Written by: Michael Den Boer on January 6th, 2012
Theatrical Release Date: UK, 1971
Director: Sidney Hayers
Writer: John Kruse
Cast:Joan Collins, James Booth, Ray Barrett, Sinéad Cusack, Kenneth Griffith, Tom Marshall, Zuleika Robson
DVD Released:January 24th, 2012
Approximate running time: 89 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Letterboxed Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono English
DVD Release: Scorpion Releasing
Region Coding: Region 1 NTSC
Retail Price: $14.95
Synopsis: A family kidnaps the man accused of raping and murdering their little girl.
Revenge was directed by Sidney Hayers, who’s other notable films include Circus of Horrors, Burn, Witch, Burn and Deadly Strangers. Key collaborators on Revenge include cinematographer Ken Hodges (The Shuttered Room, The Ruling Class) and composer Eric Rogers, who is most known for his work on numerous Carry on films.
A few alternate titles that Revenge is also known under include, Terror from Under the House, Behind the Cellar Door, After Jenny Died and Inn of the Frightened People.
The plot revolves around a fear that every last one of us can easily identify with. What would you do if someone you loved was murdered and their killer was set free due to lack of evidence? Would you just sit back and hope that the law would finally find the evidence that they need to convict that person or would you take the law into your own hands?
It is preciously the latter path that the main characters of this film follow. Sure they start off, with good intentions, sort of at least. They decide to kidnap the man who their little girl and in return get him to confess to the crime he committed, by any means necessary. Unfortunately even the best laid plans are foolproof and things go awry. In the heat of the moment they beat the man to within inches of his life.
This event which only lasts a matter of minutes drives the film’s narrative. Now with a dead man (at least he appears dead) in their basement they have to come up with ways to dispose of the body. Once again they have trouble pulling off the disposable of his body. A few days later, they now discover that his is still alive. This further screws up their original plan and now they must decide if they should just let him go or kill him (after all, kidnapping and attempted murder are serious crimes)?
The narrative is well constructed with each new revelation spread out for maximum effect. Pacing is never an issue and once the mood is set, things do not let up for one moment. With the film saving its most shocking moment for its finale.
Performance wise the entire cast are all very good in their respective roles, especially Kenneth Griffith (Murder Can Be Deadly) in the role of the man suspected of murdering a little girl. Another performance of note is Joan Collins (Quest for Love, The Devil Within Her) in the role of the step mother of the little girl who is killed. It is refreshing seeing Joan Collins in a role that is against the type of role that she is most known for portraying. Her character also has one of this film’s creepiest moments, it is a scene were her step son rapes her in from the man that killed her step daughter. Ultimately Revenge is tense thriller that strives to hard to be an art house film, instead of focusing more exploitive aspects of this film are this films bread and butter.
Scorpion Releasing presents Revenge in a letterboxed widescreen that retains the film’s original aspect ratio. Colors and flesh tones look accurate, details generally look crisp and black level are at best average. There are no problems with compression and edge enhancement is never too intrusive.
This release comes with one audio option, a Dolby Digital mono mix in English. There are no problems with distortion, dialog comes through clearly and everything sounds balanced.
Extras for this release include trailers for Terror, Double Exposure, The Survivor, Nothing But the Night, The Devil Within Her, Satan’s Slave, The House on Sorority Row, Humongous and Quest for Love. Also there are two ways to watch the main feature, ‘Play Movie’ or ‘Play Katarina’s Nightmare Theater’. This second option include comments before and after the main feature from Katarina Leigh Waters, who’s comments are done in a more analytical way. Overall Revenge gets good audio / video presentation from Scorpion Releasing.