Every now and again there comes along a film that carries with it warmth, subtlety, and the sort of charm that remains with you long after the end credits roll. And then there is such a film as "Hobo With a Shotgun". "Hobo" was made for those who watched "Rambo III" and thought "this is way too thought provoking! The characters are too complex!" "Hobo" has about as much nuance as a boulder made out of razor blades.
Do I even need to go into the plot of "Hobo With a Shotgun"? The title basically says more than the movie is actually about. Rutger Hauer plays the titular hobo, who rides into a town where the villains are ruling the roost. To call the bad guys cartoonish would be an insult to cartoons, and you can be sure from the first time they come on screen--decapitating a helpless man with a barbed wire noose and yes you heard that right--that you will not have qualms about wishing for their ultimate demise. Fortunately for justice--and for those who love to see people's insides being shared with the entire neighborhood--our hobo has clearly been well trained in shotgun use and suffers none of the usual afflictions one would expect with the homeless, such as vitamin deficiency, fatigue or semi-starvation. This is one rail-rider you don't want to cross.
If there's one bit of dialogue that sums up the film it is this one, between the hobo and the hooker he befriends:
Hooker: You can't solve all of your problems with a shotgun!
Hobo: It is the only way I know how.
Isn't that just beautiful? Step aside, "Rosebud" and "I'll Make Him an Offer He Can't Refuse"--we have a new winner for best movie quote. I like to imagine the hobo trying to fix his car, and deciding the only way to repair the faulty carbeurator is with a quick blast with the ole shotgun.
Needless to say, the film goes the way you'd expect--plenty of justified vengeance, plenty of innocent people getting murdered--the most unintentionally hilarious case being the schoolbus full of kids being destroyed with a flamethrower, because up to that point we just weren't sure if the villain was odious enough--and an ending that left you wondering why Rutger Hauer still has trouble finding work.