A Made-In-Montana No-Budget Movie
Steve Dierks is a third-generation pawnshop owner from Bozeman, Montana, who dreams of running an ice cream shop when he isn’t serving a menagerie of psychotic, deranged, but oddly likable customers. One of these misfits, Lanny Green, is in a state of perpetual downward spiral, endlessly pawning and claiming his treasured guitar. It’s during one of these cycles of guitar hocking that Lanny’s world explodes and he drags everyone around him into chaos and conspiracy.
For an indie film written, directed, and produced with zero budget, Hocked manages to hit all the right notes while not losing its soul. As the film lulls the audience into the plot through on-target character sketches and clever twists, one can’t help but smile at the moments where the film’s imperfections scrape up against the camera lens. It’s easy to forgive Hocked for the handful of moments when the film jars the audience back to reality with a rough edge.
There are some real treats in the characters that writer Steve Drake has dreamed up. Memories of the patriarch of the family, Grandpa Dierks, a disheveled Vietnam vet who always kept a live grenade in the shop’s safe, leave a lasting impression. The stream of quirky character sketches that present as pawnshop customers, with all their accompanying antics, are an amusing thread woven craftily throughout the plot.
Hocked is a no-budget movie with a heart and soul that shines brighter than most of what one finds on Netflix these days, even movies with multi-million-dollar budgets behind them. Hocked was filmed in and around Bozeman, Montana, and while the cast was entirely composed of volunteer actors, the film manages to ratchet up a surprising degree of tension and intrigue, some unexpected twists, and finally sends viewers home with a smile and a warm feeling, which is much the same effect that Montana has on its visitors. In that sense, this film is a microcosm of The Treasure State.
Hocked is a Montana-made movie worthy of your time. Our hats are off to Steve Drake and the entire cast. We will be looking forward to more great Montana-based films from him.
Visit hockedthemovie.com to find out how you can see it yourself.