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Hunter Review

February 6, 2019 | Posted by Bryan Kristopowitz
Hunter Jason Kellerman
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Hunter Review  

Hunter Review

Jason Kellerman– Hunter
Rachel Cerda– Danni
Nick Searcy– Volakas
Ryan Heindl– Luke
Leigh Foster– Paul
Beau Forbes– Peter

(check out the rest of the cast here)

Directed by David Tarleton
Screenplay by Jason Kellerman

Distributed by Random Media

Not Rated
Runtime– 90 minutes


Hunter, directed by David Tarleton, is a new low budget action horror flick that has the potential to be a worthwhile low budget franchise. Set to hit all on demand digital platforms on February 12th, 2019, the movie stars Jason Kellerman as Hunter (Kellerman also wrote the movie’s screenplay), a homeless former MMA fighter seemingly at the end of his rope on the mean streets of Chicago. Still distraught almost a year after watching his mother and young sister die at the hands of a mysterious gang of psychopaths, he ends up in a homeless shelter where he has to talk with a social worker named Danni (Rachel Cerda) in order to stay there. Hunter really doesn’t want to talk to Danni. Hunter just wants to get something eat, maybe take a shower, get some clean clothes, and then move on with his life. Danni insists, though. After some cajoling and whatnot, Danni eventually gets Hunter to open up. His story isn’t pretty.

While all of that is going on, the gang of psychopaths that killed Hunter’s family, led by the creepy as hell Volakas (Nick Searcy), are still operating in Chicago, and forcing the troubled young man Luke (Ryan Heindl) to find potential victims for the group. It’s a messed up situation that Luke struggles with because, well, the whole process of finding victims is soul killing and just awful. Luke keeps doing it, though. He can’t find a way out.

And so that, essentially, is the core of what’s going on with Hunter. It helps set the stage for potential further stories in this dark world where innocent people can be killed at random for no reason beyond being targeted by Volakas, something that you will want to see when Hunter is finished.

What I found most interesting about Hunter is how it takes its time getting to where it wants to go but never seems like it’s padding out its running time. You don’t even really know that it’s a horror movie until Volakas show up. Until then it seems more like a small, personal drama about a homeless guy trying to figure out what happened to his life. Yes, there’s some action stuff/fighting stuff there when we see Hunter kicking ass and getting his ass kicked, but once we leave the cage and we find out that Hunter’s life was turned upside down, I thought Hunter was going to be a drama more than anything else. Hunter has problems and he needs to work them out with a social worker. We’ve all seen that movie or TV show before. But then, as the movie progresses further and Nick Searcy shows up, the movie is about “real” human problems and a gang of killer psychos. How often do we see that?

Hunter also has a melancholy to it that could have made the story unbearable but didn’t. That’s mostly due to the presence of Rachel Cerda, as her plucky social worker/grad student character Danni. She’s interested in helping Hunter figure out how to improve his life and get off the streets. Yes, she ends up falling for him, but then Hunter is pretty cool and charismatic. I’d imagine that anyone would fall for the guy. Still, her positivity is infectiousness, and she helps make a grim story a little less dark.

When it comes to both the action and the horror, it’s all restrained and well done. The fight scenes are rough and brutal, but not all that bloody. Things do start to get bloody when we know what’s going on with the psychos, and I have to say that director Tarleton knows how to get nasty when the story calls for it. Could he have gotten nastier? Absolutely. But then perhaps everyone involved is going to unleash all that in Hunter part 2.

Now, I can’t reveal what the psycho killers actually are, as finding that out is part of the fun of the movie. The psychos aren’t anything we haven’t seen before, but the way the truth is revealed is well done and unsettling. It also makes you wonder just how many of them there are out there. And how long have they been out there? Pretty freaky to think about.

Kellerman does a great job as Hunter. He’s got the necessary look and attitude for the part, both the acting part and the action part. At first, he doesn’t seem like he could be an action guy. When you see him in the ring, though, and then later in his trench coat and wielding dual knives, Hunter is a total badass that is not to be messed with. Kellerman also handles Hunter’s emotional breakdown well, and, well, it shows that Kellerman is a multi-threat artist when it comes to movies. He can do anything.


Nick Searcy looks like he’s having a ball as Volakas, one of the slimiest villains in recent memory. Along with his scumbag henchmen Peter (Beau Forbes) and Paul (Leigh Foster), Volakas is smooth decadence. From his limo to his demeanor to his accent, you just want to see him go down and go down hard. He’s that kind of villain.

Ryan Heindl does a decent job as Luke. The movie could have easily been about him and the choices he has to make while “working” for Volakas and the psycho outfit. I’m glad Hunter wasn’t about him, though. I’m sure it would have been entertaining, but I doubt it would have been as entertaining. It definitely would have been more depressing.

Hunter ends with the promise of more to come, and that absolutely needs to happen. So, please, if you’re a fan of well made, exciting low budget horror flicks, Hunter is the movie that you need to see. Be sure to check it out when it hits all digital video on demand platform starting February 12th, 2019. It will be worth your time and money, no question about it.

See Hunter. See it, see it, see it.


So what do we have here?

Dead bodies: Around 10.

Explosions: None.

Nudity?: None.

Doobage: Slow motion ass kicking, blood wiping, multiple brutal beatings, booze drinking, multiple flashbacks, a bum fight, a homeless guy mugging another homeless guy, bloody knuckles, a locket, walking around in the snow and whatnot, dead body dumping, a homeless guy demolishing a Styrofoam tray full of food, a real lack of interest in corn, a shower, a walking around the city montage, a weird water vision, serious tape bondage, serious throat slitting, a biking and running chase, attempted stabbing, bar stuff, singing, more bondage, thumb slicing, glowing eyes, face slapping, an old house with special meaning, key dropping, a sex scene with a total lack of nudity, a fairly lame freak out, a bit of smelling, two knives hooey, gut stabbing, arm breaking, a vicious front kick, knife to the back, some very gross licking, knife up through the back, a loud scream, beating up a cop, attempted “suicide,” chair bondage, and the promise of more stories to come.

Kim Richards?: Big time.

Gratuitous: MMA stuff, homeless guy begging for money on the street, a tomato slicing flashback, an Illinois license plate, Nick Searcy, “chuckles,” sad flashbacks, “You don’t know your past!,” a scarf, cop stuff, and the promise of more stories to come.

Best lines: “Hey, watch out for the headliner. He’s big and stupid,” “Just go, man, you don’t want trouble,” “What happened to your hands?,” “I just want food and a bed,” “Isn’t there anybody else that works here?,” “I don’t want to talk about this,” “Don’t be rude to Paul. Sit,” “Did you know there were over 700 murders last year in Chicago?,” “Did homeless people kill your family?,” “Can I help you? No,” “What’s with the tattoo?,” “Are you, uh, lonely?,” “What do you think Eric would say if he had the chance?,” “Why would you confront something just because you’re afraid of it?,” “Trust me. You’re helping,” “I’m da boss,” “Why does it have to be like this?,” “I’m attracted to dangerous men because I’m self-destructive. And that is why this happened,” “Just smile,” “It certainly does look like we’re going to kill someone here,” “Quiet. This may not concern us,” “Hunter! Who the fuck is Hunter?,” “You are a fighter. Oh, yes, that’s what I like about you,” “Want to heat a joke? Just die!,” “From violence, grace. From death, new life. Kill them all,” and “She was right. It is better when you talk about it.”

The final score: review Very Good
The 411
Hunter is a well-made low budget action horror flick that fans of those kinds of movies need to see. With top notch direction from David Tarleton and a winning star performance from Jason Kellerman, Hunter is, hopefully, the start of a new low budget horror franchise, something the world is always in the need of. Nick Searcy also does a great job as one of the nastier, slimier villains in recent memory (he will make your skin crawl). Make sure to check it out starting February 12th, 2019, when it hits all digital video on demand platforms. Hunter rocks.

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Hunter, Bryan Kristopowitz