Director: Samuel Gonzalez Jr, Bridget Smith
Writer: Darren Geare, Jeff Allen Geare (Screenplay)
Starring: Michael Lombardi, Marc Menchaca, Joseph Gatt, Ketie Kelly, Abbey Hafer, Jacoby Shaddix, Robert Knepper
Plot: An upstanding pastor uncovers a dark and twisted underworld as he searches for answers surrounding his daughter’s brutal murder.
Tagline – Sometimes Its Better To Keep Evil Alive
Runtime: 1 Hour 37 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Story: The Retaliators starts when Pastor John Bishop (Lombardi) reluctantly lets his daughter Sarah (Kelly) attend a party, but that night will see her brutally murdered after being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Bishop distraught by the events of that night wants answers, with Detective Jeb Sawyer (Menchaca) leading the investigation.
The investigation will lead them to a criminal organisation run by Otto (Knepper), which is only the beginning of the big nightmare about to be unleashed on everyone searching for answers.
Thoughts on The Retaliators
Characters & Performances – Pastor John Bishop is a mild-mannered man raising his two daughters, the whole town will support him, with his speeches motivating the whole town. When his eldest daughter is murdered, he turns to the bottle, before being put in a place he would never imagine. Michael Lombardi is impressive in the leading role, showing the full range of emotion needed to get through the film. Jed is the detective leading the investigation into the murder, he is cold about his approach, taking John under his wing to offer him a chance to overcome the pain. Ram Kady is the cold-hearted killer that uses his size to get jobs done and will do anything to keep his name clean. We do meet plenty of different characters with Quinn Brady the serial rapist played by Papa Roach’s Jacoby Shaddix getting his first acting role. Each character will add something to the film, even if one set of characters does feel more like they could have had a bigger impact on everything going on, with the performances shining through.
Story – The story here follows a grieving father who wants answers for his daughter murder, where a detective will offer him an entry point to the underworld of the local city. This is a film that does have a large number of things going on, so much so that at times certain chapters will feel out of place, because once we get into the main focus of what happened to create the opening sequences, we have such a treat waiting for us. The idea of what is going on does bring us a twisted concept, one that we could have seen plenty more from, instead of one side of the film, which didn’t fit the overall tone of this violent moments.
Themes – The Retaliators is an ultra-violent action horror, that just doesn’t hold back on the brutal fighting, despite having exceptional special effects, including one moment that will make you turn away in disgust. The film does have a crime side, which takes us into the horror side of the film and it is something we haven’t or if we have very rarely seen before.
Final Thoughts – The Retaliators is a relentlessly violent horror that shines through the final act.