A man sits on his bed in the half-light, shirtless. On his back is a series of little bumps, perhaps scars, possibly cigarette burns, or buckshot wounds? His co-workers at the fish hatchery take secret bets as to their origin. But for Son Hayes (Michael Shannon), they are part of a hurtful past, one that he is forever trying to get beyond. Son's name, as well as those of his brothers, Kid (Barlow Jacobs) and Boy (Douglas Ligon), no doubt came from their awful father, a kind of branding that they can never escape. We never meet this father. He dies at the beginning of Shotgun Stories. Son, Kid and Boy attend his funeral, and that's when the trouble starts. If not for that, life in this Arkansas small town probably would have gone on as always, with Kid sleeping in a tent in Son's backyard, with Boy living out of his van, and with the three of them getting together for beers. (There is a lot of beer drinking in this movie.)