The Retaliators Is a Tedious Testosterone Revenge Pic

Horror isn’t exactly a feminist genre, but at least since movies like Halloween and Alien in the 70s, its celebrated female protagonists and female point-of-view characters.

The ‘Final Girl' is the one who slashes the looming Michael, Jason, or Freddie. It’s her who’s left standing at the end drenched in the blood of the giant looming daddy thing.

That’s not necessarily a subtle political vision, but it helps explain why the genre’s audience is 60% women.

In that context, the patriarchal tropes in The Retaliators really stand out. It’s directed by Bridget Smith and Samuel Gonzalez Jr., one of whom is a woman.

But the plodding machismo of scriptwriter and Mötley Crüe bassist Nikki Sixx seems to have won out over anyone else’s vision.

Whoever’s responsible, though, this is a sad glob of genre gruel which kills off various underdeveloped female characters in order to teach its male protagonist father figure the virtues of uber-violence and forceful parenting.

The Retaliators is not much fun to watch. But it is somewhat interesting as a case study of how a certain kind of hypocritical denunciation of violence can provide justification for…well, basically anything.

It’s perhaps overly generous to accuse The Retaliators of having a central emotional conflict. But to the extent it’s trying to be about anything, it’s about the conflict between Bishop’s Christian faith in peace and his overwhelming anger and rage for revenge.

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