28th Jan2019

‘Nightshooters’ Review

by Phil Wheat

Stars: Adam McNab, Nicky Evans, Rosanna Hoult, Jean-Paul Ly, Richard Sandling, Kaitlyn Riordan, Mica Proctor, Nicholas Aaron, Ben Shafik, Doug Allen, Karanja Yorke, Marcus Shakesheff , Hung Dante Dong, Phil Deguara, Daisy Aitkens | Written and Directed by Marc Price

nightshooters-poster

Nightshooters, from writer/director Marc Price (Colin), is a non-stop action-thriller about a group of filmmakers who find themselves on the run from a violent mob of criminals, after witnessing a brutal gangland execution. Unable to escape their set, the hapless film crew must use their technical skill and cinematic knowledge to survive. As the hoods draw near to eradicate all witnesses, stunt man Donnie (Jean-Paul Ly) is forced to take his martial arts capabilities off script, putting his skills to practice for survival. The sound team resourcefully use their equipment to track their surroundings as the special effects guru disregards all the rules of set, abandoning safety to set lethal traps as the cat and mouse game of survival ensues!

It would be easy to say that Nightshooters is a UK version of The Raid. It would be easy, yes but it would also do a huge disservice to Marc Price’s superb genre-bending, genre-defying action-thriller, horror hybrid. For Price takes a variety of influences and combines them into a finished product that entertains from the get-go and thrills to the end. Oh, and it’s also ridiculously funny. It’s deeply black humour yes, but so, so VERY funny.

Opening in similar fashion to film festival darling One Cut of the Dead, Nightshooters soon takes a sharp turn into Rear Window style territory before kicking the action into high gear to deliver a film akin to 2012s Tower Block by way of The Raid (and, by extension, Dredd). I mention Tower Block as, like that film, Nightshooters is more of an ensemble piece – yes we have a character who can do all the kung-fu arse-kicking audiences love, but he’s not the only hero in this film. The entire film crew are the heroes – its them against the gangsters, not one man vs many enemies; and even when the protagonists aren’t as evenly matched as their criminal counerparts Price still manages to give them the one thing that makes a great filmic hero… heart.

Obviously the key selling point, if the artwork above is to be believed, is the appearance of Jean-Paul Ly as the butt-kicking protagonist of the film. But Ly is much more than that, he also worked on the films core fight scenes with choreographer Donovan Louie, supervising the action that – ultimately – is one of the true highlights of the film (just check out the knife fight that sees Ly go head-to-head with Axel, played Hung Dante Dong). Seriously the fight scenes truly are stunning, especially given the usual budgetary and logistic limitations of an independent production, with Ly pulling off some interesting, and visually stupefying action that should – in a fair and just world – catapult him to the major leagues bioth in front of, and behind, the camera.

In fact all involved in Nightshooters seem to be on top form, not just Ly. Comedian and VHS enthusiast Richard Sandling is brilliant as the contractor-come-gangster who sets his horde on the filmmaking crew; whilst former soap star Nicky Evans is just as great as Oddbod, the sound guy with not only a heart of gold but the heart for revenge, getting to let loose on the bad guys in devasting fashion. But then so does the rest of the cast, for our protagonists – unlike similar characters in US productions – all manage to hold their own and fight back in one way or another.

In the end Nightshooters is yet another brilliant film from writer/director Marc Price, whose gone from a £45 zombie film to low budget actioner with aplomb, proving that the Brits can do genre cinema just as good as anyone else!

Nightshooters is available on Blu-ray now.

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