Hanger – movie review

Wow, some days it just doesn’t pay to be a movie reviewer (not that it pays per se, but whatever) because brother, some days you just can’t win. I have said it before, and say it again – I will always admire anyone brave and foolish enough to try to do anything in the arts because the odds of ‘making it big’ or at least making it SOMETHING are hard set against you but just because I respect you doesn’t mean I have to respect your work. And wow is this a terrible film. I can appreciate what they were trying to do but that doesn’t make me like it any more.

Hanger begins happily enough with a pregnant prostitute planning for a life beyond ‘the game’, alas, things don’t work out so well for her. When her pimp finds out that she isn’t getting as much play because of her baby bump he decides it’s time to rid her of that problem, which leads to a very nasty abortion that kills the mother and all but kills the child. Flash ahead several years and the baby is grown and has been raised by his father, the ‘john’ that had impregnated his mother. Hanger is on the verge of manhood and good old daddy wants to make him a man but when a lady of the evening spurns the scarred and monstrous looking Hanger daddy decides it is time to get the boy working at a job, where he makes a friend that is just as ugly but far more depraved than the simple Hanger. While work is a distraction, and lusting for women is all well and good, what Hanger really wants is revenge on the man that killed his mother, a man that his father also wants nothing more from than to see dead. Together, father and son will begin an odyssey of bloodshed that will not end until they or their target end up dead.

I wish I could say the film was as interesting and straight forward as my review, alas, I cannot. I should have known better as this is from the same director as the atrocious Gutterballs, and this is more of the same. There is so much over the top sex that comes so close to porn that it’s like he wants to bridge the gap between legit and porn films or cannot decide which he prefers. So yeah, lots of nudity, and lots of gore. The nudity is ok, the gore is meh. The makeup overall is passable but not good. The ‘fake’ Asian character they have (which is so awful and ridiculous that it almost has to be seen to be believed. Think Heston as a Mexican and you are half way to it) has the worst makeup that you’d swear that it was a slave from a GWAR show. The movie is a revenge film, which is fine, but the revenge is about, mainly, the vendetta the father and the pimp have for one another (and why it has lain dormant for I dunno, eighteen years, is beyond me), so Hanger and the rest of the cast are utterly secondary. Poor Hanger, he is essentially a tragic character but then will have moments of freak outs where he kills the hell out of someone. WHAT? How is that character development? For some reason he feels the need to try to pull non-existent babies from wombs. The best character there is, oddly enough, is the fake Asian, because he gets so many odd things to say (things that must be improv-ed) that he is the one thing keeping you hanging on. I mean, there’s a point where the sex and nudity is so needless and over the top that it is an utter distraction from an awful film.

But I get what they are trying to do.

They are trying to make a Troma movie. It is raunchy, it is weird, it is gross, but it is too mean spirited to be Troma. That was the thing that made their movies so different – they are silly, when all is said and done. At leas the movies Lloyd Kaufman makes. This has to much outright nastiness that the gross-outs don’t feel fun at all, and the sex doesn’t feel like a silly shock as much as, like I said, a distraction.

This sort of movie appeals to some people, to the people interested in the extremes of horror, good, bad, and indifferent, and on that end this delivers. This is over the top, to say the least. But is it good? Not at all. It would make an interesting ‘party’ film but beyond that there is little to draw you to it. Like I said, I admire people doing their thing, and it’s cool that they get this chance to get their work out and to get people some work, but, well, sometimes bad is just bad. And this is awful.

3 out of 10

Author: Chris Ringler

Writer, blogger, reviewer, artist, arts and cultural events coordinator, and semi-professional weirdo. Author of a heap of books from horror to fairy tale to kid's.

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