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LUST FOR VENGEANCE (2004)
Published by Miranda on 2009/2/4 (2206 reads)
LUST FOR VENGEANCE (2004)
Directed by SEAN WEATHERS
Review by MARTIN BOUCHER
Released by Full Circle Filmworks
Running Time: 62 minutes
Color format: Color
Audio/Subtitles: English Stereo
Region Code: NTSC
Aspect Ratio: Fullscreen
16:9 Enhanced: No
Special Features: “Lust for Vengeance Revisited” featurette; “And Your Pocket$ too” bonus short film
Trailer Online: Yes
Here we go again, the decapitation of a slasher wannabe. Yes, yours truly is sad to report that he got his hands on another independent fiasco. LUST FOR VENGEANCE is its name, a student-like film that passes for a giallo but feels more like a chick magnet vehicle for chauvinistic directors. According to the DVD extras LUST FOR VENGEANCE is the third offering from filmmaker Sean Weathers (after HOOKERS IN REVOLT and HOUSE OF THE DAMNED) which automatically raises the question: how can it possibly be so? Clearly the man must be doing something right; just not in this flick, though.
The story—if you can call it that—revolves around five twentysomething females who, like all those doomed would-be scream queens of yesteryear, pay dearly for their sins which involve sex, drugs and bulimia, with close-ups to spare. In a strict but trivial unchronological order each girl becomes prey to an apparatus-obsessed madman who may have some invisible tendencies since he can kill without even being seen by a third party. Oh yeah, and he wears a mask, too, a motorcycle helmet, to be precise. Who is this person? Is he an old troubled schoolmate named Michael Richards (a reference to the anti-Semitic “Seinfeld” language user?) whose then-obsession with the quintet put him in juvenile hall? Or is he simply one of the ladies’ fellows who pops up every time an itch beckons? Or better yet, the raincoat-wearing detective whose professional garb is as formulaic as his acting skills? One thing’s for sure: nothing is as it should be in this grainy camcorder-shot flick. That is, when something does transpire on-screen. Much of the film is run on poor lighting quality, which fails to help those sub-par killing moments when they do happen. And what’s with this multicolored gel filter on the camera lens? The only thing it does is accentuating the fact that everything looks and sounds shoddily-made.
If only LUST FOR VENGEANCE could be saved by a somewhat decent script, but no such luck. The narrative is trite, inane, with restrained character development. When Weathers does try to venture out of the box with themes such as peer pressure, self-esteem and addiction the result is so emotionally uninvolving that watching his women going at it in the raw seems almost a better time spent. And, ironically, this is where the film suffers the most as it degrades into smuttville where the limit between soft-core and hardcore reaches new heights. What’s left then is a slaughtering of whatever horror aspect the plot has going for us and a definite buzz kill for those chill-seekers over 21. Performance-wise—once the T&A is out of the way—all the actresses involved show a limited flair for their craft which is actually a blessing given that nothing else comes to matter by the film end run.
The disc offers a fine one on one interview with the film crew who cordially explain the ABCs of shooting an indie to a rather inexpert-looking reporter (with bloopers to boot). Besides two unimpressive LUST FOR VENGEANCE trailers there’s a short film in black and white (shot on a video-camcorder) produced by Weathers which, although preachy in its message, is a strong directed piece by his LUST FOR VENGEANCE producer/cinematographer Aswad Issa. It would be interesting to see what this Issa person can do with a feature film. As is, he can only be overshadowed by the rather cinematic inaptitude of his fellow director mate.
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