24th Dec2014

‘Vengeance Road’ Review

by Phil Wheat

Stars: Nick Principe, Robin Sydney, Todd Farmer, Trent Haaga, Malice McMunn, John Fallon, Philip Salick, Laban Pheidias, Joshua Lou Friedman | Written by John Fallon | Directed by Ravi Dhar


John Falcon is a mountain of a man, hardened by years in the dusty Californian desert. Discovered shot and left for dead in a home robbery gone bad, Falcon would have a received a lighter sentence, but he refused to snitch on his partners… If you’re following the all-too-brief opening flashback that is. You see Vengeance Road, aka American Muscle, throws viewers in at the deep end as Falcon argues with a fellow inmate over two packets of cigarettes before being released from prison.

After catching a ride home with a beautiful stranger (and banging her doggy-style over the back seat of her car in full view of passing motorists), Falcon discovers that the house he once shared with his wife is now inherited by meth addicts working for his brother Sam. It appears Sam has risen to top-dawg status in the local criminal underworld. Falcon recovers a stash of weapons and quickly disposes of the armed lackeys before reclaiming the one thing that has never betrayed him – his classic American muscle car. Falcon then proceeds to drive round looking mean and moody whilst reminiscing about his wife (even about banging her in the back seat of his car – notice a pattern?) and pretty much boring the entire audience!

I’ll freely admit, that for the first time in a VERY long time, I just could not sit through the entire movie and [sadly] turned off Vengeance Road waaaay before the final credits rolled. Which was truly disappointing.

You see on paper Vengeance Road sounded like my kind of action/revenge movie: a low-budget “grindhouse” style exploitation movie full of boobs and bullets – I wouldn’t have requested to review the film if not – but in reality it’s a real slog to sit through something so incredibly dull. Nick Principe (who played the villainous Chromeskull in the Laid to Rest movies) fits the part of Falcon well – he truly does look and act like a bad-ass revenge-seeking criminal, it’s just that having a great central performance can’t make up for a total lack of interesting story to hang the film on. And no, having cool looking characters driving round in a cool muscle car is no substitute for plot either!

Definitely one for the cinematic masochists out there, Vengeance Road is released on DVD on January 5th, courtesy of Metrodome.


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