Newest Reviews
Night Raiders
Samourai, Le
Advent Calendar, The
Merchant of Four Seasons, The
Love of Jeanne Ney, The
Blonde. Purple
Dirty Ho
Dying to Divorce
Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn
Trouble with Being Born, The
Last Matinee, The
Strings, The
Free Hand for a Tough Cop
People Just Do Nothing: Big in Japan
Dear Future Children
Accidental Luxuriance of the Translucent Watery Rebus
Thin Red Line, The
Petite Maman
Fast & Furious 9
Sundown: The Vampire in Retreat
Sweet Thing
Father, The
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
Night House, The
Father of Flies
80,000 Years Old
Dead & Beautiful
Whisker Away, A
Wild Indian
Whale Island
Newest Articles
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
The Punk Rock Movie: Out of the Blue on Blu-ray
Yeah, Too Quiet: The Great Silence on Blu-ray
Vestron Double Bill: Dementia 13 and The Wraith
Farewell Dean Stockwell: His Years of Weirdness
Kung Fu Craft: Cinematic Vengeance! on Blu-ray
999 Letsbe Avenue: Gideon's Way on Blu-ray
Hungary for Cartoons: Hungarian Animations on MUBI
You Have No Choice: Invasion of the Body Snatchers on Blu-ray
You Can't Tame What's Meant to Be Wild: The Howling on Blu-ray
Commendably Brief: Short Sharp Shocks Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Super Silents: Early Universal Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Fable Fear: The Singing Ringing Tree on Blu-ray
Gunsight Eyes: The Sabata Trilogy on Blu-ray
Bloody Bastard Baby: The Monster/I Don't Want to Be Born on Blu-ray
Night of the Animated Dead: Director Jason Axinn Interview
The ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt - Interview with Director/Star Ian Boldsworth
On the Right Track: Best of British Transport Films Vol. 2
The Guns of Nutty Joan: Johnny Guitar on Blu-ray
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
Masterful: The Servant on Blu-ray
70s Sitcom Dads: Bless This House and Father Dear Father on Blu-ray
Going Under: Deep Cover on Blu-ray
Child's Play: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 3 on DVD
  Revenge Pub Of Doom
Year: 1971
Director: Sidney Hayers
Stars: Joan Collins, James Booth, Ray Barrett, Sinéad Cusack, Kenneth Griffith, Tom Marshall, Zuleika Robson, Donald Morley, Barry Andrews, Artro Morris, Patrick McAlinney, Angus Mackay, Geoffrey Hughes, Nicola Critcher
Genre: Drama, ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: A funeral of a ten-year-old girl was held today, and as if that wasn't bad enough she is dead because she had been raped and murdered by a man who may have committed the same crime before in this quiet town. On the way back home, the Radford family think over what they could have done differently since the mother, Carol (Joan Collins), felt if only she had been a little quicker to reach the school to pick her up, she could have saved the girl's life, and her stepdaughter Jill (Zuleika Robson) evidently feels the same given how resentful she is behaving. But the father, Jim (James Booth), is thinking over what he would like to do to the killer, so when the prime suspect is set free thanks to lack of evidence, he is very angry...

Angry enough to take the law into his own hands as he teams up with the other bereaved father, Harry (Ray Barrett), to kidnap the man they believe is responsible. Now, in the early nineteen-seventies the theme of vigilante justice broke out of the Western genre and into the thriller genre, with the law seen as weak and too liberal when it came to doling out the punishment to criminals who appeared to be getting viler by the day. So you had Dirty Harry breaking free of the bonds his position as a police officer had restrained him with, and Charles Bronson picking up a gun to wreak vengeance on a sick society of miscreants, to give the two highest profile examples, but this trend had not escaped Britain either (among other countries who followed suit).

Thus the public were offered the moral dilemmas of Revenge, which went by many titles to make it sound like a horror movie, which it wasn't, it was a crime drama with thriller elements, even if the overall effect was to deliberately disturb the audience as they wondered what they would do in the Radfords' shoes. The trouble with that was creating an issue drama out of a hot topic could easily lend itself to schematic melodrama, and that was precisely what happened here as the film was so blatantly trying to push the viewer's buttons that it grew sillier as it progressed. Take the suspected paedophile, played by Kenneth Griffith looking every bit the suspicious customer, stacking the deck in the family's favour when he resembled nothing so much as comedian Les Dawson's humorous pervert character Cosmo Smallpiece, little Coke bottle glasses and all (which you just know will be stepped on vindictively before the first half hour is over).

So you already perceive this could go either way, the filmmakers (who included Peter Rogers, still best known for the success of his Carry On franchise but as you see he dabbled in other styles as well) will confirm our suspicions that Jim, Harry and Jim's older son Lee (Tom Marshall) have kidnapped the wrong man and we will be left with the sobering conclusion that the man they beat almost to death is innocent, or they will bottle it and do the double twist where we realise they were right all along, and it's equally sobering that the cycle of violence continued to that extent. Whichever, you were intended to emerge from Revenge ashen-faced at the depths of depravity humanity can sink to, what do you want from a night out at the pictures anyway? Entertainment? Well you won't get it here!

Griffith, an actor who often didn't seem to care whether he was sympathetic or not, was barely afforded a personality to play, simply a series of quirks and cringes, which left the heavy lifting of the acting to the others. Collins and Booth were fairly impressive as the couple whose impulsive actions left them reeling from the consequences, and Sinéad Cusack added a touch of sensitivity to her role as Lee's understanding girlfriend, though by the point where impotent with disgust Lee is resorting to raping his stepmother in front of the suspected killer to show him "what a real woman looks like!" the plot had gotten tangled in the morals it was tripping up over, and though you could just about accept that the family were in turmoil over their dilemma, with an injured man in the cellar of their pub who they'll either have to let go or execute, there was more than the whiff of exploitation in the manner this all developed. This meant any genuine issues were fudged in the sensationalism, and besides, there was already a 1971 film that took a far more intelligent approach to the same subject, the Sean Connery work The Offence. This was crudely memorable, but you were well aware of its strenuous efforts to get a reaction. Music by Eric Rogers.

[Network's Blu-ray in its British Film line looks impeccable, and has the trailer and a gallery as extras, plus subtitles for the hard of hearing.]
Reviewer: Graeme Clark


This review has been viewed 2341 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

Review Comments (0)

Untitled 1

Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Jason Cook
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt


Last Updated: