A throwback to the grindhouse era of the 1970’s and early 1980’s, The Retaliators might believe it’s much edgier and button-pushing than it actually is, but it’s still hard-edged and audacious enough to validate its already-established reputation.
An upstanding pastor’s world is shattered when his daughter is murdered by a psychopath, leading him down a dark path of revenge and retaliation.
There’s a deep, dark world of psychopaths, drug dealers, and evil killers out there in the world that upstanding pastor Bishop (Michael Lombardi) knows nothing about, and on Christmas Eve he allows his teenage daughter Sarah (Katie Kelly) to go to a party, which sets the course of Bishop’s destiny on a new path. When Sarah sees something she’s not supposed to at a gas station, a killer named Ram (Joseph Gatt) chases her down and murders her in cold blood. Bishop’s life is shattered, and a seasoned detective named Jed (Marc Menchaca) dedicates himself to finding the killer to give Bishop some closure. Some time goes by, and Jed escorts Bishop to his private retreat in the woods where he reveals that he’s captured Ram and has him prisoner in a dungeon and offers him a gift: The chance to do whatever he wants to his daughter’s killer, so long as he doesn’t kill him. The prospect is almost too much for Bishop to resist, but his good nature prevails, forcing Jed to protect himself, as he now sees Bishop as his enemy, leading to a chaotic situation where Bishop finds himself on the defense as he realizes that Jed doesn’t just have one psychopath in his dungeon custody, but a horde of horribly mutilated sub-human refuse just waiting for their chance to escape…
A throwback to the grindhouse era of the 1970’s and early 1980’s, The Retaliators might believe it’s much edgier and button-pushing than it actually is, but it’s still hard-edged and audacious enough to validate its already-established reputation. It has plenty of gore and an uneasy, violent tone, but it could’ve gone even further and explored more of its philosophical inclinations by giving the pastor Bishop character more of an arc instead of relying on the obvious tropes it leans heavily on. While it has some show stopping gore gags, it still can’t quite measure up to its titan inspirations (Last House on the Left comes to mind), but that’s fine. It’s pretty solid as is. Featuring members of the bands Five Finger Death Punch and Motley Crue in supporting roles. Directed by Bridget Smith and Samuel Gonzalez Jr.
The Blu-ray comes with cast interviews, music videos, and the trailer.