Thursday, May 07, 2020

VENDETTA (1986) directed by Bruce Logan

“I’m not some cryogenic fuck that warms up every time you come jammin’ around!” 

Wacky car crash movie meets women-in-prison revenge flick in Concorde’s mind-boggling VENDETTA (1986), the feature film directorial debut of longtime cinematographer and visual effects artist Bruce Logan (STAR WARS, TRON, BIG BAD MAMA and helmer of Madonna’s “Borderline” video).

Laurie (Karen Chase) is a big-haired stuntwoman working on an action flick in a small southern town. (The flick opens with a cool fire walk stunt to show off its bona fides). While the locals think the film crew is getting a bit too big for its britches, tensions spill over when Laurie’s younger sister kills a local who gets a little handsy. Prison isn’t kind to the new fish and when she runs afoul of head con Kay (character actress Sandy Martin) she gets the Russian Dissident Treatment and “falls” off a roof.

Like any good sibling, Laurie is hell bent on revenge and gets herself thrown into the same jail thanks to Judge Waters (Will Hare, the creepy Grandpa from SILENT NIGHT, DEADLY NIGHT). It’s not long before she’s picking off members of Kay’s gang while she works her way up to a final confrontation with her sister’s killer.

VENDETTA’s revenge storyline is fairly pedestrian and Chase isn’t very convincing as an action star. But Logan surrounds her with a cartoonish women’s prison that feels more like a strip club, dirty dancing, bared boobs, shower scenes, creepy guards, Corman regular Roberta Collins in her big screen swan song and – wait for it – a Prince impersonator.

Martin steals the show as the randy inmate-in-charge and it’s easy to see why she has a filmography as long as her character’s rap sheet. VENDETTA doesn’t break new ground in the women in prison game but as a wild genre mash-up perfect for a beer-fueled late-night viewing it totally hits its mark. – Dan Taylor

Dan Taylor is the editor/publisher of EXPLOITATION RETROSPECT and he wants you to know that copies of issues 52 and 53 are still available.

VENDETTA is available for streaming via Amazon Prime and on Blu-Ray (with NAKED VENGEANCE).

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