Hobo Rutger Hauer arrives in some city or another, riding on the boxcars and looking for a better life. He doesn’t get it here, as the levels of crime and corruption are beyond even that shown on the streets of Robocop’s Detroit. Shops get looted, innocents sliced up and gunned down, heads yanked off with barbed wire nooses, children screamingly stolen and driven away with, school buses full of pupils set on fire, the chief of police is best buds with the chief of crime, and a man earns his living getting the homeless to make each other bleed on camera. In other words, it lives on that line where horribly repulsive and charmingly ludicrous meet – the place exploitation and grindhouse cinema made its home since its offal-covered birth.
The villains are so cartoonishly irredeemable, their multiple deaths by Rutger’s unusually powerful shotgun seem like a textbook lesson in criminal reform. His actorly presence in the film is at once inexplicable and in perfect sense. Let’s not just remember him for serious works like ‘Blade Runner’. Let’s raise a toast to shit like ‘The Salute of the Jugger’ as well. And let his legacy give central standing to ‘Hobo with a Shotgun’. God bless us, everyone.