Director(s) – John De Hart and James Paradise
Starring – John De Hart (The Champagne Gang), Wings Hauser (The Carpenter, Airwolf), and William Smith (Red Dawn, Zombiegeddon)
Release Date – 1993
Rating – 3/5
Blu Release – 4/5
Vinegar Syndrome has created quite the name for themselves with their gorgeous exploitation releases. In the last few years they released a new line of films for movie collectors that grew up during the video store era. These releases, under their VSA label, come in hardcover sleeves reminiscent of the big box VHS releases. Most of these films have been action flicks which is something I fucking love.
I started writing reviews sometime ago with the intention of focusing on forgotten action and exploitation flicks. However, my love for horror quickly took over. When Vin Syn announced the release of the 1993 action flick Champagne and Bullets, aka Get Even and Road to Revenge, as part of their VSA line I new I had to see it. As soon as I worked through the Cardona Collection it was time to check it out.
**Spoiler Alert** The film follows a recently unemployed cop who loses his job when his superior, who is moonlighting as a drug dealing Satanist, sets him up. Things don’t look too bad for him when he soon finds love in a gorgeous blonde. However, she is a former member of the Satanic cult and when word gets out that she is no longer a member she has a hit put on her head. Thinking his new lover is dead, he goes on a killing spree to get revenge against his former boss and cult leader responsible for her death…but she’s not dead. **Spoiler Alert**
I’ve seen a lot of bad movies in my life but this had to be the most fun I’ve ever had with a bad movie in sometime. It was bad in so many ways but I couldn’t look away. Hell, this was the funniest movie I had seen in sometime and I can’t say that about a lot of action films. Vin Syn really did the lord’s work with this one.
The acting in this one is fucking hysterical. Star John De Hart is the most stone faced actor I had ever seen and his unenthused performance makes the film so fucking funny. That is followed up with the late William Smith trying his damndest to deliver a serious performance but every scene he is out-staged by De Hart’s lack of acting and Wings Hauser’s coked out performance. Hauser’s performance is off the fucking rails and absolutely insane. I would suggest watching the movie just to watch him trip balls.
The story for this one is a generic but it’s got some crazy elements tossed in just to amp up the what the fuck factor. There is nothing new about an action flick with a corrupt cop that peddles drugs on the side. However, if you completely ignore the judicial system and give that cop a job as a judge and make him the lead of a Satanic cult then you are cooking. This is one of the wildest stories I had seen in awhile and it’s absolutely insane. My little blurb about the story doesn’t do this crazy ass film justice. Trust me.
Finally, the film isn’t a bloody one. Hell, it doesn’t even have explosions. What makes this one so much fun is how bad and awkward it is to watch. Overall, Champagne and Bullets is The Room of direct to video action flicks. It’s one of the strangest yet wildest movies I had ever seen yet I couldn’t stop watching. Do yourself a favor and snag this one from Vin Syn before it’s gone. You won’t regret it!
Region Free Blu-ray
Newly scanned & restored in 2k from its 16mm original camera negative
Brand new commentary track with writer/director/producer/star John De Hart
Brand new audio interview with John De Hart
ROAD TO REVENGE re-edit sourced from video
GETEVEN re-edit sourced from video
Video trailer for GETEVEN
Limited edition of 6,000
Reversible cover artwork
English SDH subtitles