LEXX finished it’s run in 2002. But life went on for everyone, and in 2011, Brian Downey, star of LEXX, got back together with Rutger Hauer, who had starred with Brian in the LEXX movie, Eating Pattern for a rematch – this was Hobo With a Shotgun.
The story behind the story is appropriately LEXXish. Jason Eisener and John Davies were a couple of local film makers with a wicket sense of fun, they liked gross and over the top.
Around 2007, Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez were collaborating on a film project called Grindhouse, a tribute to the old B-Movies, Drive-In features, and gritty downtown moviehouses of the 1970’s. They were going all out, so not only were their movies cheesy and over the top, the films were full of scratches, burn marks and even a missing reel. As part of that grindhouse experience, they decided to run it with a series of cheesy b-movie trailers.
Robert Rodriguez created his own trailer for Machete, starring Danny Trejo, which eventually spun off into a pair of films, Machete and Machete Kills. Eli Roth who had done the Cabin Fever movies did a slasher trailer called Thanksgiving. Edgar Wright, known for Ant-Man and Scott Pilgrim, did a britsploitation called Don’t. Even Rob Zombie came in with Werewolf Women of the SS.
Rodriguez even held a grindhouse trailer contest at his South by Southwest film festival. The winners were Davies and Eisener, with the fake trailer for Hobo With a Shotgun in 2007. It ended up playing with the Tarantino Rodriguez movie in Canada.
You can find the fake trailer on youtube:
Well, apparently, it wasn’t just an award winning trailer. Within a few years, they were making a movie.
That’s not unheard of. Often film makers, when trying to sell a film or series concept will do a short, shoot some footage, make a trailer, in order to interest investors.
Way back in the early 1960’s, Ed Wood managed to turn a short reel of Bela Lugosi into Plan Nine from Outer Space.
In the exploitation days, guys like Roger Corman or Fred Olen Ray would launch movies based on trailers, short reels, or even a movie poster.
LEXX itself began life as a four minute short scene with some CGI starring Brian Downey called the Dark Zone.
So Hobo With a Shotgun carried on with this grand tradition.
Shot in Halifax, Nova Scotia, the old stomping grounds of LEXX, there are a lot of familiar faces. In addition to Brian Downey and Rutger Hauer, we see Jeremy Akerman, a Salter Street Regular, Andre Haines, from Lafftrack, Girltown and Brigadoom, Mark Owen. Molly Dunsworth, daughter of LEXX regular John Dunsworth appears as the female lead. Rob Wells, from Nova Scotia’s other cult series, Trailer Park Boys makes an appearance.
The story: Rutger Hauer, playing the nameless Hobo, wanders into a town. Mistakenly thinking it’s a nice place, he dreams of buying a lawn mower and making an honest living doing yardwork for people. Unfortunately, the town is under the control of a sadistic crime lord, the Drake, played by Brian Downey! The Drake, together with his two sons, Slick and Ivan, go on a rampage of terror, killing newscasters, burning school buses full of children, and being very bad guys. The only one that dares to stand up to them is Rutger Hauer’s nameless hobo, who trades in his lawn mower for a shotgun.
Here’s the trailer for the real movie:
Rutger Hauer is always a fun presence, and here his hobo isn’t too far removed from the amiable King Bog from Eating Pattern.
The real fun of the movie comes with Brian Downey, the Drake, a character a million miles away from Stanley Tweedle. The Drake is gleefully ruthless, wreaking mayhem wherever he goes. The Drake is pure evil, and never lets up for a second. Brian is just terrific to watch.
Hobo With a Shotgun, in addition to the welcome reunion of Brian Downey and Rutger Hauer, is full of the insane, madcap inventiveness that we came to know and love with LEXX. If you haven’t seen it, then you desperately need to check it out.
Welcome to the Drake Show….
(PS – Not safe for Children)