Recently, I was introduced online to a film maker from Colorado named Mike Olafson. He was complimentary to my short film and told me he had a new feature that was completed. I was curious and saw the trailer to Hot Lead, Hard Fury. In turn, Mike was gracious enough to send a screener so I could see the full film. Glad to say that I watched it and can report this is a fantastic film, especially considering all the back story behind it.
The plot is… it is 1977 in a place called Steel City. There is a drug bust that goes bad and a few cops are wiped out. One of the dead is the brother of a former Steel City cop named Chuck Beefer, who has left town after something “bad” happened in his past. Now Chuck has returned to join a small team of people to weed out the crime mob responsible for this action and the distribution of a new drug called Voodoo Blue. Voodoo Blue is a combination off LSD and cocaine, which gives an incredible high but if used even in the most smallest dose, can cause immediate death. What happens afterwords is a journey of death, destruction, back stabbing, plot twists and a lot of Beefer.
Now my plot synopsis sounds like it has been done a million times before…and it has. The difference here is how the film makers (and include all people involved in this one) did it. The first big thing is the entire film is shot with a Super 8 camera with various qualities of film stock. That means it’s full screen 1:33 to 1 though most of it. The director really works with the limitation of the dimension very well and also throws you off when the screen will go 16 x 9 for excellent split screen action at points of the film. The action is also top notch, from the fight scenes to the car chases, it’s all done by some brazen and talented people. Many films try to get a “retro” look with varying degrees of success, but the use of Super 8 makes it actually look like it was made in the 1970’s. There is also some great arty type moments through that makes it looks less “standard”.
I felt the acting was strong with the massive cast they had for this 2 hour long action fest. The script is damn good though there is some cheese especially with the Chuck Beefer character. I did get tired of the wacky sound effects after a bit because the film is played pretty straight. I know it was intentional and I’ll take it for what it is worth. The gore from the violence goes from well done to Herschell Gordon Lewis territory… again I think that was the point and people are going to love it. I can’t believe they got some of the gun play and car chase scenes on the low budget they did this on. If I start on how great the film’s score is…I won’t stop. It’s solid.
Olafson and crew took the Colorado locations, which all look like it hasn’t changed since the 70’s, and ran with it. Hot Lead, Hard Fury is a great indie film that deserves to be seen and is inspiring. This looks like it was a lot of work with long hours to boot. I am not sure as of this writing how and when this will be distributed (there are screenings abound), it does deserve a full physical media release. You will want this one on the shelf for sure. Fiend ‘O’ Meter is a 9/10.