Saturday, 8 May 2010

SHOTGUN (1989) Stuart Chapin


Ian 'Shotgun' Jones & Max Billings are two of LA's toughest cops (although Ian is slightly tougher, hence the nickname) These cops casually spend their nightshifts chatting to prostitutes (hell, Ian's sister IS a prostitute) and can be usually found sat in their patrol car, shooting the shit. Whilst right under their noses, a sadistic lawyer, Fletcher Rivington (who's a dead ringer for Simon Le Bon) is using his friend, Rocker (no, i'm not making these names up) to lure prostitutes to seedy motels (actually, the same motel is used throughout the movie) and then perform a switch-a-roo, so that Rivington (dressed up in full bondage gear) can sadisticly beat them up (in fact the first victim, Rhonda, doesn't seem to mind, just as long as she's paid accordingly.)

Things get personal, however when Ians sister is murdered by the perverted lawyer, and Ian is not going to let his suspension for beating up an Internal Affairs investigator, nor his newfound job as a 'Bounty Hunter' (or 'Skip Tracer', as they like to be called nowadays) or Max's attempted murder, get in the way of 'Deadly-Justice'. So Jones tracks down his old army buddy, makes an armoured car, and heads down to Mexico, to find Rivington, and bring the 'Ruckas to all y'all muthaphuckaz'


SHOTGUN
is without a doubt, one of the most laugh-out loud movies ever made. The dialogue is ripe, the acting is resistible and the camerawork
attrocious, resulting in what looks like out-takes from a porno flick. PM Entertainment (who went on to do bigger, but not alltogether 'better' pictures) have spared every expense, and it actually works in their favour. For starters, you need only look at the lead actor:

(Ian 'Shotgun' Jones)

Stuart Chapin looks like
a cross bewtween Graham Chapman in 'Yellowbeard' and Mike Lackey (from 'Street Trash') than a tough guy (let alone, any kind of leading man) He tops off the whole 'derelict' look, with 'three-quarter length overcoats', vomitt-inducing jumpers, and 'large brimmed hats'. And Chapins acting range compliments his appearence. Note his (semi-drunken) lament, at his sisters murder:

Jones - "It's not supposed to go down like this (pause) I'm the one that's supposed to end up dead (pause) I'm a cop (pause) You don't kill a cops family (pause) You kill the cop (pause) She was the only blood relative i had (pause) She was a rebel and I was always getting her out of shit (pause) First year on the force, i roughed up a guy who's arrested her (pause) Figured he was too rough (pause) She kicked him in the nuts (sobs) I hated what she did (pause) But i loved who she was (pause) And more than anything else, i just wanted to be proud of her (pause) Sometimes, I'd come home from the shift and she'd make me some food, and i could tell she's been working all night (pause) and they'd always be a fight....... (looks up) Bartender, another!"


Max Billings (black sidekick, and slightly less crazier partner) fares little better in the acting stakes, his 'method' moment comes at 27:34, as he utters the line "OH I NEED A DRINK...OH CHRIST I NEED A DRINK!" (which easily surpasses Ryan O'Neals "Oh Man, Oh God, Oh Man, Oh God, Oh Man, Oh God!" line from TOUGH GUYS DON'T DANCE, as the worst overacting of all time)

(Billings looks on, as Shotgun gives his captain the 'Hershey Squirts')

(Fletcher Rivington, Lawyer, Pervert, Kinko and Basher and lead singer with Duran Duran)

The character of Fletcher Rivington is (however) a classic. Apart from looking like Simon LeBon, he also has a camp British accent (rounded off with a lisp) and his drawn out hokey "I'm rich, the law can't stop me" dialogue is a must for lovers of B-movies everwhere. James Cameron should spend $400m of his own money, and build a franchise around this character (he's that good)


Other secondary characters (who am I kidding, the primary characters rarely rise above secondary status, in this movie) are also a laughable hodge-podge of hoary old clich├ęs, starting with a bizarre (one-off) cameo of a guy (with little else in life, but an amazing beard) sat in a bar 'droppin-a-dime' on Rivington (or 'The Basher' as he's affectionately known)
Referred to, only as Dooley, this pudgy Kenny Rodgers wannabe, gives our two heroes the most useless information ever, about a prostitute who'd been bashed by 'The Kinko'

Dooley -
"You know Rhonda may be a hooker, but nobody deserves treatment like that....nobody......You nail that son of a bitch!"


Then there's Jones 'Skip Tracer' boss, Barbara Devlin (a slutty 80's 'Dynasty-wannabe' blonde who, like most women in this movie, are all over Shotgun like flies on shit.) After Shotgun completes the most informal (not to mention quickest) job interview ever, there are hints at a possible relationship between Shotgun and his boss. Sadly, nothing comes from it, but we can all enjoy the incendiary passion that emits from the screen (so hot, it threatens to burn it's viewers bedsit down!) in the few scenes they're together.

And not forgetting, sex boutique owner (and leather waistcoat wearing, crooked-teeth having, 'child pornographer') Joey. His lovable antics and cheery demeanor, add a lighter dimension to paedophillia (that you just don't get in George Clooney movies) He (like Dooley) is completely useless in the old 'Information' department. But Joey does however get TWO scenes in this movie*
(so three cheers for 'purveyours of the prepubescent')


At the climax, Shotgun runs off to the desert, and finds his old survivalist pal Sam (who you wouldn't expect to favour 'sandy' surroundings, as he looks more like a 'Village Person'.....if you get my drift?) and the two guys build an armoured veichle to take on Rivingtons mexican army. And after mucho catering for the boys (with it's non-stop action, acting and large brimmed hats) the movie decides to give the 'Female' viewers something back (for their enduring patience) in the form of a montage of Shotgun and Sam drilling, welding and (basically) sweating into their grubby vests. Short of gyrating their hips, this sequence is everthing a hot-blooded woman should need. Below is Sam (looking like a reject from Frankie Goes To Hollywood...if such a standard exists?)

And now it's Shotguns turn, to get in on the act, in this 'teasing' montage (for the 'Lady' folk)

(Shotgun has a brain for business...and a Bod for sin!)

And yet, despite the movies many (many) shortcomings, it's one of the most consistantly entertaining (unintentionally funny) movies ever.
It will rape your senses.

Oh yeah, and the faux-heavy metal signiture tune for this movie is (Benny) Hill(arious) Here's the lyrics, music lovers:

"Nothing is sacred from those with power"
"Destroying the lives of those they devour"
"They throw their hands up overlooking the law"
"As if they exist without a flaw"

(Chorus)
"You never burn out from being busted"
"Cause the shotgun of jones....Is deadly justice"
"Shot...Gun.....Shotgun........Jones!"

Movie Highlights


Too numerous to mention, although the chase sequence at 68:49 (Between Shotgun and Rocker) is a doozy (with Stuart Chapin exhibiting all the athletic prowess of a diarrhetic wino)

("How many stars out of ten, guys?")

(*= Although he is murdered in his second scene...so congratulations to 'The Daily Mail')

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