The Retaliators is co-directed by Samuel Gonzalez Jr. and Bridget Smith, with Michael Lombardi the star of the film also directing several of the scenes himself. The rest of the cast alongside Lombardi are Marc Menchaca, Joseph Gatt, Katie Kelly and Rebecca Bishop. Cameos galore, see if you can spot some of the biggest names in rock music in the film. Please note this 97 min long film is R Rated and will be screening nationally on 14 & 16 September 2022 and streaming from 21 October 2022.
Lombardi is a devout pastor with two daughters (Katie Kelly & Rebecca Bishop), living amongst a congregation where they're loved and respected. One fateful day, his eldest daughter Sarah happens to be at the wrong place at the wrong time, and meets her maker far too early at the hands of a violent criminal and notorious drug dealer. Unconsolable, when the detective on the case (Detective Sawyer played by Marc Menchaca) gives him an opportunity to come face to face with his daughter's killer and get revenge, the pastor finds himself in a labyrinth of horrors he could not have imagined.
Rest assured this film lives up to its R Rating and is filled with blood and gore. However it's not without some stellar acting from Lombardi the protagonist and an engaging storyline that will have lovers of the horror genre hooked from start to end. An amazing high-octane original soundtrack and an 80's style of filming all come together and sets the tone for an adrenalin-fuelled ride as this horror-thriller reveals a game of revenge played, using a new set of rules. It is easily elevated far above being just a revenge film filled with gore. Love it or hate it, it's wonderfully made and has a bucket-load of accolades under its belt to validate it. If you don't have the stomach for horror however, this is not the film for you.
It's not just a movie with a killer soundtrack, but one of the best revenge films to surface in a while. The horrifying moments are not contrived but believably possible - and that's when they're the scariest. The plot is intriguing and thought-provoking, and may have you wondering, put in the same situation, which road would you take? Lombardi is excellent in portraying his character who has to be an action hero sometimes as he fights for survival but has to also display a pastor who has to go deep when seduced by both the high road and the low road, and this he does amazingly well.
This is definitely the type of film that is going to gain cult status. The 80s style elements of sex, drugs and naked bodies are strewn across the screen in part, however, none of the women are the focus of the film and as such are not developed as complex female characters. This is simply a film with standout scares and gory special effects - a blood bath that will have the aficionados of horror sit up and take notice. It will jump to and from unrelated events that will intrigue before it pulls it all together in a very satisfying way.
Aggressive rock music adds to the atmosphere and perhaps drives the film in heightened moments. You can hear/see The Retaliators Music Video Playlist on YouTube and will no doubt want to buy if you're a fan of its music genre. Out soon in Australia the metal studded soundtrack deserves attention of its own.
You may be saddened to know that the inspiration for this movie begins from a very personal and tragic story of the screenwriters, The Geare Brothers' (Darren and Jeff), whose younger sister Jody Geare, a teenager in 2004 survived a vicious rape assault while walking home alone at night. She narrowly survived the attack by fighting off her attacker and crawling out of a 20 foot ravine. Twelve years later, through DNA advancements, her rapist was caught, found guilty, and was sentenced to 22 years in prison.
Throughout the ordeal of the trial, The Geare Brothers began writing an idea that explored the concept of an underground revenge-fantasy service for family members of crime victims. Ultimately Jody's story is inspirational and shortly after her incident, she became a firefighter. Following a very successful career, today she is one of the few female Fire Captains in the United States.