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A brutal exploitation thriller with fascinating origins continues weaponizing its cult classic status

Pretty much the only winner from a disastrous experiment.

via Magnet Releasing

Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez’s Grindhouse ranks as one of the biggest failed cinematic experiments of the 21st Century, but the infamous box office bomb did at least work out very well in the long run for Danny Trejo’s Machete and Jason Eisener’s Hobo with a Shotgun.

The two best buddies and film nerds severely overestimated just how much the general public would share their enthusiasm for a throwback to the days of exploitation cinema, with the double feature separated by fake trailers earning a paltry $25 million at the box office on a $67 million budget, while Death Proof is widely regarded as Tarantino’s weakest feature by far.

via Magnet Releasing

On the other hand, Eisener won big by triumphing in a contest launched ahead of Grindhouse’s release to come up with an in-universe promo worthy of standing alongside the trailers shot by Rodriguez, Eli Roth, and Edgar Wright. His clip for Hobo with a Shotgun proved so popular that it ended up being transformed into a feature film, one that ended up landing an impressively robust 66 score on Rotten Tomatoes before becoming established as a cult classic in its own right.

The title tells you everything you need to know about the story, with Rutger Hauer starring in the title role as a vengeful vagrant who takes the law into his own hands in a city where chaos reigns. Unflinchingly violent, shockingly brutal, and unyieldingly gory, Hobo with a Shotgun excels because it knows precisely how ridiculous every element of its existence is, and leans hard into that fact.

As a result, Redditors are still celebrating the unbridled insanity on display a full decade and change after the movie’s initial release, even if its appeals are highly specialized to those with a fondness for batsh*t bonkers cinema.

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Scott Campbell

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