Its perfectly anonymous, sex-and-violence-tinged title is enough to mistake it for a Shannon Tweed thriller circa the early to mid-1990s, but writer-director Sean Weathers’ Lust for Vengeance is a whole different type of terrible, thank you very much.
Despite its claimed running time of 85 minutes, Lust for Vengeance actually runs 10 merciful minutes shorter than that. Also, despite a descriptive cover blurb touting it as some sort of inventive twist on the Italian giallo formula, the film is in reality nothing more than a loosely connected series of sex-soaked stalking set pieces. (For a much better genre homage, check out Belgian co-directors Hélène Cattet and Bruno Forzani’s Amer, a woozy and unsettling fever dream.) True, giallo touchstones like straight-razor slashings and a motorcycle-helmet-clad killer do come into play, but there’s no artful tension here.
Long takes do little to mask the terrible acting, and awkward lines of dialogue are lifted from Chris Rock stand-up specials (“Men are basically as faithful as their options”) and delivered in stillborn, witless fashion as intellectually insightful. The cinematography, while inclusive of a couple interesting (in theory more than practice) overlays, achieves distinction mainly through the use of a variety pack of primary color camera and light-set filters, while also somehow managing to be shot through a used coffee filter. In short, this is a bad, bad film, despite its seeming inclusion of real sex and (perhaps) real drugs.
Housed in a regular white plastic Amaray case with a nice, deep-set spindle, Lust for Vengeance comes to DVD in what is billed as a “10th anniversary explicit edition,” tricked out with a surprisingly nice complement of supplemental material. Though divided into an unnecessarily dense 34 chapters, the film comes with outtakes and deleted scenes, as well as trivia, a host of trailers for some of Weathers’ other movies (Hookers in Revolt and House of the Damned) and abandoned projects, the first part of a podcast interview, and more. For more information on Weathers and his films, click here. To purchase the movie via Amazon, meanwhile, click here. F (Movie) B- (Disc)