06th Jul2015

‘Vendetta’ VOD Review

by Mondo Squallido

Stars: Dean Cain, Paul Wight, Michael Eklund, Ben Hollingsworth, Adrian Holmes, Matthew MacCaull, Kyra Zagorsky, Aleks Paunovic, Jonathan Walker, Dee Jay Jackson, Juan Riedinger, Leo Rano, David Allan Pearson, Garfield Wilson, William Stewart | Written by Justin Shady | Directed by Jen Soska, Sylvia Soska

“Get Ready for Hell in a Cell”

vendetta-poster

The Soska Twins (American Mary) have seemingly gone from strength to strength. The pair first appeared on the radar with their film Dead Hooker in a Trunk and received great acclaim with their body modification horror, American Mary, starring Katharine Isabelle (Ginger Snaps). Thanks to the success of that film, they have been involved in projects such as The ABC’s of Death 2 and began a relationship with WWE Films starting with quite frankly god awful See No Evil 2. It’s safe to say that the pair have made quite an impact within the horror scene within a remarkably short time, even getting major backing and promotion from Video Watchdog’s very own Tim Lucas! One can’t help feel happy that the pair are flying the flag for female directors everywhere. Unfortunately however, that’s the only real positive opinion I have. Aside from being hard working and clearly talented, I haven’t really been impressed with what I have seen so far from the twins. When I found out that they were working with the WWE again to direct Vendetta, a prison action flick starring Dean Cain (The New Adventures of Superman) and Paul ‘The Big Show’ Wight (Knucklehead), I was a little apprehensive about how well the film would turn out.

Dean Cain stars as Mason Sanders, a detective who has the perfect life. He has a gorgeous wife and has recently put the infamous Victor and Griffin Abbott, played Wight and AAdrian Holmes (This Means War) behind bars where they belong. Mason’s life changes forever when the Abbott Brothers are released due to a technicality. As if all of his hard work amounting to nothing wasn’t bad enough, his life takes an even more devastating turn when his wife is fatally beaten by Victor. With the love of his life cruelly taken away from him, Mason has only one thing on his mind, the ultimate revenge. With Victor finally behind bars and with nothing left to loose, the only thing to do is get incarcerated himself. He does this by killing Griffin in cold blood. His plan works, as he finds himself in the same prison as Victor. All that’s left to do now, is put the rest of his plan in motion and give Victor what he deserves.

In terms of story, this is a paint by the numbers prison revenge film. That being said, first time writer Justin Shady has crafted a solid enough screenplay that may be full of cliches, but it’s entertaining enough and has a good balance of plot and action. Speaking of action, there’s a good amount of solidly choreographed fight scenes throughout which are often brutal and bloody. Dean Cain really looks the part as Mason Sanders and is believable when he’s dishing out the violence. Not only that, but there’s a subtlety within his performance that makes him a more believable protagonist. Paul Wight also plays his character well, he’s cold, ruthless and never too over the top. Michael Eklund (88 Minutes) stars as the crooked warden and he plays him like you would expect from Eklund, sarcastic, arrogant and ultimately a parody of himself. I of course mean that in the best way possible! The Soska Twins have toned down their stylised approach to filmmaking and have crafted an honest, does what it says on the tin modern exploitation film. Some of the die hard horror crowd that have come to love their films may be disappointed here. For me personally, this is their most enjoyable work. Even if this is probably a ‘purely for the paycheque’ type of film (I certainly get that vibe), I think they have done a more than competent job and would love to see them helm more projects like this.

All in all, I enjoyed every minute of Vendetta. I have a soft spot for WWE’s cinematic output and this for me is one of the best in recent years. Sure, it’s nothing too original, but if you’re looking for a fun experience that isn’t just a time waster, this is definitely worth a watch. There’s really nothing more you can say about a film like this, it delivers what it promises and never tries to be something it isn’t. The Soska Twins have shown the ignorant that women are more than capable of producing horror films and with this, they have shown that you don’t have to be guy to produce a good old fashioned action flick! I’m still not completely convinced by the pair, but more efforts like this could change that.

Vendetta is available on VOD now, via the usual outlets.

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