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Case Number 04557

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Vendetta

Troma // 1996 // 90 Minutes // Unrated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // June 7th, 2004

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All Rise...

According to Judge David Johnson, you'll be praying for the sweet release of viewing Dennis Franz's fat ass if you subject yourself to this Troma flick.

The Charge

"A child killed…a wife seeking revenge…a sex-crazed killer seeking them both!"
(What?! The killer is seeking both the wife and the deceased child? That doesn't make any sense!)

Opening Statement

George Saunders, writer of such classics as Cobra-Marine and Bloodsport IV and star of Visions of Passion, Stolen Sex Tapes, Erotic Boundaries, Intimate Deception, Real Couples: Sex in Dangerous Places, and Femme Fontaine: Killer Babe for the C.I.A., made this crappy movie too.

Facts of the Case

Much like its befuddling tagline, Vendetta is a confusing organism. It confuses the viewer as to why the movie was ever looked at by a person in authority who then said: "Yes! Let us release this movie to the public and put our names on it!" Of course, this is Troma, and they're willing to put their names on anything.

First things first: this movie is horrible, but horrible in the way where it is a joy to mock. The acting is amateurish, there are some hilarious filming gaffes, the writing is grade-school-recess quality, and the overall look and feel is two notches above home movies.

Now that we've got that out of the way, let's look at what writer/director George Saunders has contributed to the legacy of human existence.

Jack Mason (Saunders) and his wife Jennifer (Monica Baber, a kind of bizzarro Shannon Tweed) suffered through an awful tragedy when their daughter was raped and killed one year ago. The trauma drove the two apart, and they are now drifting as unhinged, emotionally detached cops.

Jack is the most unstable of the two, as he is constantly flashing back to happier times with his family (including an odd sequence where the three of them are having a picnic, and he suddenly starts making out with his wife in front of their daughter). He also tends to break into spontaneous fits of weeping and piss-poor emoting.

To drown the sorrow, he's taken up banging a fellow police officer who has a taste for the bondage and ambiguous moral choices. But when a series of mutilation-murders hit the streets, Jack is teamed up with his estranged wife to track down the killer.

Unfortunately for the investigation, Jack is the worst cop ever. He is prone to violence, tends to storm into volatile situations without backup (or much of a plan for that matter), has zero observation skills, lets his ravenous sexual appetite cloud his better judgment, drives a really slow car, never fully searches a crime scene, wags his loaded gun around with no consideration for his or others' safety, berates and attacks his fellow officers, refuses to take time off despite his wild emotional ups and downs, can't shoot straight, exchanges confidential information pertaining to ongoing criminal investigations in exchange for sexual intercourse, willfully places his partner—a husband and father-to-be—in harm's way, slips in and out of hallucinations, and keeps a pet pigeon.

Beyond that, he's definitely the right man for the job.

As more and more bodies show up (all men, all missing their, err, protuberances), Jack gets himself deeper and deeper into the mystery of the killer's identity. In fact, it may be someone he knows, or is even sleeping with. Of course, that narrows the list of possible down to the entire female cast.

The Evidence

There are a lot of great crappy-movie moments in here for you and your friends to enjoy. Some of my favorites include:

• Jack's partner learning his wife is pregnant, he asks her if it's a boy or girl, and the actress, taken aback by the question, inhales, smiles awkwardly and nods.

• In a low-speed chase, Jack is being pursued by a rogue cop in a police cruiser. The cruiser runs headlong into a stack of tires, then explodes?!

• There are many shots where speaking characters are obscured by plants and candles and people's backs.

• The pale, pudgy body of George Saunders and his desire to flaunt it in lame sex scenes and outbursts of emotion.

• The aforementioned outbursts of emotion.

• Very, very obvious squibs.

• Gunshots that sound an awful like cap rounds.

So you get the picture? Vendetta is precisely what you are expecting to get-low-budget, wannabe cop story, with lots of cheap nudity, overuse of the F-word, and special effects amateurs having too much fun with Karo syrup.

A typical low-grade presentation all around. The fullscreen video is of poor stock and the colors are uneven scene-to-scene, except of course when he have to endure Saunders's tubby white butt. A stereo mix really bring out the POP in the gunshots (i.e. it's shallow and tinny). Your basic Troma bonus materials accompany the disc—trailers and book spots. Yawn.

Closing Statement

Troma's packaging hails Vendetta as "the most disturbing cop movie ever!" I don't know who uttered those words, but he was probably watching back-to-back episodes of Cop Rock! instead of this chum.

The Verdict

Jack Mason is sentenced to life without the possibility of parole, to be served inside an abandoned refrigerator.

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Scales of Justice

Video: 70
Audio: 70
Extras: 75
Acting: 30
Story: 40
Judgment: 57

Perp Profile

Studio: Troma
Video Formats:
• Full Frame
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Subtitles:
• None
Running Time: 90 Minutes
Release Year: 1996
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Genres:
• Bad
• Crime

Distinguishing Marks

• Book Spots
• Music Video
• Credits
• Trailers

Accomplices

• IMDb








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