gun for

“...a confident, well-made first feature...”
(Independent Movie Database)
“...’Fade to Black’ meets ‘Taxi Driver’...”

“...a solid new film...”
“...Hyers learned how to immerse himself
in the process...”
“...Of the fiction features I saw, the most
interesting was ‘Bill's Gun Shop’...”
“...The Hollywood side of indie is represented
by ‘Bill's Gun Shop’... ”
  "...Excellent performances... Plausible, convincing and scary..."
(Customer Review)

"Bill's Gun Shop" is a confident, well-made first feature that hints at the promising future of its director, Dean Hyers. Certainly the film's best qualities can be attributed, in no small part, to the established and respectable (if not quite yet A-list) cast and crew assembled for the project. Veteran character actors such as Tom Bower ("Pollock"), John Ashton ("Beverly Hills Cop"), and Victor Rivers ("The Mask of Zorro") bring powerful performances into the cast of mostly unknowns. Mickey Freeman's high-definition DV cinematography does much to add to the gritty atmosphere of many of the scenes. And Lee Percy ("Boys Don't Cry") lends his editing style to the film (along with first-timer Eric Goldstein), creating an effectively fractured sense of time, which works well in expressing the internal turmoil facing Dillon, the main character.

The overall strong performances and respectable production values of "Bill's Gun Shop" are indicative of Hyers' ability as a director to bring together a highly competent pool of talent and make the most of each person's contributions (even more commendable considering this was an independent production). As was stated earlier, Hyers shows great potential as a filmmaker and is someone to keep an eye on. Here's wishing him much success!

more (

by Jonathan W. Hickman

A boy and his gun. A boy with problems. “Fade to Black” meets “Taxi Driver” in “Bill’s Gun Shop” a hard-bitten film noir from first time feature director/executive producer Dean Lincoln Hyers.

more (

Dean Lincoln Hyers
by Jonathan W. Hickman

"That night, sitting in the dark, I finally knew what it felt like. And no surprise, it wasn't me.”

Director Dean Lincoln Hyers exchanged candid emails with me about his feature film debut "Bill's Gun Shop,"
a solid new film shot on HiDefof Interview with Dean Hyers

more (

Shooting for Success

Arts Feature • Vol 21 • Issue 1025 • 7/26/00
by Kirsten Marcum

After nearly a decade in the business world, the cofounder of the media communications company Digital Café has made the jump to independent filmmaking.

Though the Bill's Gun Shop story is his own, Hyers hired director and filmmaker Rob Nilsson to write the script--and, following that collaboration, he cast himself in the role of Nilsson's protégé, serving an extended apprenticeship on the L.A. shoot of Nilsson's film Scheme. Upon returning to Minneapolis, he established an actors' workshop modeled directly on Nilsson's working methods. Two nights a week for ten weeks this winter, Hyers directed 20 actors in improv exercises and scenes from the Bill's Gun Shop script. Nilsson himself has nothing but praise for Hyers's working methods: "More power to Dean," he says. "The arrogance of these young directors who think they know anything about human behavior. Dean learned how to immerse himself in the process. Actors are trying to be true to the moment of impulse. It's a difficult process and Dean had the guts to be humble about it--and therefore he armed himself and got really prepared."

more (

by Amy Taubin

Independent Film Features Market 2000 - Film Review Article: ...Of the fiction features I saw, the most interesting was
Bill's Gun Shop, directed by Dean Lincoln Hyers, written by Hyers and Rob Nilsson, and shot on DV by Nilsson's resourceful cinematographer, Mickey Freeman. Unlike most of the DV films in the IFFM, Bill's Gun Shop was lit so that it looked more expressive than an infomercial; its leading actor, Scott Cooper, who plays a Taxi Driver fan, has De Niro's tight-shouldered stance down cold.

Northern lights: Minnesota movies shine at the Mpls./St. Paul film fest

by Colin Colvert

Film-festival frenzy: big names, bright lights, lavish parties, larger-than-life stars, glitzy premieres, steamy gossip.

...The Hollywood side of indie is represented by "Bill's Gun Shop," screening April 14 at the Heights. Dillon, a 20ish gun enthusiast, lands his dream job selling weapons at a Twin Cities firearms store and firing range. His daydreams take a nightmarish turn when he uses his new carry permit to ride shotgun with an Indian bounty hunter. The script, by indie icon Rob Nilsson, snakes through twists worthy of an Elmore Leonard thriller, climaxing with a spine-chilling inner-city showdown. Director Dean Hyers shot the film using high-definition video equipment in five weeks in Robbinsdale, Edina, Lilydale and St. Paul.


Surprisingly Good Independent Movie.....Highly Recommended !!!   July 17, 2006   –   3 out of 3 found this review helpful

Every time I take a chance on an independent film, I prepare for the worst, but this movie was a very pleasant surprise. First time director, Dean Hyers, delivers a very well made, entertaining tale of an isolated, needy, nerdy young man named Dillon McCarthy who seeks power and validation through gun ownership. As the story progresses, Dillon does indeed develop a stronger, more dynamic personality, but (unlike Travis Bickle in Taxi Driver) never ceases to be a "nice guy". The metamorphosis is quite well presented and credible, as is the dramatic ending in which his "crutch" becomes a dangerous impediment that must be discarded.

Other than John Ashton, the cast was totally unfamiliar to me yet they all delivered excellent performances. The women are attractive and compelling in unconventional ways, the gang members and thugs are very convincing, and the situations depicted are completely plausible and at times quite scary. The music is truly excellent (particularly the opening and closing themes by Chan Poling), as is the photography (digital I believe) and direction. The DVD features a director's commentary that is quite illuminating and well done. It is impressive to see what truly talented people can produce on a limited budget, especially when confronted by hundred-million dollar flops from the Hollywood "biggies".

I appreciated the fact that guns are neither demonized nor glorified in this movie. Unlike the simplistic pap that mainline Hollywood generally offers on this subject, the crimes and triumphs depicted are the product of individuals, not an inanimate tool. The producers and director do not use the movie to present their personal biases, but choose instead to let the viewer draw their own conclusions....a pleasant and welcome change (please see my review of "Runaway Jury" for an example of the opposite extreme).

Give this DVD a try. It is infinitely better than many other independent films I have viewed and I am convinced that the director and some of the actors will move on to bigger things. I recall when Robert Rodriguez first released The KNEW that the guy had talent. The same can be said about all involved in this surprisingly good movie.

This is worth seeing if you like unique stories. It's about guns and the fantasy we all have with them. I wasn't sure what to think when we rented this, but we were pleasantly surprised. The characters were interesting and the story and subject matter were unexpected and compelling. I'd recommend it.