(director/writer: Sean Weathers; cinematographer: Aswad Issa; editor: Sean Weathers; cast: Michelle Soto (Jennifer), Julia Cornish (Lisa), Tammy F. Baker (Stephanie), Sergei Burbank (Mark), Pierre-Sophia Petion (Beth), Carlito Rivera (Kenny), Tumaini (Anna), Brian Dusseau (Michael Richards/David White), Jeff Roches (Jeff Roches), Illa (Spider), Walid Smith (Anthony), John Ciprio (Putney Swope); Runtime: 85; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Aswad Issa; Full Circle Films; 2008)

“It follows the arc of those popular 1960s Giallo Italian thrillers … .”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

Sean Weathers (“Hookers in Revolt”/”House of the Damned”) is the writer, director and editor of this shoestring budgeted indie, released only for video. It has more than decent production values, especially considering the budget restraints, and a lively enough story to keep it in business. It follows the arc of those popular 1960s Giallo Italian thrillers, so be prepared for explicit sex scenes, graphic violence and a full serving of heroin snorting. The generous mixture of those scenes should keep the right viewer of slasher films sated. But be warned, this is not an art film and is a no-no for those queasy about exploitation films. This American styled slasher revenge film, with a mixed cast of blacks and whites, has no time to be warm and cuddly as it follows blunt sex with blunt violence. The setting is an ominous NYC in the 1980s, where violent crime is an everyday problem. It’s presented in an episodic non-linear psychedelic fashion, that follows the 5 girl characters instead of a time line.

A sicko named Michael Richards has come back after many years to haunt a group of women, Jennifer, Stephanie, Lisa, Anna and Beth, he knew from middle school, who rejected his advances. Michael has served time in a juvenile detention center for raping one of them. The film opens with four of the girls mourning their friend’s loss due to a psycho type of shower stabbing, and it follows each girl around as we look in on the girls’ sex lives and watch the slasher strike each of them down in a gruesome manner. There’s no pretense at reality or of trying to say something or making much sense, as it all plays out as a damsel in distress flick without any help from the cops or their men friends.

The film’s best assets are its humping scenes, which are three or more and all look like genuine porno. I can’t say I dug its violence or was overwhelmed by what I was seeing, but I can say it’s not as bad as it could have been. Mr. Weathers exhibits a talent for this genre and had the good sense to show restraint in handling the more violent scenes.

Lust for Vengeance (2001)