Hobo With a Shotgun Movie Review
A homeless man (Hauer), looking for cash to buy a lawnmower to earn a living, finally gets fed up with the violence doled out by ruthless local gangster Drake (Downey), who delights in gruesomely killing anyone who crosses him, including his brother (Wells). Drake's also responsible for the arcade that's turning teens into game addicts with loan-shark debts and a desire for blood.
After running afoul of the crooked police chief (Akerman), the hobo is helped by kindly hooker Abby (Dunsworth). Then he gets a shotgun and sets out to clean up the streets.
The out-of-control vigilante plot is full-on, as this hobo "delivers justice one shotgun shell at a time" in garish widescreen B-movie Technicolor. Stir in cartoonish camerawork and editing, camp acting and kitsch dialog, and the film is like an assault on the senses. It also feels like one of those shouty, obnoxious movies that's hilarious if you were in on the joke but doesn't quite translate for an audience. Although if you can get into the groove, it actually has its moments.
Besides Hauer's exhausted tenacity, there isn't a remotely realistic performance here. And the violence is often hyperbolically unspeakable, such as when Drake's sadistic sons Slick and Ivan (Smith and Bateman) attack a school bus with a flamethrower. Meanwhile, Drake deploys a razor-covered baseball bat and two robotic goons. And the cops are viciously hunting the homeless. Of course, it's heading for a contrived Thunderdome-style showdown between the hobo and Drake.
Director Eisener and writer Davies never bother with subtlety, although they stir in some thin emotional moments amid the escalating carnage. Most of this is due to Hauer, who has an undefined backstory that has pushed him to this point. But then, being surrounded by these lowlifes could drive almost anyone to pick up a gun and wash the streets clean. With blood.