March 1, 2023

THE RETALIATORS: The Multipurpose Revenge Movie

2021 / 96 min
Review by Tiger the Terrible😺

The cool thing about The Retaliators is there are more reasons to watch it than just another revenge story.

For starters, you could play a game of “Spot the Metal Dude.” The cast is loaded with real life rockers from various popular bands. Some appear in short cameos, while others, such as Jacoby Shaddix of Papa Roach and several members of Five Finger Death Punch, have significant supporting roles. Even old school geezer Tommy Lee shows up to slap a waitress’ ass.

Speaking of which, The Retaliators has a killer soundtrack featuring some great tunes by the likes of Asking Alexandria, From Ashes to New, The HU, Nothing More and, of course, the two bands previously mentioned. But these songs aren’t gratuitously inserted. For the most part, they enhance the overall tone of the film, as does the score itself. If nothing else, it's a movie worth cranking up loud.

There's also an opportunity for a bit of self-reflection. In certain scenes, mild-mannered pastor John Bishop (Michael Lombardi) is forced to decide whether to strike back at those who’ve wronged him, or practice what he preaches and turn the other cheek. He faces the ultimate test of his beliefs when given the opportunity to kill the man who murdered his daughter without any fear of consequences. Personally, I’d drive that ice pick right into the guy’s brain - maybe even wiggle it around a little - which I realize says more about me than John (to avoid spoiling things, I won’t reveal what he chooses).

Mr. Clean Stirkes Back.
Even the dependable driven-by-revenge premise has a few interesting wrinkles. Though he obviously wants to find who killed his teenage daughter, John isn’t seriously considering revenge until the detective on the case, Jed Sawyer (Marc Menchaca), provides the opportunity. In fact, Sawyer reveals a pretty shocking secret about his personal brand of justice (stemming from a past tragedy). But while the narrative occasionally threatens to address more serious themes, it’s ultimately all about getting even...violently. The final act is an over-the-top splatterfest with creative, audience-rousing gore and excellent make-up effects.

As a horror-tinted action flick, The Retaliators doesn’t score many points for subtlety - or originality - but it’s a lot of shameless fun. Well-paced, efficiently directed and featuring solid performances (even some of the rock stars are surprisingly decent), the film is a guilty pleasure worth checking out…for a variety of reasons. 


INTERVIEWS - Short but entertaining interviews with most of the main cast.

MUSIC VIDEOS - A lot of heavy metal videos of songs from the film. Only drawback…they’re presented as a single feature.


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