14 Films that Prove Revenge is a Dish Best Served Awesome


Let’s be real, we’ve all fantasized about taking lethal revenge. Sometimes the girl of our dreams gets stolen by the captain of the football team, or the dude whose dad owns the company gets our promotion. I mean just today I pictured how it would all work out if I smashed a pint glass over the head of the dude who cut me in line at the bar. I’m just saying, we all have our moments, and if not for the fear of the law who knows how it would all go down.

You know who doesn’t have to worry about consequences? Revenge movie protagonists. They are free to spend their life on the lam or go out in a blaze of glory. Because they’re badass. And, well, not real. But mostly badass. As they make their way through hordes of bad dudes to satisfy their righteous rage, we get to enjoy the consequence free catharsis of their brutality.

With My Father Die releasing on the 20th, I figured now was a good time to go over some of the revenge films that I consider most savage. Presented by FilmRise, My Father Die tells the story of Asher, a deaf mute seeking revenge on his father Ivan. At the age of 12, Ivan brutally beat Asher and killed his brother Chester, leaving Asher permanently deaf and emotionally scarred. Now, 21 years later, Asher is given his chance for revenge. I was excited for this one a while ago, as I’m a fan of Joe Anderson from the tragically short lived TV series “The River.” I got a chance to watch the film recently, and I can definitely say it lives up to this list. Directed by Sean Brosnan, check it out Friday On Demand or in select theaters.

My Father Die

Now keep in mind, this is a list of films where revenge is delivered awesomely. That doesn’t just mean the most violent. I mean, that has something to do with it, but sometimes the most brutal vengeance is subtle. So without further ado, here are Ted’s Top 14 Films that Prove Revenge is a Dish Best Served Awesome.

14) Death Sentence (2007):

Death Sentence

When in doubt, never, ever murder Kevin Bacon’s family. This one might be a bit of a surprise for most, as there are certainly revenge flicks out there with more loathsome antagonists or higher body counts. What made Death Sentence stand out to me was just how gritty it felt. From start to end, this is a dirty and brutal film. Nothing feels clean about any of the kills, fueled by raw emotion and without any finesse. Bacon’s downward spiral leads him to a dark place where there’s no coming back from. In the end, he doesn’t care. This isn’t good vs evil. This is vengeance.

13) The Exterminator (1980):

The Exterminator

The Exterminator is a movie that I saw at a party in college. The resident ultra-hipster had set up his VHS player on the living room TV and was proudly displaying his vast collection of, “shit you just can’t get on DVD, man!” Also on display that night were classics such as Hell Comes to Frogtown and some racist old school Disney shit. At the time The Exterminator came on, I was thoroughly interested in conversing with females and imbibing liquor. I started paying attention when a dude got his spine ripped out with a meathook, and was invested when another dude got tortured with a flamethrower. What makes The Exterminator stand out isn’t just the ridiculous over-the-top 80’s violence, but just how broad he goes to get his revenge. John Eastland kills gang members, mob bosses, corrupt senators, child molestors, you name it. If you want to see a guy going, “fuck it, I guess I’m all about revenge now,” then The Exterminator is your film.

12) Frightmare (1983):


There are few things worse than a vengeful bastard coming back from beyond the grave. But when you dig him up yourself and drag him to an abandoned mansion for a night of partying and sex, you’re kind of asking for it. Frightmare is considered a cult classic for a number of reason. There’s of course the gruesome murders and over-the-top violence. That’s a good part of what makes Frightmare fun. What really makes Frightmare fun is the tongue in cheek commentary on horror movie hero worship. I mean, come on, we all love our favorite stars with a passion that’s downright unhealthy. It manages to take the piss out of horror fandom while still paying reverence to it. It should be seen at least once by any obsessive horror geek.

11) The Last House on the Left (2009):

As if picking the remake of the original 1972 version wasn’t controversial enough, let me also rustle your jimmies by letting you know I picked this over both versions of I Spit on Your Grave. Feel free to argue with me all you want, but I picked the 2009 version of The Last House on the Left for a few reasons. First, the film isn’t your typical rape/revenge story. This isn’t the victim taking revenge, but her family. It’s so easy to do faux girl power through rape/revenge, that the whole genre just feels exploitative. Secondly, the remake is much more character focused than the original. The number of grotesque and shocking events are reduced, instead focused on a few major moments. We get much more of a sense of who these villains and heroes are, and the choices they made that led them to this clash. Lastly, the final microwave scene is just unforgettable, made all the more brutal by actually caring about the characters.




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