Director – Anthony Matthews
Starring – Lissa Brennan (Dogfuckers), Douglass Bell (The Video Dead), and Paula Bellin (Zack and Miri Make a Porno)
Release Date – 2011
Rating – 3.5/5
Tagline – “Revenge isn’t just black and white…sometimes it’s blood red”
The rape/revenge sub-genre of horror and exploitation has been on the rise in recent years after the success of the I Spit on Your Grave remake in 2010. These style of films have been increasingly popular among horror fans and for damn good reason. Personally, I find rape to be the most horrifying topic in general and horror films that incorporate this into their story is certainly unnerving. Is that not the purpose of horror? To make the viewer squirm, feel uncomfortable, and scare the shit out of them?
A few weeks back I came across the Facebook page for the film Revenge is Her Middle Name. The film looked like the perfect combination of sleazy exploitation and rape/revenge with just enough blaxploitation to make it fun. I reached out to the page and they were kind enough to send a link to their online screener my way. Thanks!
**Spoiler Alert**The film follows drug addicted prostitute Kat (Brennan). Kat just found out she is pregnant and the father, her drug addicted boyfriend, refuses to get a job and better himself. She gets an idea. The two will rob pimp and drug kingpin Mutton Chop (Bell) and make off with enough cash to leave their unbearable life behind. They are able to rob him and shoot him in the process. They return to their home to get ready to leave but her deadbeat man gets fucked up instead. She smothers him with a pillow and leaves.
We jump forward and Kat is now living a better life and her baby is not far from making it’s appearance. However, she receives an unwelcome visitor when Mutton Chop arrives with his goons and her ex-boyfriend. They beat the shit out of Kat, rape her several times, shoot heroin directly into her belly, and then kill her ex-man. She awakens in the hospital with vengeance on her mind where and sets out to kill those men that ruined her new. perfect life.**Spoiler Alert**
As I stated earlier, I am not a fan of the rape/revenge sub-genre of horror but I do love exploitation and blaxploitation flicks so Revenge is Her Middle Namelooked like a film that I would call bitter sweet. Rape has always made me uncomfortable and before you even say it, I was never raped and/or diddled. These scenes of rape are always emotional and then I image friends and family who were raped and what they went through and it honestly freaks me out. However, RiHMN is a film that made the rape scene feel very real but almost made it feel like it was a comedy. I actually found myself laughing at this scene instead of sitting here unnerved. This was a great way to introduce this into the story without overdoing it.
The acting in this one is great by the entire cast. Lissa Brennan is amazing as the lead. Her character goes through so many changes and we see that on screen. We see her as an addict who has hit rock bottom taking shots to the mouth who then turns into a full fledged prego with nothing more on her mind than caring for her unborn. She then throws both those into the wind and becomes a scorned woman with hell in her eyes and a blood lust that can not be satisfied. The cast does an outstanding job but none show the diversity and dedication that Brennan brings to the film. The story for this one is one we have seen time and time again among the rape/revenge flicks but very few are as violent as this one.
The story can be split up into halves. The first half is full if character development but it does move at a snails pace. About 20 minutes into this one I was ready to write a bad review but I stuck it out and I am glad I did because the second half of the film is fucking brutal and relentless offering up tons of gore. This is not your typical rape/revenge flick. May be the same story but not the same execution.
Finally, the film has tons of kills. Most are not that original but for fuck’s sake are they bloody and fun. The give us kills we have seen before but they milk them for everything they are worth and really give the viewer some great on screen carnage. Also, the practical effects in this one is on point. They all look great and the FX crew deserves some serious praise for their hard work.
Overall,Revenge is Her Middle Name is a film that starts out slow but kicks like a mule when it finally gets going. The film is savage in nature and offers up some great kills scenes. Check it out and grab a copy from Unearthed Films!