The Disney+ Ultra-Violent Crime Cult Classic Is One Of The Craziest Movies Ever Made

By Zack Zagranis | Published

If you’ve ever wondered what the unholy union of grindhouse cinema, Canada, and firearms would spawn, wonder no more! Hobo with a Shotgun is a wacked-out, unapologetic, fever dream of a movie full of ultraviolence and black humor. Just be warned, this movie is not for the faint of heart—or the weak of stomach.

Rutger Hauer Is The Hobo With A Shotgun

The plot of Hobo with a Shotgun is a simple one. A transient, played by the late Rutger Hauer, arrives in a city full of crime and corruption with nothing but the clothes on his back. After doing some degrading acts for money, Hauer’s nameless hobo buys a shotgun from a local pawn shop and begins cleaning up the town, one shotgun blast at a time.

Began As A Quentin Tarantino/Robert Rodriguez Fake Trailer

The movie started out as a fake trailer director Jason Eisener submitted to Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez for inclusion in their Grindhouse double feature from 2007. Hobo was part of a series of fake trailers shown in between Planet Terror and Death Proof. Other trailers included Edgar Wright’s faux slasher Don’t, Eli Roth’s Thanksgiving, and Rodriguez’s own Machete—the last two, like Hobo, eventually became full-fledged feature-length films.

Shooting The Film

Eisener began shooting the movie version of Hobo with a Shotgun in April 2010. The entire movie was shot in 26 days. Despite being shot entirely with a handheld digital camera, heavy post-processing was done to the movie in an effort to make it resemble something shot on film in the ’70s.

Originally, David Brunt, the actor who played the Hobo for the Grindhouse trailer, was set to reprise his role for the feature film version. Brunt was so scared of carrying a whole movie, however, that he disappeared for a few weeks with no explanation whatsoever. When the crew finally found him, he admitted that his anxiety over the part caused him to bolt. Brunt was instead given a much more manageable cameo as a police officer instead.

Jake The Snake’s Near Involvement

For the role of the Hobo with a Shotgun‘s main antagonist, a crimelord known as “The Drake,” Jason Eisener originally wanted professional wrestler Jake “The Snake” Roberts. When Roberts proved to be unavailable, Canadian character actor Brian Downey was brought in instead.

The Plague

Perhaps the most interesting part of Hobo with a Shotgun is The Plague. The Plague is a duo of contract bounty hunters/hitmen named Rip and Grinder. They wear head-to-toe black medieval-style armor and are alleged to be thousands of years old and possibly demons? The movie also hints that they were responsible for the death of Jesus Christ.In fact, the duo has a very particular hitlist with several prominent historical figures on it. The complete list reads The Hobo, Abraham Lincoln, Jesus Christ, Joan of Arc, and The Easter Bunny. What’s odd about The Plague’s inclusion in Hobo with a Shotgun is their seemingly supernatural nature.The movie is an over-the-top gorefest, but The Plague is the only aspect of the Hobo with a Shotgun that crosses over into the realm of fantasy. Not that we’re complaining. The scene in the film where The Plague pursues the Hobo through a hospital is worth the price of admission alone.

Mixed Reviews

Hobo with a Shotgun was released to Canadian theaters on March 25, 2011, with an American release following on May 6, 2011. The movie was released simultaneously on VOD through services such as Xbox Live, PlayStation Network, and iTunes. Hobo failed to break a million dollars worldwide, grossing only $ 834,953 in total.Upon its release, Hobo with a Shotgun was met with mixed-to-positive reviews. One reviewer said that the movie wasn’t “subtle” or “terribly smart” but that as a “gleefully gory homage to low-budget exploitation films,” the movie packed “plenty of firepower.” Another reviewer for NPR called the film “Nothing more (or less) than the red-meat feeding of a feral midnight-movie audience” and “just raw sensation, built on shocks that keep topping themselves for cartoonish grotesquerie.”

Stream The Movie Under The Hulu Tab On Disney+

Hobo with a Shotgun is considered a cult classic today, and rightly so. If you’re looking for a movie with one of the most accurate titles in all of cinema, you really can’t go wrong with Hobo with a Shotgun. The movie is available to stream right now on Disney+ through the app’s Hulu section. Just be aware that Disney+ with Hulu built-in is still in beta and requires a subscription to both services.