Nightshooters is the not quite most recent film by writer/director Marc Price (Colin, Dune Drifter). Filmed in 2018 and released in its UK homeland the same year it’s only now reaching North America for some reason. I can only imagine it has something to do with lawyers because there’s certainly no lack of quality or action in the film. And I’ve seen a hell of a lot worse films make their way across the Atlantic in the time since Nightshooters debuted.
Marshall (Adam McNab, The Summoner, Viking Siege) is shooting his latest no-budget epic Dawn of the Deadly when he gets a chance to shoot in an abandoned office building slated for demolition the next day.
So he’s pulling an all-nighter along with Harper (Doug Allen, Once Upon a Time in London), an action hero on the downside of his career and a small crew that includes stuntman Donnie (Jean-Paul Ly, 400 Bullets, The Prey), soundman Oddbod (Nicky Evans, Emmerdale Farm, Attack of the Adult Babies) and effects expert Ellie (Rosanna Hoult, Kill Your Friends, The Lobster).
In the building across the way mob boss, Tarker (Richard Sandling, School of the Damned, Soul Reaper) and his lieutenants O’Hara (Nicholas Aaron, Death Race 4: Beyond Anarchy) and Noodles (Ben Shafik, Devil’s Playground) are taking care of some business. Business that includes dousing a man in gasoline and setting him on fire. When he realizes there are witnesses the crew is going to have to put their skills to more practical uses if they want to survive.
Nightshooters is the story of two disparate groups having the worst day of their respective careers. A low budget film crew struggling to work in hellish conditions and an otherwise professional criminal gang out of their depth dealing with civilians.Marc Price
Nightshooters is an incredible showcase for Jean-Paul Ly both in front of the camera and behind it as the film’s fight coordinator. He carries the bulk of those fights himself versus Tarker’s small army of goons as well as Chilemba (Karanja Yorke, The Expendables 3, Gangs of London) and his assistants, expert killers called in by Tarker to do what his men can’t seem to get done.
Watching this it’s easy to see how Ly has gone from stunt work on web series like Street Fighter: Assassin’s Fist to films like Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw and The Batman in such a short time. And as he continues to get gigs as a fight coordinator on smaller films as well as acting roles he seems to have a future as an action hero.
The fights are well shot, exciting and frequently bloody. As are some of the other kills, frequently delivered by way of imaginatively improvised weapons and traps. Price also knows when to keep the violence off-screen and use sound for maximum effect. And, thanks to some well-written characters Nightshooters does deliver a few moments of emotional impact amidst the carnage, something I wasn’t really expecting.
There’s also a surprising amount of humour in Nightshooters, most of it quite dark as you might expect. Much of it cashes in on the villains being a mix of equal parts brutality and stupidity and the bloody results it brings. Not all of the jokes are tinged with blood however, like Harper’s comment “Scott Adkins? I was in a film with Scott Adkins, he punched me right in the face.”
Nightshooters is a great example of what a low-budget action film can, and should be more often. Fast-paced, bloody and taking itself seriously enough that the audience cares about the characters while still having a sense of humour.
Indiecan Entertainment will release Nightshooters in North America on digital and cable platforms beginning on November 2nd. You can check their website for more information. The film does have a Facebook page, but it hasn’t been updated since 2019.