Shotgun Stories Review

Shotgun Stories is a drama/thriller that debuted on the American big screen on March 26, 2008.

When the show opens, we are introduced to the eccentric oldest brother, Son Hayes (Michael Shannon, Boardwalk Empire), as he prepares to tell his youngest brother, Kid (Barlow Jacobs), the news about his wife, Annie (Glenda Pannell). Son phlegmatically offers him to leave his tent and move into the house with him, now that Annie is gone. They head over to where the other brother, Boy (Douglas Ligon), is camping out in his van near a lake, to ask him to join them, he reluctantly refuses the offer, but eventually agrees to move in with Kid and Son. 

Son and kid are employed at the local fish farm, while Boy just tinkers around with a middle school basketball team. Son is notified by his abhorrent mother that their father has died and his second family has planned a funeral service for him. Son, the leader, decides that they should pay their father a visit and tell his new family what kind of man their father truly was.

Son rudely interrupts the funeral and gives a short speech about how his father abandoned them when they were young. He spits on the casket and is immediately attacked and threatened by Stephen (Lynnsee Provence), Cleaman (Michael Abbott, Jr.), and Mark (Travis Smith). This erupts into a family feud that is definitely going to end badly.

The second set of children do not seem to hold the same feelings as the three older Hayes boys; this is probably due to the father having still been in their lives, upon his death. Also, he had evidentially did a 360 degree turn around before they were born or at least, until they were old enough to remember. Son remembers him as a drunk and an absentee father. He left no valuable impact on their lives. 

Kid kills Mark during a scuffle, but is fatally injured himself and later dies at the hospital. With two brothers already gone will the feud continue to escalate to the point of no return, or will they find peace?


Shotgun Stories is a prime example of how a family feud can go wrong in so many ways. It has become a continuously growing problem with fathers walking away from their wife and children without looking back. They move on quickly to another woman and start having children immediately. It never crosses their mind about how their absence has socially and emotionally affected the children they abandoned. Son has learned very well how to control and hide his emotions over his lifetime. Young children will tend to do this to spare the mother of his or her emotional grief, because they know how the sadness and anger makes the parent exhibit the same feelings. 

Shotgun Stories shows us how vengeful, angry mother can revert her feelings to her children. Sons try to protect their mother and when they see her hurt and angry, they start to exhibit those same feelings, with more passion, towards the absent parent that caused them.


The southern American, Arkansas, backdrop plays in perfectly with this movie. Michael Shannon is a superb actor and it shows in this film. It is a shame that this film did not draw more viewers than it originally did. Hopefully the word will get out there about this very heart felt, fabulous film. Although this film does not contain a lot of dialogue, it truly did not need it, to deserve an 8 out of 10.

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