HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Arctic
Fate of Lee Khan, The
El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie
Ladyworld
Rocketman
Kid Who Would Be King, The
Making Waves: The Art of Cinematic Sound
America America
Darkest Minds, The
Along Came Jones
Hummingbird Project, The
Under the Table You Must Go
Harry Birrell Presents Films of Love and War
Hanging Tree, The
Godzilla: King of the Monsters
Scooby-Doo! Camp Scare
Itsy Bitsy
Witchmaker, The
Prey, The
If It's Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium
Happy Death Day 2U
Full Moon High
Strange But True
Kamikaze 1989
Never Grow Old
Time of Your Life, The
Mountain Men, The
Epic
Best Before Death
John Wick Chapter 3: Parabellum
Isabelle
Non-Stop New York
Once Upon a Time in Deadwood
Oblomov
Alita: Battle Angel
We the Animals
Ibiza Undead
Wings of Eagles, The
Beats
Body Parts
   
 
Newest Articles
Growing Up in Public: 7-63 Up on Blu-ray
Learn Your Craft: Legend of the Witches and Secret Rites on Blu-ray
70s Psycho-Thrillers! And Soon the Darkness and Fright on Blu-ray
Split: Stephen King and George A. Romero's The Dark Half on Blu-ray
Disney Post-Walt: Three Gamechangers
But Doctor, I Am Pagliacci: Tony Hancock's The Rebel and The Punch and Judy Man on Blu-ray
Once Upon a Time in Deadwood: Interview with Director Rene Perez
Shit-Eating Grim: Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom on Blu-ray
Stallone's 80s Action Alpha and Omega: Nighthawks and Lock Up
Python Prehistory: At Last the 1948 Show and Do Not Adjust Your Set on DVD
You Could Grow to Love This Place: Local Hero on Blu-ray
Anglo-American: Joseph Losey Blu-ray Double Bill - The Criminal and The Go-Between
Marvel's Least Loved and Most Loved: Fantastic 4 vs Avengers: Endgame
Battle of the Skeksis: The Dark Crystal Now and Then
American Madness: Sam Fuller's Shock Corridor and The Naked Kiss on Blu-ray
Flight of the Navigator and the 80s Futurekids
Trains and Training: The British Transport Films Collection Volume 13 on DVD
Holiday from Hell: In Bruges on Blu-ray
The Comedy Stylings of Kurt Russell: Used Cars and Captain Ron
Robot Rocked: The Avengers Cybernauts Trilogy on Blu-ray
Hammer's Bloodthirsty Bad Girls 1970: Lust for a Vampire and Countess Dracula
Hammer to Fall: Kiss Me Deadly on Blu-ray
Home of the Grave: The House That Dripped Blood and Asylum on Blu-ray
Wondrous Women: Supergirl vs Captain Marvel
Things Have Changed: Films You'd Be Insane to Make Now
   
 
  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 740 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 star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
  Rachel Franke
Enoch Sneed
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: