The previous Exploitation Alley films have been ones that I have either always loved or had casually seen/ liked and wanted to write about. Well, with this week’s movie I thought I would blindly just choose the first silly sounding film that Netflix recommended based on my usual tastes, and low and behold: 1974’s rape revenge non-epic ACT OF VENGEANCE (a.k.a RAPE SQUAD) popped up. I sat through this one and not going to lie, it was not an easy feat.
ACT OF VENGEANCE revolves around Linda, a young woman who one night is unfortunately raped by a man wearing an orange jumpsuit and a hockey mask (keep in mind, this is pre-FRIDAY THE 13TH). Her rapist is not only interested in having forced sex with her, but is also obviously interested in being a complete dick, making her sing Jingle Bells while violating her. It’s definitely a weird scene, starting out with the guy kicking her in the face, telling her to scream and then literally moments later, telling her NOT to scream. The guy is obviously as confused as the viewer is the whole damn movie.
Afterwards, Linda eventually makes her way to what is BY FAR the most useless and incompetent police station of all time. They ask her a barrage of questions regarding her attack and treat her like she had it coming. Pissed off by the lack of the police doing anything about her attack, and during a lineup, Linda meets four other women who have all been raped by the same guy, and she comes up with the idea of a “rape squad”. The women then set out to arm themselves, take karate classes and begin to beat down any men who have violated or disrespected women acquaintances of theirs. I think this plot could have worked really well if it had been better written and directed. It’s one of those movies that could actually benefit from being remade today, which is something I usually say the opposite of when talking about films. It’s hard to take the movie serious whatsoever when there are flying kicks, pouring dye on rapists’ penises and just chilling in hot tubs in between scenes that are meant to be taken seriously.
Where the movies gets even more weird, is when out of nowhere, it goes from following the women looking for rapists and also their sole attacker, to following their attacker stalking them, and talking to himself. The guy’s lines to himself are so bad that it’s borderline comedy. After killing one of his rape victims, the guy while drinking a cup of coffee randomly starts talking to himself, saying “damn, I killed someone. I don’t think I want that to happen again, it’s not a nice feeling. Well, I gotta find a new one, get my mind off of that.” Maybe it wouldn’t be as bad if the guy didn’t have the same voice as Bob Ross, the guy who always loved to paint happy little clouds and such.
After a while of stalking the women, the rapist tricks them into all facing him in an abandoned zoo, and it leads to one of the most anti-climatic endings of all time. The end fight between the rapist and Linda lasts about 10 seconds, and as bad and intimidating as the movie WANTS (but fails) to make us think he is, the dude pretty much gets his ass handed to him immediately.
All in all, it could be worse, but hell yes, it could a lot better. You can’t win them all, and if nothing else is on tv, I’d probably recommend popping in great entries into the whole rape revenge genre like The Last House of the Left or I Spit on Your Grave rather than this one, but still…it is good for a laugh.