“Revenge” (1986) Is About As Inspired As Its Title

Posted: November 23, 2012 in movies
Tags: , , , , ,

I’m not sure how many films titled Revenge have been made over the years. I looked it up on IMDB and stopped counting at 24. It looked like I  was about halfway through the list. It’s also been the title of a few different TV series, one of which is apparently in its second season on the ABC network as we speak (I’m reliably informed, no surprise, that it completely sucks). So I guess we’d better be specific about exactly which Revenge it is we’re talking about here : this is the 1986 straight-to-video release Revenge, also known as Revenge : Blood Cult 2, a sequel to the very first shot-on-video horror film ever made (one we reviewed here on this very blog earlier this year), writer-director Christopher Lewis’  Tulsa, Oklahoma-lensed Blood Cult.

Now, if you’ve ever seen Blood Cult, you’ll know that it’s certainly not one of the better SOV horror efforts ever made, to put it kindly, but it’s at least worth seeing for its historic significane, especially if you’re a fan of these type of bargain-basement efforts. It certainly can’t be recommended for anything much beyond that, though (and this is coming from somebody who loves ’80s SOV horror). Still, even damned with that faint level of praise, it has to be said that Blood Cult has more going for it than Lewis’ tepid-to-put-it-kindly sequel, ‘cuz Revenge just plain sucks any way you slice it.

Lewis has swapped out his Sony Betacam for a real 16mm film camera here, and even hired a couple of “name” Hollywood actors, but all that does is diminish whatever lukewarm level of “charm” the first flick had going for it. The story treads pretty familiar territory — Patrick “nepotism in action” Wayne plays the brother of one of the murder victims from the first flick who’s come back to the small unnamed college town where the original murder spree took place, and together with a simple country bumpkin played by Bennie Lee McGowan he’s determined to prove that an ancient satanic cult is behind all the grisly goings-on in the area.  Little does he suspect, at first, how difficult the task will be, though, given that the town doctor, the dean of the college, and even a US Senator (played by John Carradine, who’s firmly in the “anything for a buck” phase of his career at this point) are all involved —

If any or all of that sounds interesting to you, then by all means have at it, but I’m telling ya, friends, this flick is a solid bore for start to finish. Not even Wayne’s deplorably wooden acting provides enough entertainment value to save this snooze-fest, given that he’s more just straight-up bad than he is “so-bad-he’s good.” Really, I’m trying to think of any reason at all for you, dear reader, to see this thing, and I’m drawing blanks (which at least is better than shooting them). The “mystery” powers behind the cult are obvious from the get-go, the murders are monotonously standard fare, the dialogue is wretched, the acting is deplorable — in short, it’s the kind of movie I should absolutely love, but I just plain don’t. It’s clearly the product of people doing nothing but going through the motions, and even calling it a half-assed affair is being too damn generous.

If you’re absolutely bound and determined to ignore my warnings, though, Revenge is available on DVD from VCI Home Entertainment. Extras include the trailer for the film itself as well as for some other VCI titles, a “making-of” featurette that’s not much more involving than its subject, and a full-length commentary from Lewis that’s at least somewhat interesting. Watch it if you must.

But really, you mustn’t. So I wouldn’t.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s