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A fierce and funny splatterfest riffing on grindhouse classics like The Exterminator and Escape From New York, Jason Eisener's film is a singular debut. As gruesome and grisly as any film ever made in Canada, its well-crafted crudeness invests it with a kind of twisted sincerity. None other than Rutger Hauer stars as the title hero, while prominent cameos from domestic TV stars give the film a decidedly Canadian flavour.
A fierce, perfervid and sometime hilarious splatterfest that riffs on grindhouse classics like The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, The Warriors, Death Wish, The Exterminator and Escape From New York, Jason Eisener's Hobo with a Shotgun is a singular debut in recent Canadian cinema. The film stars Rutger Hauer as an unnamed hobo who journeys to the big city to buy a lawnmower and quickly runs afoul of a psychotic, white-suited gangster named The Drake (Brian Downey) - a huckster version of Willem Defoe's Bobby Peru in Wild at Heart, with Tom Wolfe's fashion sense - and his two equally screwed-up sons, Slick (Gregory Smith) and Ivan (Nick Bateman).
As gruesome and grisly as any film ever made in Canada, Hobo with a Shotgun boasts the same, encyclopedic knowledge of schlock one finds in a Tarantino movie - with a similarly campy, dumpster-diving, postmodern self-consciousness. Yet the film's well-crafted crudeness invests it with a kind of twisted sincerity a la Death Wish and The Exterminator (which contrasts starkly with the well-funded sheen of Tarantino's work). Prominent cameos from domestic TV stars gives the film a decidedly Canadian flavor, and Downey and Smith stand out - brazenly relishing their roles.
Sundance Film Festival; Karlovy Vary Film Festival.
Halifax breeds creativity, and there is no doubt that Jason Eisener's homage to 70's exploitation films, Hobo with a Shotgun, has been one of the most talked about genre films of the last year! With adrenaline pumping throughout every minute of the film, Eisener has done an impressive job at reaching every corner of the globe, with blood-soaking revenge. This is just the start of his filmmaking career, and already Eisener has left a lasting impression with his fans.
- Brenda Lieberman
From its infancy in a trailer competition centred around Tarantino's Grindhouse in 2007, Jason Eisener's feature length Hobo with a Shotgun is one hilarious and disgusting love letter to the genre. Vigilante street justice takes the form of a hobo (brilliantly portrayed by Rutger Hauer), and gives new meaning to the expression 'go with what you know', as he delivers justice one shell - and one gruesome death - at a time. Wearing Dartmouth proudly on his sleeve, Eisener proves you can still make a film with heart - even if it gets shot to hell by a hobo.
- Andrew Murphy