HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
King Cohen: The Wild World of Filmmaker Larry Cohen
Porky’s II: The Next Day
It Happened Here
Giant from the Unknown
211
Top of the Bill
Set It Off
No Way Out
Traffik
Pitch Perfect 3
Insidious: The Last Key
Goalie's Anxiety at the Penalty Kick, The
Dirty Carnival, A
King of Hearts
Crowhurst
And the Same to You
Racer and the Jailbird
Superman and the Mole-Men
Phantom Thread
Sweet Country
Loophole
Irma La Douce
Brigsby Bear
Wish Upon
Gringo
Finding Vivian Maier
Shape of Water, The
Lady Bird
Endless, The
Universal Soldier: The Return
   
 
Newest Articles
ITC What You Did There: Retro-Action on Blu-ray
And It Was the Dirtiest Harry We Have Seen in a Very Long Time: The Dirty Harry Series
Manor On Movies: The Astounding She Monster
Manor On Movies: Don't be a dolt. That's not a cult (movie)
Wes Anderson's Big Daddies: Steve Zissou and Others
Bad Taste from Outer Space: Galaxy of Terror and Xtro
A Yen for the 1990s: Iron Monkey and Satan Returns
Hey, Punk: Jubilee and Rock 'n' Roll High School
Help! with The Knack: Richard Lester in 1965
Roll Up, Get Yer Free Cinema: The Shorts on the BFI Woodfall Blu-rays
Time for Heroes: The Dam Busters and How I Won the War
Hell is a City: Midnight Cowboy and Taxi Driver
Boris Goes Bonkers, Bela Goes Bats: The Old Dark House and Mark of the Vampire
Charles Bronson's Mid-70s: Breakheart Pass and Others
Kids in America: The Breakfast Club vs Metropolitan
   
 
  X - Night of Vengeance One last trickBuy this film here.
Year: 2011
Director: Jon Hewitt
Stars: Viva Bianca, Hanna Mangan-Lawrence, Peter Docker, Stephen Phillips, Eamon Farren, Belinda McClory, Darren Moss, Freya Tingley, Anthony Phelan, Hazem Shammas, Wayne Blair, Billie Rose Prichard, Roman Witt, Rebecca Irwin, Jordan Fielding
Genre: Drama, Sex, Thriller
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Holly Rowe (Viva Bianca) aims to leave her life as a call-girl and escape to Paris after taking on one last client. When another girl proves unavailable for a threesome, Holly offers the job to Shay (Hanna Mangan-Lawrence), a broke, desperate teenage runaway trying to get through her first night as a hooker. But the night goes horrifically awry when the girls witness their client's murder at the hands of the maniacal Bennett (Stephen Phillips). On the run with a brutal killer on their trail, they must help each other survive the night.

Thematically this Australian 'erotic' (as the ad campaign would have it) thriller attempts the equivalent of the normally male-driven getaway driver or heist story. You know, the one where the antihero aims to pull off one last big score to escape their sordid past. Part Ozploitation thriller, part gritty character study, X: Night of Vengeance shares elements in common with British filmmaker Paul Andrew Williams' similarly harrowing London to Brighton (2006), but proves less focused, flashier and more eager to titillate. Jon Hewitt made his feature debut co-directing crass punk-styled vampire flick Bloodlust (1992) with controversial trash filmmaker Richard Wolstencroft. His later films grew increasingly slick, e.g. Acolytes (2008) with Joel Edgerton, often co-written with his wife: actress Belinda McClory who had a small role in The Matrix (1999) and a lead in cult horror Cubbyhouse (2001). She appears here as a retired call girl advising Holly. Most recently Hewitt remade Brian Trenchard-Smith's infamous Video Nasty Turkey Shoot (2014) for veteran Ozploitation producer Anthony Ginnane.

Here Hewitt continues to push buttons with graphic nudity and sex scenes but in a fairly even-handed manner including as almost as many male full-frontal shots as provocative female flesh. While viewers are almost accustomed to filmmakers depicting the dark underbelly of American cities like New York, LA or Las Vegas, Hewitt's presentation of Sydney's red-light district King's Cross as a neon-lit hell of zombie-like street waifs, snarling thugs and curb-crawling dirty old men packs a relatively fresh punch. In its more potent, quieter stretches X: Night of Vengeance pulls off some poignant, affecting insights into the troubled and desperate protagonists. Some of that is likely due to McClory's script input although the performances are also excellent from Viva Bianca and Hanna Mangan-Lawrence, both featured players on the Spartacus television franchise. Yet while the dramatic spark of the story clearly rests in the contrasting status and personalities of Holly and Shay, the film curiously opts to keep them apart for long stretches of screen-time.

Once the women witness the murder the pace ought to pick up but strangely does not. Hewitt's flashy direction indulges in split-screen, fancy titillating angles and cocaine-fueled slow-motion sequences but still loses what momentum the plot built up to this point. Thereafter the film fragments into flashbacks, meandering subplots and pointless digressions as when Shay helps two junkies shoot up. Although Holly's dead-eyed cop boyfriend (Peter Docker) is a convincingly creepy presence the script over-eggs the killer as a ranting misogynist prone to unsubtle rants about the untrustworthy nature of women. While the performances and genuine attempts at character depth elevate X: Night of Vengeance above the rank of disposable exploitation, it is less successful at crafting taut suspense than unrelenting grimness and leans too heavily on contrivance.

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 149 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which film has the best theme song?
Spectre
The Ups and Downs of a Handyman
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
Stately Wayne Manor
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
  Jamie Nichols
Andrew Pragasam
George White
   

 

Last Updated: