Would anyone actually expect a movie called Hobo With A Shotgun to be anything more than a Grindhouse inspired gore fest? Probably not. And, if you did expect it to be something different, maybe you should spend your money on pursuits other than the cinema. This movie can be summed up in one line: "when life hands you razor blades, make a baseball bat covered in razor blades." It is over the top, unrealistic violence from start to finish. In that way, it is kind of reminiscent of the Kill Bill movies.
Like Machete, it started as a fake trailer for the Grindhouse movies. The difference is that Machete had better acting and a better story. But Hobo is a more entertaining movie. It moves quickly and is full of lines that are so purposefully cheesy that they are actually very funny. Each act of violence seems to feed off the previous one in its absurdity. I was never really bothered by any of it because it is just so over the top and exaggerated that it cannot be taken seriously (and it was never intended to be).
From a technical standpoint, it is actually quite good. The use of technicolor gives it that high contrast, grainy feel of 1970s movies; which was intended, I'm sure. It is also well shot. The choice of Halifax/Dartmouth, Nova Scotia's slummy areas in either early spring or early fall (I couldn't tell which) gave it the bleak setting that the movie needed. Another nice touch was the exclusive use of out of circulation Canadian currency for the money. It seemed to add to the whole thing being set in a fantasy world.
Finally, the acting. With a story and script like this, you cannot really expect acting to be good. In fact, you would expect everything to be over-acted to fit in with the over the top nature of the film. However, that can be better achieved with the use of good actors like Robert Rodriguez did in Machete. Danny Trejo, Michelle Rodriguez, Cheech Marin and Jeff Fahey are all decent actors and can pull it off. The actors in Hobo were just not good to begin with. That just compounds the cheesiness of their performances. There is one exception: Rutger Hauer delivers. His lines and character are just as outrageous as everyone else but his acting talent makes it work. His dialogue never seems cheesy; just comedic.
That seems like a very long review for a B movie seeing as how my Cool Hand Luke review was one paragraph. But I just felt like getting a little analytical with this one. The bottom line is that you should see this movie if its cheap. Do NOT pay full, big theatre price. It just isn't worth it. (I paid $4.50 and thought I got my money's worth without getting a bargain.) Also give it a pass if graphic, comic book style violence offends you. But the title should have warned you of that.