Hobo with a Shotgun is possibly the most extravagant gorehouse film of the new millennium. It doesn’t just meddle with gore; it showers in it (literally) with no apologies and even less remorse. Let’s go over our “Grindhouse” film check list for Hobo With a Shotgun: an abundance of unnecessary gore -check-, over the top characters that you can't take seriously -check-, lack of a straightforward plot…or a plot at all -check-, the addition of paranormal entities that obviously don’t belong, but are there just to spice up the gory murder and make the movie more entertaining -double check-. With Hobo with a Shotgun, it looks like we really do have a true Grindhouse film on our hands, and a damn good one at that.
Grindhouse films were at one time cheap, gory, borderline pornographic sexploitation spin-offs made for those interested in strange cinema that reserved legitimate film technicalities for the mainstream. In other words, they were complete trash made with low budgets, thin plots, and tons of violence that never had much of an impact because the filmmakers couldn’t afford to make it look believable. And they were adored to a niche audience for this exact reason. Hobo with a Shotgun is definitely a throwback to this genre, though it lacks the gratuitous sex and focuses mainly on bizarre gore and the forcibly thin plot that assures no viewer will have to excessively use even the measliest amounts of brain power. This sounds like a bad thing, but really, it fucking rules. When your storyline is about a hobo who enters a town resembling that of a negative-utopia and brings justice to those who have committed unspeakable acts in the most amazingly badass ways, you've succeeded as a director.
Of course the film doesn’t strive to be any type of artistic masterpiece; it’s all about the entertainment value and the kills. Unlike movies such as ‘Hatchet 2’, it refuses to take itself seriously, which adds to the fun-factor. The film is full of actors that are purposely overacting their roles to bring a certain light-heartedness even in the middle of more “serious” scenes (there are few of these, I promise). In another instance of the film going completely over-the-top, midway in a duo called ‘The Plague’, who happen to be robot demons of some sort, appear seemingly out of nowhere. Their main purpose is to murder the employees at a hospital, add more comedy to the horror, and make the finale that much more interesting. You might think this sounds slightly contrived, but who cares. You’re watching a movie called Hobo with a Shotgun. The odds of it being contrived are certain.
You may realize that your brain is dying along the way, but you can at least praise yourself for not watching a Michael Bay film that presumes to be good when really, it isn't. The magic of Hobo with a Shotgun is that it knows it isn’t a particularly high quality flick- and this actually becomes its strength that helps it succeed in its original goal, which was to simply entertain us.
An over-the-top entertainment feast that would satisfy any horror fan with a thirst for an exaggerated amount of gore. Those looking for a serious movie can walk on by.