Shotgun

Director: Addison Randall

USA - 1989

Hoff! Hoff! Hoff! Hoff!

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Upon their departure from an adult theater, Ian Jones and his friend Max are accosted by a plethora of prostitutes. Or would that be a herd of hookers? A triad of trollops? I guess it doesn't Insert Devo joke herematter – so anyway, a bevy of bimbos approach and ask, naturally, if the men would like "to party." (Perhaps I’m reading too much into this, but I have a sneaky suspicion that they were actually alluding to sex.) Though tempted by the offer, Max and Ian jokingly decline the sly proposition with a "maybe next time." But soon thereafter we discover that Max and Ian are actually cops! And ironically, the hookers know it! But hey, just because they're on opposite sides of the law that doesn't mean they can't indulge in the occasional ribbing. Do these guys know how to have fun, or what?

Anyway, not long after their buddies the police leave, one of the more popular hookers (popular as in friendly, you cads!), Rhonda, is propositioned by a john in a fancy car with flashy threads. They check into a motel, where the clerk offers them a key to the room and a complimentary condom. (Classy! Must be once of those high-falutin' five-star establishments.) The john snidely replies that he won't be needing said rubber - but Rhonda, being the responsible streetwalker, insists on the prophylactic. Say, that's a moral lesson I didn't pick up on before - perhaps I should subtract a Hoff to compensate the film's attempt at promoting safe sex.

Nah.

So they make their way to the room (the meter is running, you know), and Rhonda’s patron immediately excuses himself to slip into something a little more comfortable. And what "something a little more comfortable" translates into is a full-leather fetish jumpsuit, complete with a sporty mask and requisite whip toGreg Allman and Robert Townsend - They're cops! finish the ensemble. After being punched in the mouth, Rhonda politely informs her customer that in order to get rough there's going to be a heavy dividend in terms of financial compensation. And thus, the beating commences.

Surprisingly, outside the door we discover the aforementioned sharp-dressed john waiting patiently. Come to find out, the two gentleman have contrived a brilliant scheme: The flashy guy lures the hookers to the cheap motels with his Furious J-Crew Style (FJCS--Copyright, NOTC), and then, once settled in, the masked desperado takes over. Why Zipperface can't acquire his own prostitutes to beat up is beyond me - but to be quite honest, the majority of Shotgun exceeds comprehension anyway.

Eventually, the word on the streets gets back to Ian and Max that there is a "basher" in town. A basher being someone who roughs up hookers - this being the first of two glossary terms I learned from this film. Not only does our Dynamic Duo not like people messing with their solicitous friends, but come to find out, Ian has an even greater stake in this dilemma - for his live-in sister is also a hooker! Say, wasn’t this premise also used on "The Facts of Life"?

Now it’s time for an apology, for I'm about to divulge a huge plot twist: Ian's sister eventually meets up with the basher...and is killed! Never saw it coming, did you? Pushed over the edge, Ian resorts to roughneck methods (much to the disapproval of his perpetually angry police chief*) in an effort to obtain clues to his sister's murder, discover"Freeze jerky! Nobody escapes from *my* crappy movie!" the killer's identity, and carry out his own brand of justice.

Unfortunately, Ian's unconventional methods soon forces him to turn in his badge after accidentally smacking around an undercover police officer. Still determined to track down his sister's killer, Ian then becomes a bounty hunter - oops, I mean a "skip-tracer" - which, at least according to this movie, is the preferred title. Being an ex-cop, skip-tracing (?) comes naturally to Ian, and his no-nonsense approach to justice earns him the nickname "Shotgun Jones."

Will Shotgun avenge his sister’s death?

Will Shotgun ever become a cop again?

And finally, where can I get one of those keen leather outfits? Not for me, mind you. It's..uh..for a friend I know who really wants one.

As you may have already gathered, Shotgun is easily filed under the "So Bad, It’s Good" category. And even though most of the featured thespians do more than their fair share of sucking (figuratively speaking), I must emphasize that the joker they got to play Shotgun is the action hero equivalent of, say, Gilbert Gottfried.Max checks out Chris and Scott's video collection, "Hmmm..Night Eyes 1 and 2, the entire Porky's collection, Police Academy: Mission to Moscow..." I've seen homefries that are more intimidating. Not to mention the fact that he has a striking resemblance to Asbestos Felt.

So, if you like your action hot and heavy, laced with dramatic realism and a gritty integrity, you may as well skip Shotgun. PM Entertainment, the brains behind Shotgun, are not known for any of the aforementioned qualities. But if you like poorly choreographed action sequences, ludicrous dialogue, and villains of the ham variety - then buddy, this is your movie. A paint-by-numbers action film. Deposit brain at the door.

In summation, though it may seem redundant, allow me to reiterate that this is a must-see film. Seriously. Shotgun must be witnessed in order to be fully appreciated.

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These are the times of which to cherish...

And now, because I know you want them, the transcribed lyrics of the theme from Shotgun:

Nothing is sacred,

From those in 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!

(end chorus)

Bright lights in the night,

Bring out the shady dancer,

The coldness of the night,

Brings out the emptiness,

Yeah, yeah…

(repeat chorus, fade out)

Note to Self: Heaven forbid I evoke the wrath of "the shady dancer."

- Whenever Jones is in an action situation, be sure to listen for excerpts from his theme song. One scene in particular, when Jones is chasing his suspect on-foot through the city, you'll hear a sporadic, "Jones!" in the background. It really adds to the excitement.

"Jones!"

Honestly, does this guy strike you as an action hero who demands his own theme song? Does this guy even strike you as an action hero?!

"That Jones is a bad mother-"

"You shut your mouth!"

"I'm just talkin 'bout Jones!"

 

Doesn't appear to be available at Amazon.com. Sorry.

 

-- Copyright 2000 by J. Bannerman

 

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* I guess that's a job prerequisite for police chiefs; They must perpetually bitter, loud, and perhaps most importantly, ready to chew some ass at the drop of the hat. But along with the invariably angry police chief comes the loose-cannon cop whose methods may be unorthodox, and may not be "by the book" - but dammit, they get results!