May 30, 2017

Hobo With a Shotgun lives up to SXSW hype

By Sean O’Connell Surreal.

That’s the best – and perhaps the only – way to describe the South By Southwest midnight premiere of Jason Eisener’s “Hobo With a Shotgun” at the Alamo Ritz Tuesday night.

One of the hottest tickets at the fest, “Hobo” started with director Eisner emerging from a trash can, played to a raucous crowd, and let out long after 2 a.m. to what looked like SXSW-inspired Armageddon on Sixth Street.

But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Did we mention the homeless man who burst into the theater’s lobby as audience members waited to enter the Alamo screening room? He proclaimed it said “Hobo” on the sign outside, and wanted to know where his seat would be.

Then there were the flashing ambulance lights filling the night sky outside the Ritz as police tried to break up the fights and anarchy spilling out of Austin’s rowdiest bars as SXSW patrons stumbled out after a long night of drinking. It felt, in a surreal way, like the desolate town created by Eisener for his exploitation flick had transported itself to Austin for the evening. I looked for a shotgun-wielding hobo, to no avail.

This morning, things were back to normal. I had a great conversation with Eisener on the porch of a downtown hotel, and I’ll get that up on the site shortly. In the meantime, here are some photos from the “Hobo” melee last night. This buzz title more than lived up to its hype.

There’s another screening of “Hobo With a Shotgun” at SXSW tonight. After that, it goes to VOD on April 1, and to theaters in May. More details on “Hobo” as they emerge, and our interview with Eisener momentarily.

“Hobo” director Jason Eisener minutes before his movie premieres at SXSW

“Hobo” already has a video game. This one was in the Ritz’s lobby.

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About Sean O'Connell

Sean O'Connell is a nationally recognized film critic. His reviews have been published in print ('The Washington Post,' 'USA Today') and online (AMC, MSN's Citysearch) since 1996. He's a weekly contributor to several national radio programs. He is a longstanding member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), and the Southeastern Film Critics View all articles by Sean O'Connell Association (SEFCA).

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