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Revenge DVD Review


“Revenge” is deeply flawed, but admirable.

Not to be confused with the stylish and brutal recent film of the same name, 1985’s “Revenge” is a South African western about a man (Shala) who moves into a new farm with his wife and son. While working out in a field, Shala’s wife and son are left home alone and are soon preyed on by local scumbags who rape and kill his wife, injure his son and burn down his farm. In a fit of rage he confronts the men but is badly beaten. After regrouping and receiving guidance from a wise old man, however, Shala hopes to get bloody revenge against those responsible for the horrific acts.

For those that aren’t aware, “Revenge” (which is part of the Retro Afrika line of films from IndiePix) is an apartheid era South African low-budget indie film with an all black cast. Running at a mere 56 minutes, it’s a very simplistic western. From a critical standpoint, the movie isn’t particularly good. The plot and dialogue is clumsy and overly telegraphed, the score is all over the place, scenes linger on far too long (expect a lot of walking, waiting, digging, and cooking shots) and the fights are phony.

From a cultural standpoint though this is a fascinating piece of world cinema history that really captures the indie film spirit. Despite its numerous shortcomings, you can tell this movie was made for the love of cinema and to give its viewers a unique cinematic experience. On that point alone, I’m glad this movie exists. Plus, who is to say this movie didn’t inspire filmmakers or bring about a new generation of filmmakers who marvel at the DIY vibe of this film?


Presentation: 3:2. How does it look? The colors are a bit washed out, but the print is in fine shape.

Audio Track: Stereo. How does it sound? The film (which is in Zulu with English subtitles) has a quality audio track.

Extras: A free screener link for “Entre Nos” and a trailer for “Revenge.”

January 12, 2019 - Posted by | DVD review | , , , ,

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