Handgun takes a subject which is the stuff of exploitation and steers it towards social commentary. The result is an intelligent analysis of the political and sexual values of male society in Texas.
Pic is cast in three chapters that follow the maturing of a pretty young girl who goes to the midwest to teach history after a protected Catholic upbringing in Boston. She’s just too soft to counter the approaches of a macho attorney who’s obsessed with guns and hunting. It’s only when he decides to have his own way with her that she realizes what she’s up against.
Karen Young is sharp in her depiction of a nervy girl whose eyes are slowly opened. And Clayton Day plays all the subtleties of a decent chap who, nevertheless, has swallowed whole a value system that debases women and seeks to protect its integrity through violent confrontation.