Saturday, January 2, 2010
Director: Ryan Nicholson
Writers: Ryan Nicholson and Patrick Coble
Starring Debbie Rochon, Dan Ellis, Nathan Dashwood, Ronald Patrick Thompson, Lloyd Kaufman, Wade Gibb, Randy Jones, Alastair Gamble, Rochelle Lynn-Jones and Michele Grady
I have been a fan of Ryan Nicholson's work ever since I first saw the delightfully sleazy Gutterballs. So, when I heard about Hanger and its plot I had to seek it out. It is a film that revels in bad taste and if you are not a fan of genre films that wallow in that sort of thing this is not the film for you. The closest comparison to another movie I can come up with is Ilsa, She Wolf of the SS. It has that level of bad taste and having no boundaries and that is why I so thoroughly enjoyed it so much. The idea of a aborted fetus surviving and growing up to seek revenge is just too good to pas up. The whole film is a delight to watch, with some great performances by Rochon and Kaufman in small but vital parts. Dashwood is great as the aptly named Hanger and the film would not be half as entertaining if it did not have Gibb as Russell, he really cracked me up throughout much of the film. This film also reminds me a lot of Street Trash, as it deals with the denizens of the city that are cast aside and ignored and it has some of the over the top craziness that it has as well.
The plot basics are this, Rose (Rochon) is a prostitute for a pimp named Leroy (Thompson) and he is pissed that she is pregnant and not making him the money he wants, so he decides to abort the baby himself with a hanger. Somehow, the fetus survives while Rose dies. The fetus is named Hanger (Dashwood) and grows up being raised by a bum, until one of the john's (Ellis) finds Hanger and tells him about what happened to his mother and they plot a plan of retribution and revenge. While plotting the destruction of Leroy Hanger goes to work at a junk yard where he becomes friends with Russell (Gibbs), who teaches him the way things are around there and introduces him to drugs and porn. While the john, goes on his manhunt for Leroy and his prostitute accomplices. This all leads to a bloody shootout with everyone the worse for wear afterwards.
This was a very well done film. Nicholson's direction has a very grainy, almost documentary feel to the subject. The way it is filmed reminds me of some reality show, just never the kind you would actually see on TV. He uses the locale of the junkyard to great effect. The script is quite good too, with the best characterizations going to Russell and the John. Russell has the best lines in the film and is hysterical to watch throughout the film. Especially during his tampon tea bagging scene. That was just too much, but you could not look away. The cast is very good, with small but essential roles played by Kaufman and Rochon. Ellis as the John is very good and really has a Charles Bronson vibe to his acting method. Biggs as Russell is the star of the film in my book though, as he steals any scene he is in. Dashwood as Hanger does a splendid job too, with all the prosthetics he has to wear, the viewer can really feel what he is going through during the entire film. The SFX and effects are very good as well. The killing of the prostitute when Hanger tries to get laid is one of my personal favorites. So over the top, but yet so much fun to watch. The look of Hanger is quite grotesque and really works well within the film. With each movie I look more and more forward to what Nicholson will do next. If you have a strong constitution and love sleazy exploitation films, definitely seek this film out.
This one gets 5 out of 5