about thirty years ago--and never knew what to do with him. He’s had more lame roles in more lames movies, well over a hundred, than just about anyone. Yet he has played two of the greatest and most charismatic villains in screen history: Roy Batty in the sci-fi classic Blade Runner and John Ryder in the cult classic The Hitcher. I was hoping Hobo With A Shotgun would offer Hauer a similar cult role to shine in, but. . .no. Hauer is good, but not even he is good enough to make this terrible, cheaply made Canadian attempt at a Grindhouse/Machete ‘70s exploitation-type homage thingy watchable. The Canadian actors are awful, a screeching, lumbering cast of Nova Scotian oafs, all about as subtle as a hundred pounds of spoiled back bacon. Hauer plays a hobo who rides into a lawless town run by a deranged crime family addicted to decapitation, mutilation and head crushing. Initially Hauer’s hobo tries to lay low and mind his own business, but his growing fondness for a prostitute (supposedly with a heart of gold, but acted by somebody named Molly Dunsworth with a heart of chocolate gold coins) inspires him to clean up the city. It’s a thin, dull vigilante script shot in garish neon hues and punctuated every couple minutes with Asian Extreme gore. Ha, Hauer’s actually TOO GOOD in this horseshit movie. He makes the hobo a real character. . .a real character interacting with a set full of blood-stained mannequins. The only passable scenes are like the one shown above. . .Hauer alone, giving a monologue. . .or looking pensive in a box car. . .or conflicted as he surveys the mayhem around him in the corrupt town. A miserable little movie, dumb minuscule plot, lifeless characters, Asian Extreme gore without the Asian attitude (it’s Tokyo Gore Police by way of the Hoser Community Players), a bizarre, anti-climatic ending featuring robots and a giant octopus (?!?!)--and yet somehow this Whoopee Cushion of a movie got generally decent reviews, with only the old school queer Rex Reed getting it right, concluding his review as follows:
Quite the most appalling piece of junk I have seen lately, Hobo With a Shotgun just lies there like an autopsy.