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Fans who attended the midnight screening of THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE (FIRST SEQUENCE) Saturday night at Montreal’s Fantasia film festival got a special treat: the world premiere of the new trailer for the Canadian exploitation extravaganza HOBO WITH A SHOTGUN—the first time actual footage from the film has been shown to an audience anywhere. Fango was there to witness it, and spoke to a couple of the film’s team as well.
The preview (which should be hitting the web soon) opens with Rutger Hauer, in the title role, peering into a hospital nursery, intoning about how life is unlikely to treat them fairly, and that “you might wind up like me—a hobo with a shotgun.” There follows an orgy of violent, over-the-top imagery (colorfully lensed by Karim Hussain, and including one memorable decapitation) that had the packed house roaring its approval. HOBO WITH A SHOTGUN (which we last reported on here), quite simply, looks like it’s gonna be a B-movie fan’s wet dream.
HOBO WITH A SHOTGUN was expanded by director Jason Eisener, producer Rob Cotterill and screenwriter John Davies from their GRINDHOUSE trailer contest winner, and the producer notes that a blueprint for a feature-length version already existed when they created their faux preview. “When we made that, we were like, ‘How do we make a trailer for a film that doesn’t exist?’ ” Cotterill tells Fango. “We decided that we needed to come up with a flow chart for the movie, from beginning to end, and then just film the best parts. So that’s basically what we did. We used that and the trailer as templates for the feature, and had to fill in all the gaps. It was kind of hard, because we wanted to keep the scenes that fans of the trailer really enjoyed, so a lot of those are in the movie; some are identical, and some are a little different.”
The result, he says, is “a throwback to vigilante exploitation movies. The title kind of says it all. It’s about this guy who comes into a town that’s ruled by a criminal element. He’s got absolutely nothing, but he takes it upon himself to show this town that some things are worth fighting for, and that you can effect change—in nasty and violent ways. Sometimes change isn’t peaceful.”
Indeed it isn’t—but apparently there were no conflicts with the film’s backers regarding HOBO WITH A SHOTGUN’s extreme levels of brutality and bloodshed. “There were no limits,” Cotterill says. “When we were trying to get financing, there were a couple of scenes that freaked some people out, and that they were sketchy about. But when it came down to it, and the creative vs. financing came to a head, Niv [Fichman, from producing entity Rhombus Media] really went to bat for us and said, ‘This is the movie, this is what it’s about.’ ”
“It was incredible,” Hussain adds, “because I had just come off a movie where there was extremely heavy involvement by the producers, and everything was a battle, and I was stunned that on a movie on this level, they were so cool and hands-off with it. The more violent we got, actually, the happier they seemed to be—it was insane. They were thrilled, they loved it! In fact, I think the thing was that as long as we didn’t have any penises in the movie, we could do whatever we wanted.”
“They let us make the movie we wanted to make,” Cotterill adds. “It’s funny—I was working on a TV show with [PONTYPOOL director] Bruce McDonald, and I gave him the script to read, and he said, ‘If you guys get to make this movie, you’re gonna pull off the swindle of the century’ [laughs]. “It’s amazing how it happened—we’re just really lucky.”
Fango will be bringing you lots more on HOBO WITH A SHOTGUN as it nears completion and release. You can see the film’s official website here.
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