Hobo With A Shotgun


Written by Chris Price
11 Monday 11th July 2011

It’s 90 minutes of oblique B-movie carnage, set in a dystopian nightmare paying homage to everyone from Jim Muro and Walter Hill to Peter Jackson along the way. Each scene curls off the screen, with a superb grizzly performance by Rutger Hauer as the ‘filthy homeless piece of shit’ who dishes it to the maniacal crime-boss Drake and his two homicidal sons in an effort to clean up the city. Hobo is brain dump of straight-to-video Troma fanboyism, carried off with such panache and exhuberance it's hard not to be swept up in charm of the ensuing bloody chaos. 

We snagged 10 minutes with director Eisener to talk about Hobo 2011.

How did this poster come about then?

I actually met the artist for the first time last night - he’s a British guy. When we set up the Hobo website ages back before the film was finished, this message came up on one of the forums with this guy saying ‘Hey, I love the trailer, I’m a illustrator, can I do some art for the movie...’ . Then a couple of days after I got another message saying I got bored the other day, and did this for the trailer, and that was it – his artwork is the one you see on the film.

Before this you’ve made several shorts – Treevenge, the original SXSW winning Hobo trailer. What’s the jump like from shorts to a feature film?

In pre-production, I was scared. I’m going to be working with my childhood hero Rutger Hauer and didn’t want to be a chump and all crazy. You’re working with these amazing artists and you want to be inspirational. Being a director on something like this you have to be on one hundred percent of the time. You get asked a million questions a day and you need to have an answer for them all. Being confident instills confidence in your crew. Rutger was immediately so awesome to work with, there was no ego. He did what I asked him to do, he’d bring ideas to the table. With this really young crew and cast, he was hanging out with us just like a kid. That's when a lot of those worries disappeared. After the first day, each day clicked into place and I was like, let’s do this.

Tell me about the showreel?

It was to quickly get the whole crew up to speed with what we envisaged Hobo to be. Random shots in the spirit of the movie we were making. Clips from Dead End Drive-In, my favourite movie The Warriors, The Exterminator, Cobra, and Audio Zeocon / Goodbye Mr Con. Vice Squad was a huge inspiration, Streets of Fire too. I always say I’m a film-fan first and film-maker second. When we go to a new city we always try and hunt out mom & pop stores for VHS.

Maybe even a bit of Final Fight’s Metro City?

Slick and Ivan are actually named after bad guys in a game called River City Ransom. I had pictures of the really bright backgrounds, oranges and reds and blues from Double Dragon 2, and gave this to my production designer too.

So the Grindhouse Tarantino/Rodriguez connection. Have you got Quentin on speed dial?

I only met Tarantino a couple of months before the film release. There were distributor talks of doing a ‘Tarantino presents…’ but I wanted to do it on my own.

You’ve used a new bit of technology during shooting…

Yeah, Red Mysterium X.

Sounds like some X-Men nonsense…

I know, it's a crazy name. It's a chip that's in the camera sensor, allowing you work in really low-light conditions, which was really useful as we didn’t need to hire out a massive lighting package to film – with this you can film under streetlight, and that was great to save on lighting.

How do you feel being saddled with the ‘exploitation’ movie tag? I mean it's hardly Guinea Pig or Cannibal Holocaust.

There’s nothing really exploiting in Hobo. Back home, when we have a couple of hours to spare and we’d have a few beers and then share Youtube clips. And after an evening of cool videos and crazy visuals and music you’d be totally wired with all these images in your head. Maybe it’s more about the exploitation of the viewer?

So what was the inspiration for putting the outro music from The Raccoons at the end of the movie?

Okay, so The Raccoons is a Canadian cartoon I grew up with in the 80s. I wanted an end song to wrap with the spirit of the movie, and have the excitement of the 13 year old within us. It’s pumping, lyrics are excited and revolutionary, screaming for you to ‘join us’. Raccoons is a really weird kids cartoon – The Drake is kinda like Cyril Sneer. It’s got these ideas that you’d think would be way over kids' heads, but we totally got it.  It's not a movie for kids, but when I was in school when we were kids we’d watch movies like Terminator 2, and then everyone would talk about scenes from the movie and totally over-exaggerate. That's the kinda movie I wanted Hobo to be.


If Eisener's goal with this film is to have kids reprimanded for quoting it in class then make that a reality get yourself and your baby siblings down to the cinema this weekend. Or just go anyway. Hobo With A Shotgun is out this Friday (15th July 2011) at Vue, Cineworld & other cinemas around the country.

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