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The Retaliators

USA 2021
produced by
Mike Walsh, Michael Lombardi, Allen Kovac, Dan Lieblein (executive), Randy Bricker (executive), the Geare Brothers (= Darren Geare, Jeff Allen Geare) (executive) for Better Noise Films, K Phat Productions
directed by Bridget Smith, Samuel Gonzalez jr
starring Michael Lombardi, Marc Menchaca, Joseph Gatt, Jacoby Shaddix, Katie Kelly, Abbey Hafer, Ivan L. Moody, Zoltan Bathory, Chris Kael, Andy James, Jason Hook, Amanda Lyberg, Rachel Hilbert, Robert Knepper, Robert John Burke, Corrie Graham, Cree Kelly, Kristopher Kling, Skyler Stone, Brian O'Halloran, Sarah Nicklin, Doc Coyle, Danny Case, Lance Dowdle, Mat Madiro, Matt Brandyberry, Dan Murphy, Miles Gordon Franco, Spencer Charnas, Craig Mabbitt, Kailah Homes, Don Hewitt jr, Susan Moses, Whitney Peyton, Gemma McIlhenny, Gigi Gustin, Christian Claramonte, Dominic Costa, Brian Gallagher, River Geare, Jaya Galsanjamts, Shannan Wilson
written by the Geare Brothers (= Darren Geare, Jeff Allen Geare), music by Kyle Dixon, Michael Stein, special makeup effects by Vincent J. Guastini, Shannon Rae Mulligan, Kc Mussman, Or Mussman, Eric Yoder

review by
Mike Haberfelner

John (Michael Lombardi) is a mild mannered pastor, and a widower raising his two daughters Sarah (Katie Kelly) and Rebecca (Abbey Hafer) on his own - and not doing too bad a job for sure. Then though, Sarah through no fault of her own witnesses a gangland crime, and is ultimately killed by the perpetrator, Ram (Joseph Gatt), who's hell-bent not to leave any witnesses behind. The grief is unbearable for the pastor, but fortunately he finds a sympathetic man in Sawyer (Marc Menchaca), the cop handling the case, who knows exactly what John's going through after having lost his own wife (Corrie Graham) to a serial rapist (Jacoby Shaddix) ten years ago. However that's a good thing only until Sawyer tells John he has captured Ram - and hidden him away in a remote location so John can have his revenge. John is mightily tempted, so much so that he already chooses a weapon with Ram sitting opposite him all tied up - but ultimately can't go through with it. Now this then puts Sawyer in a pretty awkward position, because he knows of course what he's doing is against the law and John might snitch on him if he lets him go. What's worse, Ram isn't the first perp he has snatched off the streets and locked into his basement for some victim's relatives to have their revenge on, he's got a full cage of them, all brutally disfigured but alive, if regressed to a primal state and full of rage. Bad comes to worse though when Ram's gang arrives at Sawyers hide-out to free Ram, and John shows enough compassion to free Sawyer's captives - and a resulting bloodbath is of course unavoidable ...

 

Now the finale of this movie is ultra-violent and should leave every gore fan super satisfied, as it's not only unrelenting but also shows inventiveness, and is quick-paced, properly explicit and very bloody. But it would be wrong to reduce the film just to its finale, as the preceding story actually has quite some depth to it, presents the viewer with an interesting moral dilemma, and doesn't offer any easy answers. And well-drawn characters played by a solid cast don't hurt one bit to make this a genre piece well worth a watch.

 

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review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
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shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD