By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs
(TV's "Rescue Me") co-directed, produced and stars in the thrilling new horror movie "The Retaliators. "
This one isn't for the faint of heart, but horror fans are sure to savor every minute of what the film’s screenwriting brothers Darren and Jeff Geare
have cooked up here.
From the movie's stunning opening, you immediately know "The Retaliators" is going to be one crazy ride.
Pastor Bishop (Lombardi) is a well-respected and upstanding man. He is kind and believes in turning the other cheek when wronged. He really does practice what he preaches and his faithful flock hang on his every word.
His daughter Rebecca (Abby Hafer, "The Truth about Santa Claus") and Sarah (Katie Kelly, TV's "Murder in the Vineyard") test him like most teen girls do. The girls and their father are still trying to cope with the recent death of their mother (Meghan Noone, TV's "Death Saved my Life").
Even the girls are surprised at how calm, cool, and collected their father is under the most trying circumstances. When they head out to buy a Christmas tree, some jerk (Brian O’Halloran, "Clerks") comes out of nowhere and takes it and says that was the one he picked to take home. Clearly the guy is looking to start something, but Pastor Bishop takes the high road and doesn't press the issue. He lets the man have the tree.
Understandably, Pastor Bishop is also protective of his daughters. He is reluctant to even let Sarah attend a Christmas Eve party. She really wants to go and is mad that he won't let her, but he finally does. In hindsight, it is the worst decision he's ever made.
That's because when Sarah stops at a gas station to fill up, she sees this man, Ram Rady (Joseph Gatt, "Black Adam") looking all flustered. She also notices something strange near the trunk of his car. Sarah quickly gets in her car and leaves, but soon sees this crazed guy coming after her. She tries to call her father and tell him what's happening, but he runs her off the road.
This creep beats her and ties her hands to the steering wheel and pushes the car in a river. Just like that, Pastor Bishop is now reeling from another tragic loss. Even worse, despite veteran detective Jed Sawyer (Marc Menchaca, TV's "Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan") on the case, there just aren't many leads why Sarah was killed.
Detective Sawyer assures the pastor that he won't give up because he has also experienced a horrific loss. However, he's found a hell of a way to work through his issues. The question is, will Pastor Bishop follow the same path that he has taken. It's some path too.
Shortly after Sarah's death, her killer Ram completely vanishes along with a ton of money and drugs he had. Ram’s brother Vic (musician Ivan L. Moody) now has to gather his biker buddies and find him because everyone it seems is out for payback. Yet, in a very strange and exciting way, their lives will all connect.
Time passes and there are still no answers regarding Sarah's murder. Pastor Bishop is getting increasingly frustrated and angry. He decides to throw caution to the wind and do some investigating of his own. What he discovers is horrifying. Detective Sawyer has taken matters into his own hands regarding criminals. He has built an underground prison/torture chamber filled with every sort of miscreant that the system won't or isn't likely to hold accountable, but he sure is.
These bloodthirsty zombie like people include Sarah's murderer Ram. Detective Sawyer offers Pastor Bishop a chance to make things right and cleanse his soul by doing whatever he would like to him.
Is the pastor willing to turn the other cheek now?
There isn't a dull moment in "The Retaliators." The can't-turn-away-action sequences are complemented by a pulsating hard rock/metal soundtrack that features music from Papa Roach’s Jacobi Shaddix and Five Finger Death Punch. Even Motley Crue's Tommy Lee is on board as a club DJ.
At first blush, it might seem like "The Retaliators" is an unhinged, sordid old movie, but there is a lot to be had and the payoff my fellow horror fans, is bloody good.
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Watch This Trailer For "THE RETALIATORS"
Be sure to catch my N2Entertainment.net movie talk segment on the Kitty O'Neal Show Fridays at my new times of 5:17 p.m. and 6:47 p.m. on radio station KFBK 93.1 FM and 1530 AM.
Lana K. Wilson-Combs is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), The American Film Institute (AFI), and a Nominating Committee Voting Member for the NAACP Image Awards.