Saturday, June 5, 2021

Junesploitation 2021 Day 5: Revenge!


  1. Beyond the Law (Lain ulkopuolella) (1987, dir. Ville Mäkelä)

    A woman who works in a clothing store gets attacked and raped by one of her customers on her way home, and when the police don't seem to care much about her and the courts can't help her, the victim's hot-headed brother decides to take the law into his own hands and convinces her meek husband to help him. Unfortunately they're not very adept avengers, and they end up in the perpetrator's neighbors' apartment in a stand-off with the police.

    Shot in a matter-of-fact, documentarian way and presented without a score other than some diegetic music, it's an effective and uncomfortable watch. The cast includes many of the biggest names in Finland at the time. The borderline psychopatic rapist is played by Antti Litja, an actor more known for playing mild-mannered men, which creates some dissonance.

    All in all, not in any way remarkable, but a solid movie. And an interesting curiosity only for a Finn.


    John Boorman's POINT BLANK (1967, HBO Max) for the first time.

    Talk about hitting the ground running and asking the audience to try and keep up. With gorgeous late 60's Los Angeles as its backdrop (think "Once Upon A Time in Hollywood" but vintage) and on-location Alcatraz scenery, a criminal named Walker (Lee Marvin in slow-burn primal rage mode) goes about getting back the money stolen from him a year prior by best friend Mal (John Vernon in his first feature role) and Walker's wife Lynne (Sharon Acker) when they left him for dead. There's more to the plot (lots more), but you're better off catching it as cold as I did for maximum impact.

    Though unrated this is a very 'R' movie, the type where you get to see Angie Dickinson's boobs and Dean Wormer's junk splattered on the street (but little-to-no cursing). Great supporting cast (Carroll O'Connor, Keenan Wynn, James Sikking... even a thin Sid Haig for a minute or two), but this is pretty much The Lee Marvin Show. Whether he's quietly listening to his wife spill her guts, trashing Michael Strong's brand-new car or quietly observing from the shadows, you can't take your eyes off of Walker. Boorman sure loves to shoot mirrors and/or reflections, but it isn't until the very end that you realize how artsy and mainstream-unfriendly "Point Blank's" narrative actually is. The high-def transfer on HBO Max is stunning, so even if you don't care for the plot/characters this movie's worth seeing for its visuals alone. 3.5 BURNED-OUT TOASTERS (out of 5).

    1. man I need to watch this too, especially if its looks great on HBO Max.

    2. Jump in, the water surrounding Alcatraz is still warm-ish. 🤯😏

  3. Tony Scott's MAN ON FIRE (2004, Blu-ray) for the first time.

    Borderline-drunk ex-CIA operative John Creasy (Denzel Washington) does best pal Paul Rayburn (Christopher Walken) a solid moonlighting as a bodyguard for rich-but-struggling Mexican businessman Ramos (Marc Anthony), his American wife (Radha Mitchell) and their young daughter Lupita (cute-as-a-button young Dakota Fanning). As prefaced by its schizophrenic opening credits, though, kidnappers targeting wealthy Mexican families to extract ransom demands have their eyes set on the Ramos'. But that happens about an hour into "Man on Fire's" 143 min. running time. I came to see revenge, but the first act where 'Pita' charms and brings Creasy out of his traumatized shell ended up being my favorite part. For all the modern tools at the filmmakers' disposal, you can't beat old-fashioned likable characters played by sympathetic actors to make the audience care when things turn ugly. I'm surprised Marc Anthony didn't become a Hollywood actor based on how charismatic his performance is here.

    Alas, "Man on Fire" came around the time Tony Scott went crazy with the skipped frames, acid colors, handheld shaky camera, etc. It doesn't reach "Domino's" levels of headache-inducing unwatchability, but it was a constant distraction. Forget for a moment how ridiculous the idea that an African American man could stage a one-man war against corrupt police, government officials and kidnappers in Mexico City (Denzel couldn't walk two blocks without drawing a crowd!). Even if the camera wasn't spazzing every other scene or Creasy had mercenary troops at his disposal (not just Rachel Ticotin's crusading journalist), "Man on Fire" simply underdelivers on the masterwork of revenge and destruction that Christopher Walken tells Giancarlo Giannini (who is wasted along with Mickey Rourke) Creasy's supposed to unleash on the kidnappers. "Man on Fire" has a reputation for being a good revenge flick, and my disappointment with it matches the expectations I brought into this first-time viewing. :-( 2.25 LAPS AROUND THE SWIMMING POOL (out of 5).

    1. As an avowed Domino fan (my avatar might have given me away), all of this reads like a resounding recommendation to me :)

    2. I rewatched Domino earlier this year and absolutely loved it, after not really thinking much of it for a while. I'd love it if Knightly did more BA genre characters like this.

    3. Definitely not for me, but glad somebody else can tolerate Tony Scott's mid-aughts' ADD aesthetics. It was tolerable during "Man on Fire's" first half, but by the time Denzel goes to that rave we've crossed into "Domino"-land. 🤢🤮

  4. Noboru Iguchi's THE MACHINE GIRL: ENGLISH DUBBED VERSION (2008, CON-TV) for the first time.

    With movies like "Zombie Ass: Toilet of the Dead" (recommended by none other than Chaybee!) and segment 'F' in "The ABCs of Death" horror anthology under his belt, Noburo Iguchi's exploitation credentials are solid. Which is why I took a chance on this revenge tale of young student Ami (Minase Yashiro) avenging the death of her brother Yu (Ryôsuke Kawamura) at the hands of a gang of bullies lead by the bad seed son of a Yakuza clan from hell. The opening credits before the dreaded 'Six Months Earlier' chronology switch tell you everything: bad acting, soft and cheap CG effects circa mid-aughts, horrendous fight choreography and a surprisingly decent English dub. If this was anime instead of a live-action revenge porn the dialogue and vocal inflections would fit even better. But the practical gore effects in "Machine Girl" tower over everything else. Other than the blood-pumping torsos often spraying red mist more than squirting blood, the effects guys (and writer/director Iguchi-san) clearly love their "Evil Dead," "Return of the Living Dead," early Peter Jackson, "Resident Evil," etc.

    Too bad the filmmakers don't care to make anybody, victim or perpetrator, even remotely worth rooting for. Ami should have a bond with Miki (Asami), mother of Yu's best friend (who was also murdered by the bullies) and co-creator of the machine-gun device attached to Ami's severed arm. Not only do both actors look the same age, but they barely have any early scenes when Miki isn't shouting or belittling Ami. Their turn into besties comes out of nowhere, which is par for the course for a cheap-but-energetic vehicle to deliver "Power Rangers"-style ninja assassins, disgruntled parents willing to fight to the death to avenge their murdered children in American football gear (ala Capcom's "Rival Schools" fighting games) and an orgy of bloody ripoffs (the 'flying guillotine' from the movie under a different name). Strictly for the more-gore-is-better crowd. 2 PEEING-FROM-FEAR HUMAN SHIELD HOSTAGES (out of 5).

  5. F. Gary Gray's LAW ABIDING CITIZEN (2009, Showtime) for the first time.

    I've seen space-traveling, distant-galaxy conquering science fiction fantasies that are more believable than "Law Abiding Citizen." There are Hannah Barbera features, Hasbro TV commercials and Filmnation animated shows that are decades-old which come across less cartoony and more believable than half the ridiculous plot twists in "LAC." Most importantly, I've seen Jamie Foxx give Oscar-winning performances ("Ray"), F. Gary Gray direct good pictures (2003's "The Italian Job") and Gerard Butler make shitty dialogue sound convincing (anything he says in 2016's "Gods of Egypt"). All these talented people and many more (Bruce McGill, Viola Davis, Colm Meaney, Leslie Bibb, etc.) are simply stuck in the limbo of incredulity that screenwriter Kurt Wimmer ("Ultraviolet") sets in modern day Philadelphia... why? Were the dystopian worlds of Wimmer's "Equilibrium" not fantastic enough to contain the sheer implausibility packed within its insane story?

    The set-up is there for a thought-provoking, audience-pleasing revenge by a regular family man (Butler, decent but not "300" good) that snaps after a decade of the judicial system dragging its feet with the criminals that murdered his family. But then Clyde Shelton becomes a Hannibal Lecter-like, "Seven"-type master manipulator of his surroundings to bend the knee of prosecutor Nick Rice (Foxx, underwhelming). We should be cheering and enjoying the many ways Clyde is fucking with the system just as much as we do the first two kills after the 10-year time jump. Not only is the reveal of how he's pulling off these feats laughable, but Shelton's revenge crusade doesn't add up to more than a clever screenwriter's conceit. Did Ehren Krueger ("Scream 3," "Transformers 2-4") do an uncredited rewrite? That'd explain this one feeling like 2000's "Reindeer Games" on steroids. A video of me watching "Law Abiding Citizen" with a raised eyebrow muttering "What?" over and over would be more entertaining than this movie... and this coming from someone who hates looking at himself on video. 1 BOOTLEG RECITAL HOME MOVIE (out of 5), easily the worst flick I've seen so far this month. Revenge Day ruined! :'(

  6. WINCHESTER ’73 (1950, dir. Anthony Mann)

    On July 4, 1876, a rifle shooting competition is held in Dodge City, Kansas, to determine who gets a beautiful new Winchester repeating rifle. The runner-up is not a good sport and decides that the gun is “his prize” at any price. The winner, portrayed by Jimmy Stewart, is equally hellbent on getting the Winchester back, but there seems to be more to his quest than just a stolen rifle.

    Winchester ’73 is a traditional western that points toward how the genre would evolve with the spaghetti westerns. There is an edginess to the story and the characters that stands out for the time, and the black-and-white cinematography effectively utilizes the locations to create a sense of grandeur. The viewer gets Indian attacks, shootouts, robberies, and a little romance, all of which is cleverly tied together by the stolen rifle.

    KURONEKO (1968, dir. Kaneto Shindo)

    Kuroneko, which translates as Black Cat in English, is about the vengeful spirits of two peasant women raped and killed by samurai. The ghost seem to take the form of cat. Any lone samurai wandering near them at night gets his throat ripped open. Most of the film, however, is not about stalking and killing samurai, which probably makes Kuroneko not the ideal Junesploitation film for those seeking sensationalism. This is arthouse Japanese horror that focuses more on aesthetics than any kind of exploitation. After so many action-oriented movies this week, this was a pleasant change of pace, a way to get my mind to slow down and enjoy the beauty of an image. The Japanese present stillness like no other national cinema does.

    1. This film, as well as Kobayashi's "Kwaidan," are beautiful examples of early Japanese supernatural horror cinema. So brilliant.

    2. Kwaidan is one of my favorite films. Kobayashi achieved something special with it. I have loved Japanese cinema for a long time.

    3. Nobody matched 60's-early 80's Japanese filmmakers at maximizing the effectiveness of 2:35:1 aspect ratio, whether in B&W ("Kuroneko") or color ("Kwaidan").

  7. Blue Ruin (2013 - Jeremy Saulnier)
    Now, I didn't knew that Patrick already wrote a piece on this film back in 2014 ( - but then a friend of mine recommended it to me, and it is really, really great. You can see every dollar on the screen, every actor is good, every character interesting and the violence is real and harsh. I don't want to write too much about it, just: Watch it, if you haven't already.

    4 out of 4 stolen limousines.

  8. Revenge, dir Coralie Fargeat, 2017

    I loved Matilda Lutz performance. There was something primal about the whole movie. It's a massive scream against the male gaze and entitlement. That and how to courterize a wound a can.

  9. The Foreigner (2017, dir. Martin Campbell)

    Jackie Chan’s daughter dies in an IRA bombing. He goes after Pierce Brosnan, a politician with past links to the IRA, and harasses him for the names of the bombers who killed his daughter.

    Sad, morose Jackie Chan is a weird thing to watch. Even the stunts - while good - feel different with the grim tone of the movie. For better or worse, Jackie spends more time laying bombs and elaborate traps as opposed to hand-to-hand combat. We get into a rhythm of Jackie doing a sneaky thing, then cutting to an aggrieved Brosnan, swearing at his underlings upon hearing that Quan (Jackie) got away again.

    And then it turns into a much less interesting political thriller. Angry Pierce Brosnan is compelling viewing though. That man has quite the smouldering glare. Also, Jackie clocks a guy in the head with a flatscreen TV.

  10. Hello Mary Lou: Prom Night II (1987)
    Directed by Bruce Pittman

    Watched The Last Drive-In with Joe-Bob Briggs episode. Hey Shudder, WTF? Feel confident that this film was not shot in 4:3, as the dvd spec was 1:85:1. Dammit, preserve original aspect ratio, especially for 80’s horror films. Gotta say, not sure why Mary Lou needs revenge on a bunch of young female high school students 30 years after her death. Shouldn’t she want to kill her prom date that accidentally lit her on fire? (now the current high school principal, played by Michael Ironside, doing his best to give this some gravitas) Just seems like Mary Lou’s a little indiscriminate, and just wants to kill the guilty and innocent alike.

    That possessed hobby horse was pretty wacky. So was the burning bible, pervy bedsheets, corpse-face ghoulash, blackboards that turn into swimming pools, suspiciously flimsy confessional booths, and science teachers who cop feels on their students. All this, and more.

    Pretty great stuff but I’d really like a transfer that wasn’t mastered off the videotape. That prom was definitely ruined. The end makes no sense, but who cares? “Life’s a joke, then you croak.”

    Watched on AMC+/Shudder for:
    Junesploitation 2021; my whole calendar on Letterboxd:

  11. Death Wish II 1982

    I never had much interest in this franchise but a couple of years ago I figured I would give the first one a try. It was bleak and entertaining enough but not a world into which I felt compelled to delve deeper. It felt fitting that I would try another for Junesploitation and the results are interesting.

    Bronson is such an interesting movie star. He is compelling on screen and seems like a guy who can truly fight. After the inciting rapes and murders, because we have to justify what is to come, he goes into action mode and the film is exactly what you'd expect. The rape and murder scenes however are not.

    Director Michael Winner really turns up the grindhouse feel with the attacks and they are not over quickly. Drawn out rape and violence does lead the audience to easily side with the vigilante but wow is it exploitative. All of this unpleasantness being fittingly punctuated with a death that is similar to those in other films but unexpected in this case.

    How they continued this franchise I am unsure but I am sure I will get around to them eventually.

    1. If "Death Wish 3" is next for you then WELCOME TO THE PARTY, PAL! 😃🥳😃🥳

    2. There are two versions of Death Wish II. One has disturbing rape scenes, and the other extends the rape scenes to make the film even more uncomfortable. Death Wish II is as grimy and joyless as exploitation gets, yet I find it a film that holds up with multiple viewings.

  12. TARZAN’S REVENGE (1938)
    Tarzan takes on a bunch of big game hunters after they shoot and imprison some of his animal pals. This movie was allegedly chaos behind the scenes, and athletes-turned-actors Glenn Morris and Eleanor Holm (who I guess is playing herself in this?) didn’t come back for the next one. But aside from some cringy 1930s-isms, this has all the vine swinging, cliff diving, and animal stock footage we expect from old-timey Tarzan.

    30 days of Chinese fantasy movies, day 5
    Heaven and Hell are preparing for war, and one human city is caught in the middle. Now this is some high fantasy, with all kinds of creatures, magic powers, and alien landscapes. There are tons of characters, and I must admit I didn’t quite follow most of the plot, but I’m down for all the video game-y CGI action. The most interesting characters for me were the titular Snow Girl, who has Iceman-like powers, and a guy who uses a fan to transform himself into a big demon thing. It’s totally crazy, but totally crazy might be what you’re in the mood for. (No Skeksis, though.)

  13. FASTER (2010, dir. George Tillman Jr.)

    The Rock’s bank-robbing brother is set up and murdered by a gang, and now 10-years later and out of prison, he’s out to hunt them all down for vengeance.

    This really made me miss the days when Dwayne Johnson would star in a real action movie and play it completely straight. He’s great in the movie, surrounded by a great cast, and Tillman directs the hell out of it with a ton of style. But the movie’s far from great due to mostly very weak and disappointing action scenes. There’s a fight scene that’s built up as long as a Sergio Leone gunfight, and then the fight lasts about 6 seconds. A baffling choice.

  14. Peppermint(2018) dir: Pierre Morel

    Pierre Morel: Ok we got cartel, dirty cops, a dirty DA, mma footage of our hero getting beat up, constant news updates and lots of tweets to remind us Jennifer is the hero. What's missing?
    Writer: Lovable orphan scamps
    PM: Do we need them?
    W: Of course we needed lovable orphan scamps. Who else are we going to hold hostage later?
    PM: what about here daughter?
    W: kids dead
    PM: Oh yeah. But I mean we can bring her back as a ghost?
    W: Wont work. We're already using that for her motivation scene
    PM: ok. how about a scene were Jennifer holds a gun to a Karen's head and makes her pee herself?
    W: What am I some kind of hack? Of course I do.
    PM: Nice. But do we still have a role for Method Man?
    W: You know it

  15. Carrie (1976, dir. Brian De Palma)

    Teenagers are assholes.

  16. Vengeance: A Love Story

    Needed some Nic Cage. This one aint bad. Cage plays it straight. Has an emotional scene that's really sweet (like nice sweet, not "cool" sweet). He's not in every scene, but what he does get to do is good.

  17. A Score to Settle (2019)

    With a main character who is suffering from potentially terminal insomnia, and relying on a plot twist that is typically hard to successfully pull off, if they got anybody other than Nicolas Cage to star in this movie it would have likely been a mess. Cage is able to bring enough humanity to the part though even as the character's mental state continues to deteriorate that I was able to at least invest in his attempts to reconnect with life after 19 years in prison (even as he is hunting down his former partners in crime).

  18. From Hell It Came

    Sure, Paul Blaisdell created the effects for The She-Creature, Invasion of the Saucer Men, Not of This Earth and It! The Terror from Beyond Space, but this is the only movie in which he made a tree person.

    Yes, this film is about the prince of a South Seas island wrongly executed by a witch doctor who hated the fact that the prince became friends with Americans. Well, those foreigners pay him back by irradiating the island and reanimating the royal victim, who has been buried inside a tree. Now he is known as Tabonga, an angry tree strump that demands bloody retribution.

    This movie is one of the many reasons why quicksand concerned me as a child, as the tree man throws his unfaithful widow into the sinking muck and then tosses the witch doctor down a hill. He can only be stopped by white men and their guns, which hasn’t really changed for so many since this was made sixty some years ago.

    Written by Richard Bernstein (Terrified!) and Jack Milner, this was directed by Jack’s brother Dan, who worked as an editor on the Bozo the Clown TV show (he also made The Fighting Coward and The Phantom from 10,000 Leagues).

    Look, it’s not great, but the tree man reveal is better than most entire movies. It has that going for it at least.

  19. Promising Young Woman (2020)

    Ok now I see why the last act of this one was so polarizing. All due props to the great Frances McDormand but Carey Mulligan really should have won the Oscar for this, she’s ridiculously good as a woman who goes out and pretends to be drunk and not quite in control of herself so that self-proclaimed “nice guys” can take her home and she can teach them a lesson about their treatment of women.

    There’s more to it than that, but I don’t want to spoil any of it as there’s a beautiful thread of underlying dread throughout as the movie unfolds. Supporting Mulligan is a cast stacked with ringers like Jennifer Coolidge, Clancy Brown, Molly Shannon, and Connie Britton, all of whom have moments to shine even though they appear only briefly. Comedian Bo Burnham is also a standout as a (nice guy?) pediatric surgeon Mulligan becomes involved with, and I am surprised to learn that he is a solid actor and also that he is apparently 9 feet tall. This is dark, thought-provoking stuff that I won’t be forgetting any time soon. Loved it.

  20. Death Wish (1974)

    I know this is a revenge exploitation classic, but I was never really able to get into it.

    There are some revenge movies that work well by staying grounded in the real world, with realistic portrayals of inciting they-done-me-wrong incidents, and plausible justifications for rooting for the vigilante to obtain vengeance. There are other revenge movies that work well by playing things over the top, with cartoonishly entertaining villains, and satisfying retribution that doesn't require you to think too much.

    I think Death Wish's problem is that it doesn't fully commit to either realistic vengeance or over-the-top vengeance. The bad guys and criminals are comic book characters committing frequent acts o psychotic, random violence. Okay, sure, it we're living in cartoon New York and Charles Bronson just proceeds to crack some heads, I can probably get on board with that movie. But Death Wish also wears some pretty dodgy ideas not on its sleeve, but tattooed in the middle of its forehead. There are a number of scenes with characters earnestly musing over the psychology and ethics of crime, civilization, justice, self-defense, etc. that read pretty plainly as a explicit commentary on the real world (essentially, crime panic by "the good people" in society). The movie tries to take the hero's plight too seriously at times, while justifying his actions with ridiculous levels of criminality, and the discordant results never really let me get fully on board with Bronson's revenge trip.

    I did enjoy Christopher Guest showing up as a random patrolman toward the end of the flick, and the movie's final scene offered a fun glimpse into what this movie could have been if it had ditched the overt societal commentary. I'm hoping that maybe it points toward a change of tone in the sequels.

  21. Carrie (1976) 9/10 Tommy’s ridiculous, amazing hair

  22. Blastfighter (1984, dir. Lamberto Bava)

    Chekhov's SuperGun! This movie is pretty much pure exploitation, an excuse to see a dude blow away a bunch of other dudes with a supergun in the climax. Hillbilly hooligans harass our main character, and eventually kill his pet baby deer, then daughter, forcing him to take revenge with his supergun. This is a really enjoyable "bad" movie, it's fairly amateurish, has bizarre dialogue and strange dubbing throughout, and features some hilariously over-the-top gratuitous violence. Thank you Junesploitation!

    1. Blastfighter is one of my favorites in the "Dialogue Written by Aliens" subgenre!

  23. The Battle Wizard(1977)dir: Hsueh Li Pao

    Classic story of guy gets girl pregnant, husband finds out. Guy shoots Husbands legs off with his finger lasers. Husband vows vengeance in 20 years. Guy leaves woman pregnant woman high and dry to return to royal family. 20 years pass. Guy now has son. Husband gets robotic chicken legs and magic powers sends a Talon handed pointy teeth green faced attempted rapist to kidnap the guys son. Meanwhile Scorned pregnant woman has trained the guys illegitimate child to be a Kung Fu master who's weapon of choice is a bone that shoots out tiny laser arrows capable of pinning a man to a wall. Son meets girl who can control magic snakes capable of burrowing under your skin. They get captured by a poison clan. Snake girl negotiates the Sons release. Son goes to find snake girls friend. Snakegirls friend is the illegitimate daughter. Son and Daughter finally end up meeting. Son gets super powers from eating a red python(as ones does) and the two decide to get married. Son brings Girl home to meet parents. Guy has to tell the truth. Green face and Chicken legs kidnap the two and tries to feed them to a giant gorilla(man in suit).

    This movie is insane. Of course being a Shaw bros film its missing scenes and a lot seems to get lost in translation but its still a blast.

  24. REVENGE (1990, dir. Tony Scott)

    I’m a big torn on this one. It’s beautifully made, very entertaining, and sexy as hell. But there are things about how Madeline Stowe’s character is treated, and how the movie ends up, that are pretty gross and really put me off. There’s no doubt NO WAY OUT is my preferred version of this.

  25. The Princess Bride
    It is Revenge day, and we are spending the day with the 9 year old grandsons, so it is time for Inigo Montoya and his quest for vengeance. It was the first time view for everybody else, and everybody enjoyed.
    This time, I really appreciated the framing device with Peter Falk and Fred Savage. I took particular delight when they would cut to them in the middle of the movie. I now want Peter Falk added to all my revenge films.

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  27. Faster (2010, dir. George Tillman Jr.)

    Didn’t love this, it was summed up very well by Mr. Epler earlier today. I do wish The Rock would do these R rated action pictures instead of stuff like Skyscraper.

  28. Hunted (2020)

    A woman is kidnapped, escapes, and is chased through the woods by two serial killers, but eventually it's not just about escaping. It's about revenge!

    I spent most of the movie anxious, but like, in a good way? Satisfying ending, which I feel is a must for revenge day.

  29. THE DIABOLICAL DR. Z (1966, dir. Jess Franco) Watched on Blu-ray

    When the notorious Dr. Zimmer proposes at a medical conference to experiment on human beings to change the violent behavior of criminals, the scorn of his colleagues is too much for his weak health to bear. His bereaved daughter, Irma, is determined to show that her father’s theories are correct by medically manipulating a woman to kill the doctors who mocked her father. Judging by the normal standards of filmmaking, The Diabolical Dr. Z may well be the best film Jess Franco ever made. The story is coherent, the cinematography is stylish, and the acting is as good as any of the European chillers of the era. Many of Jess Franco’s trademarks are present in this early film: nightclub acts, gratuitous nudity, the presence of Howard Vernon, and a zoom shot (thankfully not overused here). Recommended for fans of 1960s Eurohorror.

  30. Revenge of the Cheerleaders (1976, dir. Richard Lerner)

    The plan was to introduce our 12-year old son to KILL BILL. That didn't happen, so we watched this instead. I guess some cheerleaders get revenge.

  31. Pulp Fiction (1994)

    Butch gets revenge on Vincent, Maynard and Zedd. Marsellus gets revenge on Tony Rocky Horror.

    Cruella (2021)

    Emma Stone gets revenge on Emma Thompson. Good movie to play "When would I bail?" So far I wouldn't bail on Cruella. She's too pretty and hasn't gone Fullella yet.

  32. Spiral (2021)

    My "falling asleep halfway through a topic movie" finally finished one on the same day as the calendar (toddler/selling house life is hard).

    Can't say too much to avoid spoiling anything, but my wife and I enjoyed it. Some of the dialogue/editing felt like they might have legit consulted Tommy Wiseau, but the twists were exactly what you'd expect from a Saw film (this one possibly the most "written backwards" since 3/4). The third act legit had my attention, though there was an obnoxiously obvious tell I won't spoil.

    Caveat: wife and I have seen every saw since 2 (through Jigsaw) at opening midnight and at least enjoyed them. Spiral was the first we didn't (again, Toddler/Covid). We might be Saw apologists, but we'll wear that badge with pride.

  33. Borderline (1980)

    Bronson, Harris, Brimley, Kirby, Lerner, Ashton. What more could one ask for?!

  34. Female Prisoner #701: Scorpion (1972)

    After crossing Lady Snowblood and its (disappointing) sequel off the list, it is now time for me to dive into the Female Prisoner Scorpion series. And I must say it starts with a banger of a movie.
    For most of the runtime it is actually a straight up prison exploitation film, and a pretty nasty one at that, with our titular heroine being subjected to all sorts of abuse for 70+ minutes. She's cooler about it than Cool Hand Luke, though, and when the time finally comes for the revenge part of the plot to kick in, she's ready, willing and more than able to start methodically wasting all the men who had wronged her in a brief but satisfying final stretch. The movie is shot with a lot more visual flair than I expected (extreme tilted angles, sharp color contrast, creative lighting, crazy backdrops, a crucial flashback presented in the form of a small theatrical play) and the exquisite Meiko Kaji, free from the restraints of a period costume, might come across as (dare I say it) even more captivating here than in Lady Snowblood, if such a thing is possible. I know I'll be back for more FPS action soon, for sure.

    1. Jailhouse 41 is an amazing sequel, just as nasty and visually creative as the first.

  35. Kill Bill (2003, dir. TARANTINO)

    Nuff' said.

  36. Ninja in the Dragon's Den (1982)
    Tha god Hiroyuki Sanada gets directed by that god Corey Yuen. Oh and boobs save the day. If that doesn't sell you I can't help you Jack.

  37. Ninjan2: Shadow of a Tear, dir Isaac Florentine, 2013

    Scott Adkins getting his revenge on everyone. The people who killed his wife, the guys who mugged him, the guy who split beer on him at the bar.... Shadow of a tear freaken rules!

  38. Black Sister’s Revenge aka Emma Mae (1974)

    A very cool movie. A not-so-naive southern gets off a bus and has to make it in Compton. She later heads up a bank heist in a white van that looks a lot like one Ordell loaned to Louis once upon a time. The ultra low budget is apparent a lot of the time, but this movie goes to some places and has memorable performances and dialogue.

  39. Rolling Thunder (1977)
    Coffy (1973)

    Essential American International revenge pictures. Who would have guessed that they share a cast member (Linda Haynes) or that Franklin from Texas Chainsaw Massacre makes an appearance as Tommy Lee Jones’s brother in law in Rolling Thunder. This revenge double feature may feature the most people I’ve ever seen shot-gunned to death in any three hour time period. Someone should have made a sequel where William Devine and Pam Grier team up to really kick some ass!

  40. He Who Gets Slapped (1924)

    I've been dipping my toes into the silent film pool, recently. Lon Chaney was an electric actor. He conveys his deep sadness, pretending to be happy while getting slapped repeatedly. He gets screwed over time and time again until revenge presents itself. Will he take advantage or laugh his problems away?

  41. Point Blank (1967)

    Lee Marvin is double crossed and spends the rest of the movie getting back at anyone that gets in his way. I was a a little bored but it was cool to see a young(er) John Vernon.

  42. Jeremiah Johnson (1972)

    I was so glad I finally got to see the bearded Robert Redford meme. His nod brought a huge smile to my face. This was surprisingly good and took me on a journey I wasn't expecting. The way Redford unexpectedly receives a family and what happens after was tough. You really feel for him and what he had to go through just to be alive at that time.

  43. Vigilante (1982)

    How far do you have to get pushed before you lose yourself and get revenge? That is how most of these revenge movies go. This one was especially brutal. Robert Forrester is always great and William Lustre really puts you in his shoes. It's very cathartic to see him go balls out when he reaches his boiling point.

    1. this is one of my favorite first time watches this year. so good.

    2. Too bad Fred Williamson isn't fully unleashed, though. He's there most of the way helping Robert Forster, but toward the end he vanishes. Maybe Fred's "Vigilante" check bounced and he just walked out on William Lustig? ☺🤗

  44. The Limey (1999)

    I had heard this was great and I have to say I was not disappointed. I've always loved Terence Stamp and he has never been better. Soderbergh interweaves old footage of what looks like Stamp when he was young. It is funny and moody and brilliantly acted. Even the bit parts are populated with pulled back, steady performances. I would see another 10 movies with Stamp as this character.

  45. The Virgin Spring (1960)

    Ingmar Bergman had always been a little out of my grasp until I saw Persona last month. Cries and Whispers and Hour of the Wolf were ok but I didn't quite get it. I am finally starting to see the appeal. I am a fan of The Last House on the Left and I've always wanted to see the inspiration for it. It lived up to the hype and I can't wait to check out The Seventh Seal later this month.

  46. Rolling Thunder

    man, that shootout at the end is really excellent. Tommy Lee Jones shoulda been in more tough guy roles earlier on in his career.

  47. Revenge (2017, Dir. Coralie Fargeat)

    Blood soaked, glorious revenge tale that departs from the male gaze as it rightly should.

    Simultaneously makes me love genre film and hate mankind. Coralie, bravo.

    See Patrick's wonderful review here on site and then watch it if you somehow slept on it like I have.

  48. Had to use this as an opportunity to watch Revenge (2017) for the first time. Not my usual genre of choice, but found it brutal and thrilling with super-killable antagonists.