It would seem that director Ryan Nicholson is on a mission to be crowned the undisputed king of trash exploitation cinema. His perverse and audacious offerings make the work of Troma and other like-minded miscreants look almost wholesome, in fact. His vile visions have a way of getting under your skin like an acute cancer you learn to accept, knowing the discomfort will thankfully only be temporary. Nicholson obviously has his tongue deeply in cheek when he's dredging ideas from the bottom of the cesspool and this approach has made his past efforts unpredictably entertaining. Unfortunately with Hanger the attempts at humor are far too juvenile and forced to have any impact, therefore it just kind of wallows in its own stale odors.
Now admittedly on the surface that might sound like good times; however, by the conclusion you can't help but feel that Hanger is a little too desperate in wanting to shock and offend. All the characters are very thinly etched and completely unlikable. The dialogue is very hit and miss with most of the jokes a good many rungs below sophomoric, often falling flat under the weight of wretchedness transpiring. It does have some crazy set-pieces and a nice bit of eye candy that helps digestion, but the entire affair comes off as more obnoxious than anything.
I certainly applaud Nicholson for making the kinds of films he wants to make, don't get me wrong. They've all been fearless celebrations of bad-taste and that's usually my kind of party. But Hanger just seems to try too hard for its own good. I look forward to the next amoral atrocity Nicholson brings to the screen, he's won me over as a film-maker to watch, but I suppose even I must set my standards a bit high on occasion. I do a lot of things high, actually, but I digress. Imaginative and outrageous though it may be, ultimately Hanger suffered from one major hiccup I couldn't ever get past no matter what my state of mind - general stupidity.
and the awards go to:
* Dan Ellis as "The John" who confides to Hanger in a moment of reflection "I thought I felt you kickin' on my dick one time and it gave me the willies, thought it best to leave it alone" - referring to his dead mother's money-slot
* Ronald Patrick Thompson as Leroy the Pimp who recalls to Rose "you wore this (dress) the first night I turned you out" before assaulting her and her unborn baby with a clothes hanger; then later asks The John "you ever heard of a Dirty Sanchez, motherfucker? Well this is a Dirty Leroy! This bitch ain't douched for days!" before letting Trashy share some of herself with him.
* Candice Lewald as naughty Nicole, the foreman's daughter, who strips down twice for some self-lovin' and when hearing someone peeping in on her through the window inquires, "Daddy, is that you again?"
* Ryan Nicholson, because at the very least he's composed one of the sleaziest and most bizarre films I've seen in some time. That alone might make it a minor masterpiece to some, what the hell do I know?