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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

May 4, 2021



WE’VE SEEN so many rape and revenge movies that it is a sub-genre by itself. 

In Hollywood, the most memorable are “Lipstick” with Margaux Hemingway and “Return to Sender” with the ever reliable Rosamund Pike. 

Locally, there’s the two versions of “Angela Markado” with Hilda Koronel and Andi Eigenmann, and also “Magdalena Palacol” with Alma Moreno.

Now comes the French movie simply titled “Revenge” starring Matilda Lutz (“Rings”) as Jen, an American who’s having an affair with a wealthy Frenchman, Richard (Kevin Jansens). 

She knows he’s married but she still goes with him on a weekend trip to his beautiful house in the middle of the desert. 

Two friends of Richard, Stan (Vincent Colombe) and Dimitri (Guillaume Bouchede), show up at the house so they can go hunting together. 

While Richard is away, Stan rapes Jen and when she complains to Richard, he sides sides with Stan. 

When Jen threatens to tell his wife about their affair, things get from bad to worse for Jen. 

Richard pushes her off a cliff. She falls down right smack onto a tree way down below, with a broken branch piercing her tummy. 

They leave her for dead, thinking they’ll just return and get her dead body the next day. But it turns out Jen is still alive and manages to get away even if a the broken branch of the tree is still stuck in her stomach. 

She gets to hide inside a cave and uses the drugs earlier given to her by Richard to anesthetize herself.

With her feeling numb, she performs surgery on her tummy, taking out the tree’s brench embedded in her tummy then cauterizing the wound with a heated aluminum beer can. 

She passes out and when she wakes, she discovers her wound is magically healed with the beer’s logo of a phoenix branded on her skin. 

The movie is given a supernatural touch and Jen is reborn as an angel of vengeance. 

Now, it’s payback time with her going on a rampage while seeking retribution. The next sequences shows Jen unleashing her fury and killing the three men one by one. 

These scenes are a veritable blood bath, all brutally violent and gory, with the guys unprepared for what will hit them. 

Eyes are stabbed, one victim who steps on a broken piece of glass shows probing his own open wound with a finger to remove the shard of glass, and there are well staged shootouts galore oozing with gallons of blood that flow like a river on the floor. 

The gunfight showdown to the finish between Jen and Richard is the film’s well choreographed, tension-filled, cat-and-mouse finale climax, with the actor playing Richard (who looks like a young Edu Manzano) totally naked all throughout the lengthy sequence as he was taking a shower when Jen arrives to make him pay for all his misbehavior. 

“Revenge” is the full length film debut of female writer-director Coralie Fargeat and she succeeds in delivering the goods. 

This might be a formulaic sexploitation flick with explicit nudity and gruesome killings that we’ve seen before, but she manages to tweak it from a woman’s perspective with some stylistic feminist leanings as the men feel so entitled to do whatever they want with Jen. 

Lutz portrays her role as the violent heroine with persuasive tenacity and indomitable grit.  

The things she does in the movie are definitely not for the squeamish. She starts as a bouncy nymphet teasing the men and flaunting her sexiness.

But as the film progresses, she moves from being the hunted victim trying to survive to being incredibly transformed into a wily empowered hunter giving the guys who tormented her the punishment that they so deserve.