Kills on Wheels [Blu-ray]
Blu-ray A - America - Kino Lorber
Review written by and copyright: Eric Cotenas (28th January 2018).
The Film

Teenage disabled care facility roommates Zoli (Zoltán Fenyvesi) and Barba (Ádám Fekete) share a common interest in drawing and are working on a comic book project. While Barba is forever preoccupied by his shyness with girls – not at all helped by the overpowering body spray he thinks is cool – Zoli worries about the lifesaving surgery he needs to keep his internal organs from crushing each other and resents the fact that his mother Zita (Strangled's Mónika Balsai) wants to ask the father who walked out on them and started a new family in Germany for the money to pay for it. Zoli and Barba soon find inspiration for their comic in fellow resident Rupasov (Golden Life's Szabolcs Thuróczy), a fireman who fell through a burning floor and has just finished serving a prison sentence for drunkenly shooting a cop after his fiancé Évi (The Bridgeman's Lídia Danis) walked out on him. Gangster Rados (Dealer's Dusán Vitanovics) has hired him to take out his enemies, and wheelchair-bound Rupasov has the element of surprise. He takes on Barba as his driver and decides to take Zoli under his wing. While initially horrified when they watch him take out four henchmen who are shaking down Rados for money on behalf of heavily-protected rival Toni, Zoli sees an opportunity to pay for his operation himself while also channeling his resentment of his absent father while Barba is just along for the ride. While covertly surveilling Rupasov as he goes after Toni and his lawyer after a retaliation hit injuries him and kills one of his precious attack dogs, Rados sees Zoli and Barba and demands that Rupasov get rid of them permanently.

A blackly-comic crime film that combines the usual hitman scenario with the everyday lives of people with disabilities, the Hungarian Kills on Wheels from director Atilla Till is actually far less offensive than it sounds despite a couple sight gags involving catheters, heavy drinking, and the sex drives of "cripples" for comic relief. This is largely thanks to the restraint shown in the action set-pieces, the emphasis on the emotional lives of the characters, and the performances from the stoic Thuróczy (able-bodied in real life) to handling of non-actors Fenyvesi – a university student and volunteer at Suhanj! Fitness, a Hungarian gym with accommodation for people with disabilities – and Fekete who has a degree in dramaturgy and has written a couple short films. CGI bullet hits that would normally be dodgy are effective enough in a film in which the scenario may or may not be at least partially imagined or embellished in what turns out to be a roundabout coming of age tale with thankfully fewer live action to drawing and vice-versa transitions than one would expect from a more western take.

Video

Kino Lorber's single-layer 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 2.40:1 widescreen encode gets the job done with this Arri Alexa-photographed production, capably handling live action and the fine pencil strokes of the animated artwork.

Audio

Audio tracks include DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and 2.0 stereo tracks that utilize the surround field for gunplay, barking attack dogs, and music (as well as picking out the sound of motorized wheelchairs as a harbinger of doom during a hit set in a croweded public square). Optional English subtitle are provided.

Extras

Kino has included a handful of not exactly substantial extras. Three deleted scenes (7:35) include a longer prison introduction to Rupasov, another scene with Zoli and his mother, as well as Zoli and Barba arguing about their comic, while the making-of (6:26) is five short clip interviews with director Till and actors Thuróczy, Fenyvesi, Fekete, and Balsai. The film's trailer (1:47) is also included.

Overall

A blackly-comic crime film that combines the usual hitman scenario with the everyday lives of people with disabilities, the Hungarian Kills on Wheels is actually far less offensive than it sounds despite a couple sight gags involving catheters, heavy drinking, and the sex drives of "cripples" for comic relief.

 


DVD Compare is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program and the Amazon Europe S.a.r.l. Associates Programme, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.co.uk, amazon.com, amazon.ca, amazon.fr, and amazon.de.