Jan 2, 2019

IMDb: Streets of Vengeance (2016)
Directors: Paul Ragsdale, Angelica De Alba (co-director)
Stars: Delawna McKinney, Anthony Iava To’omata, Paige Le Ney

From the director of the surprisingly well done Cinco De Mayo, comes a bad ass modern day shout out to the violent exploitation films of yesteryear. This is Paul Ragsdale’s second directing credit, and he is off to a very strong start. While most of his earlier work dealt with cinematography, you can definitely see a logical transition into directing. He also has a healthy love and knowledge of obscure genre films, which is made especially obvious once you have seen his first two films and his fake (hopefully real someday) trailers.


When I covered Cinco De Mayo back in late May, it was because I was covering the strange releases of Slasher Video. With classic oddities like Shock Em’ Deadthis is a label that definitely knows how to find gems. They also manage to put out their releases at very fair prices. When I saw that they had Ragsdale’s 2013 debut film, I thought that I should give it a try. At first I wondered why they suddenly snatched up a modern film, and then I watched it. It was one of the best retro homage films that I had seen in a long time. While absolutely nothing can touch Francesca as far as this year’s throwback films go, Streets of Vengeance may become a close second in the eyes of many.

This film centers around an ex-porn star who is being targeted by a strange cult-ish group of men trying to take the power back from all of the damn women in the world. They have a tendency to practice their own variety of vigilante justice through their participation in a very “nineties-looking” mercenary group called The Sword. Throughout many hilarious cut scenes, a variety of absurdly shot montages, and ass backwards philosophical statements, the audience is comedically engulfed in the misogynistic mentality of this group. Eventually their terroristic techniques and insane propaganda lead them to messing with the wrong lady.

It is here, of course, where the vengeance kicks in. This is where the tone of the film changes from comedic parody, to violent revenge film. The look and sound of this film will definitely take you back instantly. It is not just the look of the picture either. The lighting is reminiscent of the neon basked eighties films like Vamp and Dead End Drive-In. The fights and violence are shot as loving homage pieces to the glory days of bad ass women in exploitation cinema. With themes involving feminism’s battle against the man, this film will truly take you back to the days of exploitation and even blaxploitation films.

Further enhancing the tone and feel of this film is the inclusion of Stacy Monroe and the All Nite Long sequences. These fake commercials include previews of films that have a lot of fake potential, and add to the satirical stance on the midnight movie. They definitely take me back to a time where I was staying up late to watch movies that I was not supposed to be seeing. Of course, the addition of hot and scantily clad women hosting the films didn’t hurt either. So once again collectors, this is a must-own indie film. It has more technique than the director’s first film, and ups the ante in all areas of visuals, violence, and comedy. It is hard to find a good horror/comedy nowadays, so go and get yourself a copy of this one quickly. You should also make a note to watch out for his next film, Brothers.


Originally Published on: November 16th, 2016