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Revenge is sweet

February 21st, 2011 · Posted by Skuds in Life · 2 Comments · Life

Over the weekend I watched two films on DVD which turned out to be variations on the same theme: revenge.  Both are stories of somebody left for dead by a group of people, but who survives and returns to get their revenge.  The films were I Spit On Your Grave and 22 Bullets.

Both were sent to me by Amazon, as part of their Vine programme so I’ll have to write proper reviews of them sometime, at the moment I’m just pondering on the coincidence of getting two films with such a similar synopsis.I Spit On Your Grave is a remake of a 1978  film which was one of the notorious ‘video nasties’ .  I haven’t seen the original, but by all accounts this is faithful to the main points of an author going into the middle of nowhere to write her book, getting gang-raped by a bunch of locals and then systematically hunting them down later.  Even the poster is just an update of the original.  The big differences are that there are five locals instead of the original four and the violence is up to the levels you would expect in a post-Saw world.

The rape scene is quite graphic and disturbing, and the revenge killings are no less graphic and disturbing.  I think its safe to say that anybody who doesn’t like films like Hostel or Saw is not going to like this one either.

I thought it was OK but too long by 20 or 30 minutes.  The entire plot can be stated in one sentence and is given away on the publicicty so you know what is going to happen you are just wondering when and how, and it felt like a long time before anything really started.

If there is one lesson from this film it is: get a sat-nav if you are going to stay in a remote cabin. That way you won’t have to stop at an out-of-the-way gas station for directions and thus tell the rednecks there where you are going.

22 Bullets is different in that much of it takes place among crowds rather than the wilds of the US.  Also the victim is not an innocent turned psychotic by their experience, but someone with a history of violence themselves. It is a French film, produced by Luc Besson and starring Jean Reno so an altogether classier and glossier production, and with more themes to it

Jean Reno plays a Marseilles mafia boss who has retired but gets gunned down and left for dead with 22 bullets in him.  He survives, of course, and tracks down the people who carried out and ordered the hit.

The DVD is a bit sneaky as it doesn’t mention, except in tiny smallprint on the back, that it is a French language film with English subtitles.  I don’t mind foreign language films, but I know a lot of people do.  The cover of the DVD highlights the names of Jean Reno, who is well-known for various American films, and the director Richard Berry, who has an English-sounding name).  It has a tagline of “The professional returns” making it sound like a sequel to Leon and the title is totally different to what it is in French (The Immortal).

Not a bad film.  Unfortunately, being set in Marseilles and having a pompous police inspector in it I kept expecting Sammy Naceri to turn up in his pimped Peugot. Mind you, that was also a Luc Besson film so maybe that explains it.  All I know is that this doesn’t do anything to make me want to go to Marseilles any time soon.

Of the two films I am probably more likely to watch 22 Bullets a second time, but they are both worth a viewing, but only if you don’t mind a bit of blood & guts.

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2 Comments so far ↓

  • skud's sister

    At least it is subtitled rather than dubbed. I got a really cheap copy of Subway and found it was cheap because it was dubbed – couldn’t watch it….

  • Skuds

    Can’t stand dubbed films. Only useful if you are watching while doing something else like ironing and don’t will be looking away from the screen on and off.

    Best DVDs are the ones that give you a choice of language and sub-titles, and I’ll always choose the original soundtrack with English sub-titles. If nothing else, it improves your foreign language a bit.