Discover more from (All (Parentheses))
Hobo with a Shotgun
Time Out New York Project: Issue #811, May 5-11, 2011
Dir. Jason Eisener. 2011. R. 86mins. Rutger Hauer, Molly Dunsworth, Brian Downey.
He’s a guttersnipe, all right. But it takes a little time for the rail-riding antihero (Hauer) of Jason Eisener’s gory, frequently amusing grindhouse pastiche to get his hands on a sawed-off. After arriving in decrepit Hope Town (FUCK is graffitied over HOPE on the city-limits welcome sign — nasty!), the nameless Hobo tries to mind his own business, saving up coins to buy a $49.99 lawn mower and start a landscaping business. Yet what good are pipe dreams when Hope is ruled by a tyrant like Drake (Downey), whom we meet when he and his psycho sons rip a guy’s head off with a barbed-wire noose? Did I mention the victim is Drake’s brother? Even bloodlines leave literal blood lines in this urban wasteland. But it isn’t until the Hobo meets good-natured streetwalker Abby (Dunsworth) — whom Drake’s boys often abuse — that his (admittedly fucked-up) conscience kicks in. Guess what else retails for $49.99?
The sight of Hauer going postal with a double-barreled blaster is about on par with Liam Neeson mowing down Albanian sex traffickers in Taken — in other words…kerfawesome! And even as the movie herky-jerks among sights that are clever, moronic or numbing (the killing of a child-molesting Santa Claus somehow manages to be all three at once), Hauer brings a consistently moving, Mickey Rourke–comeback level gravitas to the role. Two monologues — one which the Hobo compares himself to a bear, the other a Travis Bickle–like screed delivered to a roomful of increasingly distressed babies — are damn near Shakespearean. It’s a shame the performance is contained in a Z-movie patchwork that’s a bit too knowingly repugnant.—Keith Uhlich
Thanks for reading (All (Parentheses))! To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.