Hobo with a Shotgun

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Hobo with a Shotgun
Theatrical release poster
Directed byJason Eisener
Produced by
Screenplay byJohn Davies
Story byJason Eisener
Music byAlexander Rosborough
CinematographyKarim Hussain
Edited byJason Eisener
Distributed byAlliance Films
Magnet Releasing
Release date
  • January 21, 2011 (2011-01-21) (Sundance)
  • March 25, 2011 (2011-03-25) (Canada)
Running time
86 minutes[1]
Budget$3 million[3][4]
Box office$834,953[4]

Hobo with a Shotgun is a 2011 Canadian black comedy action exploitation film directed by Jason Eisener, written by John Davies, from a story by Eisener, and starring Rutger Hauer.[5] It is based on the trailer of the same title in Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez's South by Southwest Grindhouse contest.


A hobo arrives by boxcar in the city of Hope Town, its welcome sign reading "Scum Town". The city is brutally ruled over by "The Drake" and his sadistic sons Ivan and Slick. The Hobo sees an amateur filmmaker shooting a "Bumfight" movie. A bloodied man, Logan, The Drake's younger brother, screams for help. The Drake and his sons arrive and, labelling him a traitor to the townspeople, publicly decapitate him with a barbed-wire noose.

Wishing to buy a lawnmower in a pawn shop, The Hobo begs for change on a sidewalk. However, after seeing a group of punks drag in a homeless man, he sneaks into The Drake's nightclub. Inside, the brothers and their henchmen torture and kill homeless people in arcade-style games. Slick begins harassing a boy named Otis, who owes him money, and Ivan snaps Otis' arm. Abby, a prostitute, defends Otis. Slick prepares to kill her, but The Hobo knocks him unconscious and carries him to the police station. There, he learns of the police chief's corruption and complicity in criminal activities. The brothers and the chief carve "scum" into his chest and throw him into a garbage bin. He meets Abby, who helps him recover.

The next day, The Hobo goes to the filmmaker and completes a series of degrading acts, including chewing glass, to purchase the lawnmower. A trio of robbers enter and hold a woman and her baby hostage. The Hobo grabs a shotgun from the shelf and kills the robbers. Realizing that Hope Town needs justice, he buys the shotgun, costing the same as the lawnmower, and kills dozens of criminals, including the filmmaker, a pimp, a coke lord, and a pedophile dressed as Santa Claus.

The Drake, infuriated, lets his sons loose. They burn a school bus filled with children — who are friendly to hobos — and burst into a television station, killing the anchorman during a live broadcast — who had expressed his appreciation of the hobo; they demand that all homeless people be killed. The Drake then joins them and orders The Hobo be brought to him. A mass murder of the city's vagrants begins.

As Abby is walking home, a cop attempts to rape her. The Hobo kills him and Abby smuggles The Hobo past a group in a shopping cart covered with the cop's remains. The pair are spotted by Otis, who informs Slick and Ivan. Back at her apartment, The Hobo tells Abby of his plan to start a lawnmowing business, which she enthusiastically supports. Ivan and Slick enter and attack the two, wounding Abby. The Hobo overpowers Slick, holds him at gunpoint, and forces Ivan to leave. The Hobo then shoots Slick in the groin and takes Abby to the hospital. Slick manages to call The Drake before he is taken to hell in a burning school bus. The Drake, mourning the death of his favorite son, summons "The Plague", a duo of armor-clad demons named Rip and Grinder. While Abby is recovering, The Hobo visits the maternity ward and delivers a monologue to the babies. When he returns to Abby's room, The Plague capture and deliver him to The Drake, who plans to publicly execute him.

Recovered, Abby returns to the pawn shop for weapons. Attaching an axe to The Hobo's shotgun and retrofitting the lawnmower into a shield, she arms a crowd to free The Hobo and bring down The Drake. She confronts The Drake, holding Ivan hostage; The Drake shoots and denounces him a disappointment. In the ensuing fight, Abby kills Grinder. Although The Drake severs Abby's hand with the lawnmower shield, she stabs him repeatedly with her exposed arm bone and incapacitates him. Rip tries to persuade Abby to be his partner, but The Hobo drives him off.

The Hobo spots The Drake crawling away to safety and prepares to execute him but a standoff between the armed townspeople and police initiates. Not wishing to let innocent people die for him and knowing The Drake must die for the town to heal, The Hobo executes The Drake and is gunned down by the police. Abby screams and the citizens attack the police in support of The Hobo. Drake's rule is over. She later becomes a new plague member with the implantation on the arm.


  • Rutger Hauer as the Hobo: a homeless man who becomes a vigilante after witnessing the high crime rate and corrupt, ineffective police.
  • Molly Dunsworth as Abby: a local prostitute who befriends the Hobo, she became at first horrified by his actions then after watching his bravery decides to help him.
  • Brian Downey as The Drake: A ruthless, psychopathic crime lord of Hope Town, the father of Ivan and Slick.
  • Gregory Smith as Slick: Drake's favorite son and Ivan's brother. Slick is a highly remorseless, sadistic, and cold killer. His father prefers him over Ivan due to his leadership skills.
  • Nick Bateman as Ivan: Drake's son and Slick's equally sadistic brother.
  • Nick Bateman and Peter Simas as The Plague, (Rip and Grinder): two armored demons who seem to be contract killers with a hit list of historical and Biblical figures such as Abraham Lincoln and Jesus Christ.
  • Robb Wells as Logan, Drake's brother and a traitor for hobos
  • Jeremy Akerman as the Chief of Police
  • David Brunt as a corrupt police officer
  • Pasha Ebrahimi as the "Bumfights" director
  • George Stroumboulopoulos as the News Anchor


Hobo with a Shotgun, directed by Jason Eisener, was initially a fake trailer made for an international contest to promote the release of Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez's double feature Grindhouse.[6] It won the contest, and was screened in some areas of Canada as part of the actual release of Grindhouse.[7] A feature-length version of Hobo With a Shotgun began principal photography in Halifax on April 19, 2010.[8]

A teaser trailer (including behind-the-scenes and test footage) was released on April 26, 2010.[9] David Brunt, who played the homeless man in the trailer, cameos in the film as a cop.[10] It was the second of Grindhouse's fake trailers to be turned into a feature film, the first being Machete.[11] (Machete was also followed by a sequel, Machete Kills.)

The opening theme music was borrowed from the exploitation film Mark of the Devil.


Hobo with a Shotgun staged its world premiere at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival.[12] The film was released on a limited basis to Canadian theatres on March 25, 2011[13] and in the United States on May 6, 2011.[14] The film was also released via OnDemand services such as Xbox Live, PlayStation Network and iTunes on April 1, 2011.[15]

Home media[edit]

The film received its Australian premiere on the opening night of the Sydney Film Festival on 8 June 2011. It was later released on DVD and Blu-ray Disc in the United States on July 5, 2011 and in the UK on July 15, 2011.


Reviews of the film are generally positive, and it currently holds a 65% "certified fresh" approval rating out of 118 reviews on the review aggregate website Rotten Tomatoes with an average rating of 5.7 out of 10 with the consensus being, "It certainly isn't subtle – or even terribly smart – but as a gleefully gory homage to low-budget exploitation thrillers, Hobo with a Shotgun packs plenty of firepower."[16]


  1. ^ "HOBO WITH A SHOTGUN". British Board of Film Classification. July 15, 2011. Retrieved July 21, 2018.
  2. ^ "Hobo with a Shotgun (2011)". British Film Institute. Retrieved July 21, 2018.
  3. ^ "Hobo With a Shotgun: Montréal devient gore". Lebuzz.info. Archived from the original on 2011-04-27. Retrieved 2011-06-06.
  4. ^ a b "Hobo with a Shotgun (2011)". The Numbers. Retrieved July 21, 2018.
  5. ^ "Two New Clips From Hobo With A Shotgun".
  6. ^ "Rutger Hauer is the Hobo With a Shotgun".
  7. ^ "More Hobo With a Shotgun Madness".
  8. ^ Heritage, Stuart (April 20, 2010). "Hobo With a Shotgun's net strategy is an own goal". The Guardian. London.
  9. ^ "Beware: Rutger Hauer is Now a 'Hobo with a Shotgun' – Film School Rejects".
  10. ^ "HOBO WITH A SHOTGUN feature starts shooting Monday... and Quint knows who the movie Hobo will be!!!".
  11. ^ Jason Thibault. "MACHETE Gets a Release Date and HOBO WITH A SHOTGUN Starts Filming". Archived from the original on 2010-04-24.
  12. ^ "Sundance 2011: The Legend of Beaver Dam to Lead to a Hobo with a Shotgun".
  13. ^ "Hobo With a Shotgun". tribute.ca. Retrieved February 5, 2011.
  14. ^ "Hobo With a Shotgun – More Blood, More Heart Teaser". YouTube. Retrieved 2011-06-06.
  15. ^ "Interview: Rutger Hauer Talks Hobo with a Shotgun". Shockya.com. 2011-03-31. Retrieved 2011-06-06.
  16. ^ "Hobo With a Shotgun". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved November 8, 2018.

External links[edit]