This is sort of a quasi-homage to the bygone age of sleazy, nasty grindhouse exploitation films like Last House on the Left, yet also making this sort of a revenge thriller where the abused female exacts revenge on her male abusers. Yet unfortunately, Revenge Is Her Middle Name fails to achieve on both those levels, and ends being really sleazy and nasty and not in a good self-referential kind of way. In fact, it all just ends up being an unpleasant experience. It’s definitely true that Last House on the Left was a grindhouse film that was nasty, raggedy and unpleasant, yet it was an important film because of the time period it opened and that it had a very powerful message at the heart of it about how violence begets violence.
This film sort has that same message, except that it seems that the violence, gore, nudity and grossness was just there for the sake of shock value and to crank up the yuck factor, not to mention the fact that it’s gender politics are all over the place and that’s understating it. They try and go for the degrading visuals that has become acquainted with the grindhouse genre and has been replicated in grindhouse-homages since then, like Planet Terror, but here it just ends up looking boring, tedious and generally unappealing. The performances are incredibly wooden, and there is just little to no connection with the main character of Kat, who we’re meant to sympathise with, yet is completely a horrible person and there’s zero sympathy to have with her character whatsoever.
It’s like as if writer/director Anthony Matthews has no idea what he’s dealing with in terms of the subject matter he’s approaching, and it all just ends up looking like leery, sleazy, unpleasant exploitative frivolity and not in a good way. Shouldn’t we be putting all our adolescent exploitation/grindhouse memories behind us and just move on?
Special Features: TBC
REVENGE IS HER MIDDLE NAME / CERT: TBC / DIRECTOR & SCREENPLAY: ANTHONY MATTHEWS / STARRING: LISSA BRENNAN, DOUGLASS BELL, PAULA BELLIN, MICHAEL TODD SCHNEIDER / RELEASE DATE: TBC