• Kelly M. Hudson

Vendetta Indeed! (Badass Femme Week Pt. 6)


Stuntwoman Laurie Collins (Karen Chase) is a tough as nails lady making a rugged living in a man’s world. She performs dangerous stunt after dangerous stunt on various movie and TV shows, stunts that include setting herself on fire and tumbling from dangerous heights. She loves her job and excels at it, but all of this goes out the window when her sister ends up in jail for killing a rapist who attacked her. Laurie’s sister is tough, too, and she won’t take any lip from fellow inmate Kay (Sandy Martin). She runs afoul of Kay and her gang, the Screaming Sirens, and they dose her with homemade heroin and toss her to her death. Laurie is convinced her sister didn’t die of any accident and eventually breaks the law to get herself thrown into the same prison. She is there to avenge the death of her sister, and when she finds out Kay is behind it all, heaven help those who get in her way.

Let me just say, this is a wild and wooly film and is about as gonzo as it gets. First off, props to Sandy Martin for being one of the finest villains of all time. Watching her strut around, all butch and cocky as hell, is a total delight. Karen Chase is great as Laurie and she truly kicks ass as she mows through the bad guys. But the total victory goes to the storytellers, director Bruce Logan and writers Emil Farkas and Laura Cavestani for deciding to completely forgo logic and reality and make this one crazy ride. This is unlike any prison ever seen before. The female inmates seem to have free reign, walking around, smoking, cooking up batches of drugs, going swimming late at night at the prison pool (!), wearing gobs of makeup, having teased and dyed hair, sneaking off with lecherous guards to do the nasty, fucking and fighting at will. There is no resemblance to the real world here and by jettisoning that, the filmmakers let us descend into a sort of neon pleasuredome of nudity and violence. I’m not saying this is smart or visionary filmmaking, but I am saying that its exploitation at its purest and most visceral, minus any real gross-outs.

Do I recommend Vendetta? Absolutely. It’s a good time; just chuck all logic and rationality when you walk through that door. You’re here for violence, for nudity, and for that weird 80s groove. You’re here to see a woman kick ass and get revenge, and that’s exactly what you’re going to get. This one makes good on its promises. How many films can boast that?

★★★☆


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