Saturday, May 7, 2016

"Revenge" (1986) d/ Christopher Lewis

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You may or may not remember me examining director Christopher Lewis' debut effort, the shot-on-video slasher of the clamshell variety, Blood Cult (1985), some three years ago now. Clink the link, in any case, and reacquaint yourself with my thoughts on it. Tonight's review stands as the 16 mm-to-video sequel to that movie, starring Patrick Wayne, who'd fallen to these Wednesday night video rental depths from his epic drive in portrayal of Sinbad in 1977's Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger, and the prolific John Carradine in one of six appearances he'd make two years from his death in 1988. Thanks to the yobbos at VCI, you can dump a tenner for the dvd, then question your very sanity, wondering why you ever bothered, just like I did...

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"Maybe you should have stuck to handing out Lenin propaganda to hippies at the squat, Bernie..."
Those crazy Caninus cultists are back at it again, gutting nosey reporter broads in dark alleys, leaving behind those doggie coins at the scene of the crime as a sort of plastic-looking calling card for exactly... nobody who seem to be investigating the murders. When they give Carlton Moore (James Potts) an axe-face death for foolishly investigating that weird noise in the barn, it leaves only his plucky wife, Gracie (Bennie Lee McGowan), to fend off the real estate-maddened zealots, who try to scare her off with a lone motorcyclist, a madman who performs minor ramp jumps and menacingly (not really) kicks her pickup door in hopes that she'll sell the farm to the cult, seeing how their sacrificial altar to Caninus happens to fall inside her property line. Couldn't you guys just kill her and be done with it? Apparently not. The suffering continues...

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No amount of percocet can remedy this Axe-head(r)in' headache.
Luckily for Gracie, a savior arrives on the scene in the form of Mike Hogan (Patrick Wayne), a former neighbor who's looking to sate his curiosity on the mysterious events surrounding his brother's death after paying respects to her late husband at his funeral, where the secret cultists strongly suggest she dump her farm deed in the wastepaper basket, right next to this movie's screenplay, I'd imagine. Some more brutal deaths, including a beheaded local horny bikini teen in a hot tub, lead the unlikely duo to investigate together, eventually booby trapping the cult's backwoods digs to rain on the sacrificial parade on an unholy night, with even a U.S. senator (John Carradine, looking more arthritically twisted than usual and mostly unaware of his surroundings) in attendance. Gee, I hope there's not a foreseeable twist ending in the works.

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Michael's sister really appreciated those free tickets to the Nu Shooz concert.
At the time of this release, around my junior year in high school,  stuff like this was delegated to the middle of the week in my inner circle, and recognized as cheap thrills in comparison to the European stuff we were also tuning in to in the mid to late eighties. Compared to some of the direct-to-video junk being churned out these days, it's actually not that bad, though it certainly isn't good, either. The rubbery demon suit in the finale was kind of ambitious considering the blood letting leading up to it is downright miserly in volume, and far too infrequent in between great periods of uninspired dialog between John Wayne's son and a poor man's Angela Lansbury in Bennie Lee McGowan. Alas, I'm not about to let my teenage nostalgia sway the one Wop score this one surely deserves as revenge for making me endure it again after all these years. Looks good on you, Revenge. Wear it proudly.

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"The Reese's Cup melted in my pocket on me...I hate licking my fingers."
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