- 1 hr 39 min
Handgun is a 1983 American action-thriller movie directed by Tony Garnett, and starring Karen Young, Clayton Day, and Suzie Humphreys. This gritty, low-budget tale follows Andrea Rushton (Karen Young), a traumatized young woman who flees from an abusive marriage in New York City and heads west to San Diego in search of a fresh start. But her nightmare is far from over as she becomes enmeshed in the dangerous underworld of sex and drugs.
The movie starts with Andrea's husband leaving her home alone with a handgun that he believes is unloaded. Andrea, in a moment of desperation and despair, attempts to shoot herself but is unable to pull the trigger. After this, she immediately packs a bag and runs away from her dangerous husband. The story then shifts to San Diego, where Andrea leaves her past life behind and begins a new life under a different name.
She finds work as a waitress at a diner, where she meets an ex-marine named Chris (Clayton Day), who becomes her close friend and confidant. However, her peaceful existence in San Diego is soon disrupted when she learns that her husband has tracked her down and is coming for her.
As Andrea's fear mounts, she discovers that Chris is not the man she thought he was, and that he has a dark past that he is trying to hide. Meanwhile, she is also drawn into the world of drugs and prostitution when she is accidentally witness to a drug deal gone wrong. She finds herself playing a dangerous game when she realizes that the police are not on her side, and she must fight to protect herself from those who want to harm her.
Mixed with intense suspense and gritty realism, Handgun explores themes of domestic violence, personal trauma, drug addiction, and the harsh realities of life on the streets. Karen Young delivers a powerful performance as a woman who is struggling to reclaim her life and assert her independence after years of abuse. Clayton Day and Suzie Humphreys both deliver excellent performances as well, rounding out a strong central cast.
The movie also benefits from its unique visual style, with Tony Garnett using handheld cameras and natural lighting to create a sense of intimacy and urgency. The movie's gritty, low-budget aesthetics work in its favor, giving it a raw, authentic feel that perfectly captures the world of San Diego's underbelly.
In conclusion, Handgun is a gripping, bleak, and unflinching thriller that delivers a powerful message about the challenges of surviving in a world filled with violence and trauma. The movie's strong script, direction, and performances make it a must-see for fans of gritty crime dramas.