Shotgun (1989) from Tuna

"Shotgun, Shotgun, Shotgun Jones. He's lethal justice."

--- Chorus from the haunting love theme to Shotgun. ---


Shotgun (1985) is the stereotypical "tough cop runs afoul of Internal Affairs" story. While investigating the murder of his hooker sister, he is suspended, so he takes to the streets alone, and single-handedly ends all evil in the known universe for all time.

I suppose I should be a bit more specific about the plot details. Stuart Chapman and Riff Hutton are partners, and they're not popular with Internal Affairs because they tend to be a little heavy-handed. IAD finally gets enough on Chapman to get him suspended, so he becomes a bounty hunter. His partner, however, is promoted to Sergeant.

Meanwhile, a high-powered attorney simultaneously sets up his new drug headquarters in Mexico, and decides it would be amusing to beat the crap out of hookers. He has an employee solicit the women, then leaves them near death, at least until he gets to Stuart Chapman's sister, whom he kills. Big mistake. When the procurer skips bail and Chapman's ex-partner is killed, our hero collects a friend, builds an armored assault vehicle, and heads for Mexico to kick some ass.

Had I investigated this actioner, I wouldn't have purchased it. Not only is the plot less than imaginative, but it features some of the worst acting I have ever seen. The bottom-crawling IMDb score of 3.1 is low, but not nearly low enough. It is artificially inflated by high scores from those that see this as one of the worst films ever made, and consider that a good thing! The comments include verbiage like, "So ungodly bad it's actually brilliant," and 30% of the voters gave it 10/10! That tells you everything you need to know about the film.


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Rhonda Gray and Donna Ball show breasts as two of the abused hookers.

The Critics Vote ...

  • No major reviews on file.


The People Vote ...

The meaning of the IMDb score: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence equivalent to about three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, comparable to approximately two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, equivalent to about a two star rating from the critics, or a C- from our system. Films rated below five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film - this score is roughly equivalent to one and a half stars from the critics or a D on our scale. (Possibly even less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

Our own guideline:

  • A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre.
  • B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. Any film rated B- or better is recommended for just about anyone. In order to rate at least a B-, a film should be both a critical and commercial success. Exceptions: (1) We will occasionally rate a film B- with good popular acceptance and bad reviews, if we believe the critics have severely underrated a film. (2) We may also assign a B- or better to a well-reviewed film which did not do well at the box office if we feel that the fault lay in the marketing of the film, and that the film might have been a hit if people had known about it. (Like, for example, The Waterdance.)
  • C+ means it has no crossover appeal, but will be considered excellent by people who enjoy this kind of movie. If this is your kind of movie, a C+ and an A are indistinguishable to you.
  • C means it is competent, but uninspired genre fare. People who like this kind of movie will think it satisfactory. Others probably will not.
  • C- indicates that it we found it to be a poor movie, but genre addicts find it watchable. Any film rated C- or better is recommended for fans of that type of film, but films with this rating should be approached with caution by mainstream audiences, who may find them incompetent or repulsive or both. If this is NOT your kind of movie, a C- and an E are indistinguishable to you.
  • D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. We don't score films below C- that often, because we like movies and we think that most of them have at least a solid niche audience. Now that you know that, you should have serious reservations about any movie below C-. Films rated below C- generally have both bad reviews and poor popular acceptance.
  • E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre.
  • F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.


Based on this description, well, take your choice on the grade. As a police actioner, it is an E. As a "bad movie to watch with wasted friends," this film is a C+.

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