12th Oct2020

Grimmfest 2020: ‘Revenge Ride’ Review

by Chris Cummings

Stars: Pollyanna McIntosh, Serinda Swan, Diego Boneta, Vanessa Dubasso | Written by Timothy Durham | Directed by Melanie Aitkenhead

Written by Timothy Durham (Blood Ride) and directed by Melanie Aitkenhead (Actors Anonymous, Mother, May I Sleep With Danger?), Revenge Ride is an independent horror movie about an all-female biker crew named Dark Moon, who are out for revenge when member of the gang, Maggie’s (Serinda Swan) cousin Mary (Vanessa Dubasso) is drugged an assaulted by a group of football players. It harkens back to old exploitation biker flicks of the 70s, as well as female-fronted revenge pictures like Savage Streets.

I was attracted to the film immediately, being a fan of the genres it feels like an homage to. A terrific cast, I thought most delivered in their roles, with Serinda Swan (Ballers) as Maggie and Polyanna McIntosh (The Woman, The Walking Dead) as Gang Leader, Trigga, both standing out the most for me. Revenge Ride is a fast-paced action revenge tale, and so it doesn’t perhaps spend as long as it could on character development or the building of the relationships of these characters, but as a whole I found it to be an enjoyable, entertaining and nostalgic film. It’s been a while since I’ve seen a movie like this pop up, and I think it’s a relevant and interesting premise, and one that doesn’t ever feel unnecessary. The injection of a male character, Brian (Diego Boneta), who had nothing to do with the heinous attack that led to the desire for revenge, helps throw an extra issue into the narrative, and brings some intriguing questions to the forefront, which helped to keep things from getting too predictable.

Revenge Ride looks fantastic, too, it must be said, with great cinematography from Eitan Almagor, the film retains a feeling of rawness and edginess, whilst still having a very slick look. I really liked the costume designs, too, and McIntosh really did suit the role of a gang leader. She’s tall, intimidating and has the ability to give off a demeanour that says “I’m going to beat the shit out of you”. If I had any complaints, it would merely be that the film only lasts for 70 minutes, and could have used an extra twenty minutes to let things breathe a bit more, give some extra background to the characters, and give more of a reason to care about, or dislike, the various characters. Still, there is a lot to be said for taking just 70 minutes and still making something as enjoyable as this is.

There’s a focus on how violence in these circumstances can be so much more destructive in the way it continues and never truly ends, with everybody, even those not involved in the initial crime, affected by the response to it. Violent, action-packed, full of great performances from a top notch cast and with a tone reminiscent of 1970s woman-power action features, Revenge Ride is a film well worth your time, and one I found entertaining and engaging from the start until its end.

**** 4/5

Revenge Ride screened on Sunday October 11th as part of this years Grimmfest virtual festival.


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