23 August 2017



ZOLTÁN FENYVESI | SZABOLCS THURÓCZY | ÁDÁM FEKETE 2016 | 105 min. | 2.66:1 | Hungary | Action / Dark Comedy / Drama | Colour | Hungarian (with English Subtitles) | Cert. 15 (TBC) | Directed by Atilla Till Released theatrically in the UK & Ireland - 15 September 2017

'In Sweden and Denmark, they give 'whore' tickets to the handicapped, so at least they can have sex...!'

I wasn't really expecting to like this film, but in fact I ended up loving it. I was initially put off, not by the wheelchairs, but by the guns and all that talk of assassins and stuff. If they'd added the word 'heist' to the promotional material, I probably wouldn't have watched it at all, haha. I bloody hate heist movies. But KILLS ON WHEELS is definitely the most fun you'll have in a wheelchair this Autumn, and I strongly advise you guys to watch it when it comes to the cinema.

Here's the lowdown, anyway. Zoli and Barba are two young differently-abled Hungarian men who room together at a home for the disabled. Zoli needs urgent spinal surgery which costs a ton of money that his single mom, a former Olympic athlete, is unable to pay for herself. 

Zoli, a stubborn little cuss, doesn't want her to go cap-in-hand to the father who abandoned them when Zoli was a nipper. Fair enough, but I'd just take the money if it were me. That man owes his kid big-time. Zoli could be cutting off his nose to spite his face here.

At least he's got Barba, his mate who's fixated with using deodorant in case he meets any girls but, sadly, the pair aren't exactly babe-magnets. The home for the disabled is lovely though, with all the mod cons for hauling themselves about the place and stuff, and in occupational therapy they're working on a comic book. They're talented artists and they're working towards the Amateur's Prize at a comic-book convention but, other than that, the lads are fed-up with life and could use a distraction.

This comes in the form of Rupaszov, a wheelchair-bound hitman who's just been released from the nick into the care home. The two lads get involved in his 'assassin-for-hire' business with predictably hilarious results. 

Never mind the blind leading the blind, here we have the much more unusual case of the differently-abled hitman bossing around the younger differently-abled wanna-bees who are desperate for a few thrills, just to feel like they're alive, goddammit. It makes for great watching.

I loved the character of Rupaszov. He's got long dark hair in a scruffy ponytail and a beard, he's in his thirties or forties and he's a former fireman with a troubled past and a hankering after a lost love called Evi. Evi's about to get married to a chap called Norbert (Norbert!) and it's tearing Rupa's heart out. But he doesn't sit around crying about it because he's the strong silent type. He does his talking with his gun.

That's so much my type I think I just came, haha. I love all the bad boys. I apparently have no use for anyone who will treat me well, so take note, lads. You show me a bad boy on the wrong side of the law, a Neanderthal who couldn't articulate a feeling if it took him out on a date and rode him ragged, and that's where I'll be, queuing up for his attention.

I totally fancied Rupa. I loved the scene in the car-park where he meets the four burly gun-totin' gangsters and they're all, like, who the fuck's this cripple, where's Rados, we thought we were meant to be meeting with Rados, who the fuck are you?

Cool as a cucumber, a completely deadpan Rupa tells the men that, as far as they're concerned, he's Rados now. And when one of them stabs him in the thigh and he doesn't react or even flinch because he's paralysed from the waist down, I laughed out loud. The gangsters literally don't know what's hit 'em. I loved that whole scene. I, like, totally dug it, man.

Rados, the gangster who's Rupa's employer, is an evil bastard, if you'll excuse my French.
He's never seen without his pack of vicious black attack dogs, and he's not above ordering them to savage his enemies where necessary. 'You might shoot the first two, but the third will tear your throat out.' Talk about release the hounds.

This is the kinda guy who'd release the hounds on 'Save the Whales,' 'Ban the Bomb' AND 'Release the hounds,' he's such a meanie. He's worse than Mr. Burns from THE SIMPSONS. Even Mr. Burns could on occasion be persuaded to release only one hound, but not Rados.

Rados wants Rupa to beard a gangster called Toni in his den and kill him, but this Toni naturally is all set up like that other Tony, Tony Soprano from THE SOPRANOS. Guns, huge shaven-headed bodyguards, locked gates, the works.

And there are steps too, lots and lots of steps. Not a ramp in sight. How the f**k is a guy in a wheelchair supposed to pull off a job like that? Well, maybe if he's got his two best buddies with him, each as differently-abled as himself, he might just manage to pull it off...

I wouldn't mind being a super-rich lady crime boss myself, actually, if I meant that I could command an army of huge shaven-headed bodyguards with guns twenty-four-seven. That's practically my favourite 'genre' of bad boy, that is, and it's why there are so many nightclub bouncers littered throughout my murky past, haha.

This film is funny in a really dark way, and it doesn't patronise the differently-abled or treat them in any way other than equally. And bad, annoying regular shit happens to disabled people every day of the week too, they're not just all about their disability, and the film does a great job of showing us this. I really enjoyed the harmonica song 'On The Far Side Of Town,' by the way.

Rupa is a terrific character. He's kind of like a motorised Clint Eastwood in the spaghetti Westerns, taking on the bad guys and decimating 'em before they've had time to scratch their balls in confusion. Maybe one day we'll have a differently-abled James Bond. It's not the wheelchair that matters, after all, it's the kick-ass attitude of the guy sitting in it.

And Rupa is certainly super-cool, but he's also as narky, ill-tempered and moody as the rest of us can be. He's not saintly or other-worldly or closer to God either, just because he has a disability. He's a cranky f**k and it's going to be very, very educational for Zoli and Barba to hang out with him. And there might even be more surprises to come...

A film that initially offers guilty pleasure thrills ultimately reveals its softer, more sentimental side. Kills On Wheels manages to cast aside the straitjacket of political correctness and treat disability issues with humour, understanding and inventiveness. It is a film that sends the viewer out with a warm hug of an ending” – Allan Hunter, Screen Daily
Uproariously clever urban fable, one that doesn’t sanctify or belittle disabled people, but rather shines new light on that invisible population by inviting them to play the most visible of movie archetypes: assassins.” – Indiewire
charming film that explores what life must be like for those who don’t have a lot to lose and for whom challenges are key” – The Hollywood Reporter

FESTIVALS & AWARDS Selected as Hungary’s official submission for Best Foreign Language Film submission for the 2017 Academy Awards. Shortlisted for the European Film Awards 2016 UK Premiere: 60th BFI London Film Festival Winner of FIVE Hungarian Film Awards in 2017 Cairo International Film Festival, Won, Bronze Pyramid, Best First or Second work of a Director (2016) Chicago International Film Festival, Won, Roger Ebert Award (2016) Cottbus Film Festival of Young East European Cinema, Won, Award of the Ecumenical Jury (2016) Cottbus Film Festival of Young East European Cinema, Won, FIPRESCI Prize (2016) Palic Film Festival, Won, Special Mention, Feature Film (2016) Thessaloniki Film Festival, Won, Golden Alexander (2016) Thessaloniki Film Festival, Won, Best Actor (2016)


Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based novelist, film blogger and movie reviewer. She has studied Creative Writing and Film-Making. She has published a number of e-books on the following topics: horror film reviews, multi-genre film reviews, womens' fiction, erotic fiction, erotic horror fiction and erotic poetry. Several new books are currently in the pipeline. You can browse or buy any of Sandra's books by following the link below straight to her Amazon Author Page:


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