Lust for Vengeance
Director - Sean Weathers
Cast - Jeff Roches, Carlito Rivera, Michelle Sota
Country of Origin - U.S.
Discs - 1
MSRP - $9.95
Distributor - MVD/Full Circle Filmworks
Reviewer - Bobby Morgan
The Film: 0/5
“Accept the challenges so that you may feel the exhilaration of victory.” - General George S. Patton
I don’t think I will ever see a worst movie than Lust for Vengeance as long as I live. Something always told me this day would come; I’ve seen tons of god-awful flicks in the 32 years I’ve been around, but on some level they remained entertaining and left a moderately positive impression on me. Lust for Vengeance only served to fill my soul with horror and anger. Once this sorry excuse for a movie was over I wanted to curl up in a ball and weep silently until sunrise.
The “plot’ focuses on a group of female friends who start getting violently picked off by a mysterious serial killer who seems to have a serious axe to grind with them. A detective pops in from time to time to ask obvious questions to which he receives stupid answers. The women have inane conversations, do every drug known to civilized man, engage in graphic sex with a variety of partners of both genders who have nothing to contribute to the story other than shots of their hairy taints, and ultimately die. Whenever the killer’s identity is discussed the name Michael Richards gets tossed around, but the real Michael Richards was too busy having a racist outburst on stage at the Laugh Factory to engage in something this undignified. At the end after all the women have been killed (and to be honest, you never really cared) the murderer is revealed to be the investigating detective. He lets out a hearty evil laugh and this wretched flick is finally over.
Fuck this movie. Fuck this movie. Fuck this movie. Fuck this movie. Fuck this movie. Fuck this movie. Fuck this movie. Fuck this movie. Fuck this movie. Fuck this movie. Fuck this movie. Fuck this movie. Fuck this movie. Fuck this movie. Fuck this movie. Fuck this movie. Fuck this movie. Fuck this movie. Fuck this movie. Fuck this movie. Fuck this movie. Fuck this movie. Fuck this movie. Fuck this movie.
Sorry, just had to get that out.
In case you haven’t noticed, I really hate Lust for Vengeance. Far be it for me to judge a person on the basis of a movie they made but director Sean Weathers must be a real asshole. How else can someone make a movie like this on purpose and be completely convinced that they’re making a thriller worthy of the great Italian giallos of the 1960’s and 70’s? Weathers brags all over the disc that Lust for Vengeance is the first true American giallo, but if he honestly believes that then he has never heard of movies like Halloween, Friday the 13th, The Burning, Scream, and many others that beat Lust to the screen by more than two decades. The man is delusional if he thinks his pathetic flick is good enough to stand shoulder to shoulder with the great psycho horror movies of the past. Lust for Vengeance is so bad that Halloween: Resurrection and Friday the 13th VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan should take out a restraining order against it because they don’t want to be associated with that kind of cinematic crap.
I understand that Lust for Vengeance was an independent production so the makers of the movie didn’t have much money to work with, but some of the best horror films made since the late 60’s were underfunded, ramshackle affairs that came together to become fright flick classics because they had talented, imaginative people working in front of and behind the camera. There were no such individuals involved in the making of Lust for Vengeance, the worst of all is the director Sean Weathers. This poor, poor holy fool fancied himself the second coming of Dario Argento but instead ended up as the rebirth of Chester Novell Turner, the deranged auteur who gave us the immortal late 80’s camcorder horror craptaculars Black Devil Doll from Hell and Tales from the Quadead Zone.
The Italian giallos were on the surface cleverly constructed murder mysteries that made up for their hoary, cliché-riddled plots with stylistic flourishes and sleazy exploitation elements like gruesome gore and sweaty sex. While the gore is virtually non-existent in Lust for Vengeance due to the fact that the murder sequences, which take an eternity to set up, are over in the blink of an eye Weathers has provided plenty of sex scenes that at times border on hardcore. I spotted several instances in which the participants seem to really be getting it on but they mattered little in the context of the plot because I barely knew who the characters having sex were in the first place. There are a few man-on-woman couplings and even a lesbian sex scene where two women have a deadly dull conversation before engaging in lez-tastic groping and licking on an isolated beach where the dulcet sounds of a nearby airport were captured in greater detail by the audio crew than the dialogue. Unfortunately the sex scenes, much like the death scenes, are over before they can snare your interest, which I guarantee will want to be focused on better things. One of these scenes in particular is broken up and clumsily re-edited, almost as if Weathers was getting all artsy-fartsy on us.
The film’s attempts at character development is never more than laughably amateurish. The dialogue scenes run on forever and achieve absolutely nothing beyond establishing the women as single-minded hedonists. At one point the movie stops cold for a bulimia PSA that comes out of nowhere and features repeated shots of a woman puking intercut with the same woman stuffing her face with food. During one of the murder scenes while one of the female characters is being menaced by the killer another nonchalantly walks into the room as the killing is happening in plain view and DOESN’T FUCKING NOTICE! These women make the characters on Sex & the City look like candidates for the Algonquin Round Table. If Sean Weathers was a more sophisticated filmmaker he could plausibly be accused of being a misogynist, but since he has less skill behind a camera than Coleman Francis the label would fall off like it was made by the Label Baby Elaine gave to Tim Watley (which he then re-gifted) in that episode of Seinfeld. The women never seem to be fazed by the killings either; they’re too busy planning their next booty call while shooting up heroin between their toes.
For some reason that may be only known to Weathers, and if that’s the case I hope he takes it to his grave, Lust for Vengeance looks like it was shot statically on a cheap webcam and then processed through a variety of color filters. Every scene annoyingly has a different color tint to it, an aesthetic decision that has no bearing whatsoever on the characters or the story. It’s just Weathers jerking us off even more. What’s worse, the interior scenes look like they were filmed through night vision goggles before getting painted over on Windows Movie Maker. Sometimes you can hardly tell what’s going on, which may or may not be a blessing depending on your perspective. Where’s the fun in having sex and violence in your movie if you can’t even see them? Speaking of the violence, for a movie that claims to be heavily influenced by Italian psycho horror there’s barely a trace of gore to be found. Weathers tries to combine the hot stuff and the red stuff in one scene where a pair of humping jerkolas get speared in mid-climax, but Mario Bava beat him to the punch by three decades.
Word of warning: The DVD case for this “10th Anniversary Explicit Version” (as if anyone but Sean Weathers is going to be celebrating the anniversary of this movie’s existence) lists the running time as 85 minutes, but the actual length of Lust for Vengeance is 75 minutes. Not even Weathers cares enough about his own to get that simple fact right on the case for the DVD he distributed personally. Goddamn it.
Despite being presented in 1.85: 1 widescreen with English 2-channel stereo this is by far the worst DVD presentation seen since the dawn of the format. There are actual porn films that look better on disc than Lust for Vengeance does. The shitty music is too loud and the stunningly horrific dialogue can barely be heard. But that pales in comparison to the appallingly grainy picture quality.
Finally, we come to the only content of any value whatsoever on this sorry disc. The extras presented here don’t get much more in-depth than “making movies kicks ass” but at least what we get is more coherent and professional than the actual feature. Lust for Vengeance Revisited (11 minutes) is little more than an extended interview with Weathers as he….yawn….discusses his influences and outlook on the production of Lust. A brief outtake (1 minute), animated production notes (2 minutes) that are the same title cards that open the film itself, and a Full Circle Movie Talk pod cast (67 minutes) where Weathers repeats the same stories and factoids about the making of his turgid film round out the extras. In case you’re interested there’s also a separate page called Trailers & Clips accessible via the main menu where you’ll find previews for Lust and other titles directed by Weathers as well as assorted clips from some of those films. I did not watch any of them and I regret nothing.
I didn’t have high hopes for Lust for Vengeance, but if the movie could have at least given me some good, sleazy entertainment I would’ve considered it time well spent. Instead what I got was a 75-minute endurance test that brought me to the very edge of sanity before depositing me on the side of a lonely country road, cold, shaking, and with no memory of how I got there. Lust for Vengeance has no business at all calling itself a movie. I’ve seen better film on a refrigerated bowl of soup. Fuck this movie. Seriously, fuck….this….movie.