• Hanger (Unearthed Films) Blu-ray Review

    Released by: Unearthed Films
    Released on: July 6th, 2021.
    Director: Ryan Nicholson
    Cast: Debbie Rochon, Dan Ellis, Nathan Dashwood, Ronald Patrick Thompson, Lloyd Kaufman, Wade Gibb
    Year: 2009
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    Hanger – Movie Review:

    Directed by the late Ryan Nicholson from a script he co-wrote with Patrick Coble, 2009's Hanger opens with a scene where a small group of prostitutes are in a rundown room watching a Troma movie (the aged hooker of the group of Lloyd Kaufman in drag). Rose, one of the hookers, is visibly pregnant. A man, her pimp, busts into the room and threatens her and shortly after, she's given a very graphic back alley abortion with a coat hanger, the baby ripped from her stomach and tossed aside.

    Years later we learn that the baby has survived and now goes by the name Hanger (Nathan Dashwood). He's employed by his father and works with two mentally challenged and visibly deformed named Phil (Alastair Gamble) and Russell (Wade Gibb) at a scrap yard. As time passes, Hanger decides to head out and get revenge on the pimp who wronged his mother, and anyone else he deems worthy of punishment.

    What follows is essentially an over the top atrocity exhibition, complete with all of the deliberately crass and offensive humor, graphic sex and disgusting gore effects that Nicholson’s films have become known for since he first started directing in the early 2000s.

    Light on plot and storytelling but definitely high on shock value, Hanger is an hour and a half of fairly relentless nastiness that you shouldn’t take in the least bit seriously, lest you walk away completely offended by it all. The film, like much of his other work, intentionally pushes buttons and takes shots at people from all walks of life, meaning that there’s almost certainly something here to piss off pretty much anyone if you let it. If you’re of a stronger constitution, however, and are able to laugh at the ridiculousness of it all, Hanger can be pretty entertaining if you’re in the right mood for it.

    Most of the acting is less than amazing and the film was clearly made on a low budget with, presumably, most of the money that they did have to work with going to the effects set pieces. This was probably a wise moves on the part of Nicholson and his Plotdigger Films company, as the gore and, to a less extent the sex, are the main draws here. There are some pretty strong set pieces in the film, with a character getting beaten to death with a car door and another character getting fucked in their slashed open stomach. At one point a character removes a used tampon from a female only to make tea with it, a woman graphical masturbates using a Hello Kitty vibrator, and there’s a good amount of bile, jizz and vomit used throughout the film as well.

    You’ll want a shower when it’s all over and done with, but Nicholson knew what has fanbase wanted and with Hanger more so than the overrated Gutterballs, he delivered.

    Hanger – Blu-ray Review:

    Hanger comes to Blu-ray from Unearthed Films framed at 1.78.1 in AVC encoded 1080p high definition taking up 25GBS of space on the 50GB disc. Unearthed has put up a disclaimer that pops up on screen before the feature starts that reads: "All ghosting and compression artifacts are from the original digital master. This film is presented in its highest quality possible, warts and all." This was shot on digital HD back in 2009 and so the limitations of the source are going to be impossible to eliminate entirely. This transfer looks about as good as it probably can. Colors are reproduced well enough and black levels are okay despite some noticeable crush. The ghosting and artifacting called out in the disclaimer are definitely there, but this is a more than watchable presentation so long as you don’t go in expecting visual perfection.

    Audio options are provided in 16-bit English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio and 16-bit LPCM 2.0 Stereo tracks. The 5.1 track is the way to go here as it offer plenty of surround activity throughout. Bass response is pretty solid as well. No problems with any hiss or distortion to note and the levels are nicely balanced. There are no subtitles or alternate language options provided here.

    Extras start off with a commentary from Nicholson. He starts with an introduction and talks about the different hats that he wore on the production before then going on to talk about working with Debbie Rochon and Lloyd Kaufman, where some of the ideas for what happened in the movie came from, some of the effects work featured in the picture and how some of it works better than others, working with people who didn't necessarily have real film experience, how he doesn't like seeing himself on camera and doesn't consider himself an actor, some of the locations that were used in the film, the tight shooting schedule that they had, the dangers of using ripe crab meat in your film, how some people get upset when horror and porno are mixed and how he doesn't care, his own thoughts on pornography, the use of music in the film, trying to avoid overly campy moments and more. It's a pretty informative track.

    The disc also includes the XXX version of Hanger. This cut runs 1:30:07 and it features some bloody penetration shots in the rape scene that happens around the 1:18:00 mark that aren’t in the regular cut.

    is a twenty-minute featurette made up of interview clips with Nicholson, Gamble and a few others as well as behind the scenes footage. They talk about making the film as a Plotdigger Films production, getting the different cast members on board for the production, some of the effects and make up work, getting Alastair Gamble to play Filthy Phil, the use of prosthetics in the film, the use of humor in the film, the relationship that exists between certain characters in the film, shooting in Vancouver and lots more.

    The aptly titled Behind The Scenes Featurette is an hour and fifty-four-minutes in length and it is quite extensive. It starts with some rehearsal footage and then goes on to show certain scenes from the movie being shot. Along the way we get a look at Nicholson directing his cast and crew and we get a feel for what it was like on set. There's a lot of footage in here of people on set and notice that despite the extreme content of the feature that people are pretty relaxed and had a sense of humor about all of this.

    Dope To Hanger Yourself With: On Set With Lloyd Kaufman is a twelve-minute piece that humorously documents Kaufman's trip to Vancouver where he had agreed to help out on the set only to experience a 'life-changing' role once he got there.
    Deleted Scenes

    We also get six-minutes of deleted scenes and twenty-minutes of additional scenes. Most of this stuff is filler and it was clearly excised for a reason but there are a few interesting moments in here that make it worth checking out, including a fair bit more with Debbie Rochon’s character and some additional gore sequences that are kind of cool.

    Black On White Bred is a three-minute clip from the interracial porno movie featured in Hanger where the participants do some blow and then have sex.

    Rounding out the extras on the disc are a trailer for Hanger, trailers for a few other Unearthed Films releases (Gutterballs, Torched, Untold Story and A Serbian Film), a still gallery and a ninety-second blooper reel.

    Unearthed has made this release available as a standard single disc version containing everything mentioned above as well as a two-disc collector’s edition that includes a second disc housing over sixteen-hours of outtakes from the shoot. This material is broken up into five separate sections and if this isn’t everything that Nicholson shot for the feature it has to be damn close!

    Hanger – The Final Word:

    Fans of extreme horror and over the top sleaze and gore will find much to enjoy with Hanger, and Unearthed Films has really rolled out the red carpet for the film’s Blu-ray debut with an insane amount of extra features that do a great job of documenting its history and really letting fans get an inside look at its creation.

    Click on the images below for full sized Hanger Blu-ray screen caps!

    Comments 1 Comment
    1. Matt H.'s Avatar
      Matt H. -
      This may be Nicholson's masterpiece.