Director - D. Kerry Prior
Cast - David Anders, Chris Wylde, Louise Griffiths, Jacy King, Eric Payne, Bernardo Badillo
Release Year - 2012
Reviewed by John of the Dead
The Revenant is an example of one of the greatest feelings a horror fan can experience. In this case, I was reading on a film I had just seen and saw this on IMDb as a “related” film and after checking it out I noticed that it had a good rating, good reviews, but I had never once heard of it before. Licking my lips and savoring the opportunity to view a “hidden gem”, I got a hold of this piece and left the experience with the enjoyable results that I expected from this. Giving us a fun vampire tale that offers more than the usual sub-genre template, The Revenant is a fun/funny, somewhat long but eventful and creative effort that comes well-written and with good direction that easily sells this experience to the viewer.
After being killed in an ambush while deployed in Afghanistan, formerly deceased soldier Bart Gregory (David Anders) has miraculously risen from the dead with only one major problem...he is still dead. Now a member of the undead scene, Bart reunites with his best friend in an effort to live life the way they did before he joined the military, and it results in gory consequences accompanied by hilarious mayhem.
Honestly, I am not the biggest fan of vampire films. I do enjoy them and watch them from time to time but I do not actively seek vampire films...unless they offer me something different like The Revenant did. The film's opening sequence consists of Bart's death scene where he is killed for making a noble but stupid mistake while overseas, fighting the “war on terrorism”. Fast forward a few weeks and he rises from the grave, coughing up dirt and other gross things, and that is where the fun begins. Watching Bart bang on his best friend Joey Luebner's apartment door and Joey react in the way most 13 year old girls / Justin Bieber would react when seeing a member of the undead was hilarious and a good start to the heavy amount of comedy provided in the story. After the initial shock is displaced and the guys are cool again, the conflict kicks in when they simultaneously realize that Bart is going to need human blood to function...so they devise a plan. Bart needs blood but neither of them really wants to kill for it, so after some initial bumbling they do they only thing they can do...they kill people who deserve to die. This vigilante element of the story was awesome to watch as these two killing noobs (Bart wasn't really cut out for the Army...) began taking out the local low-level scum, eventually built up their skill sets and began taking out mobsters and crooked cops. Of course, this does not go unnoticed for too long and they eventually have a strong police force on their tail, as well as the cohorts of those they have killed, and the awesome conflict builds up to a climax that I did not particularly like – one that slowed things down instead of finishing strong. There are plenty of laughs to go around and I found myself laughing aloud on numerous occasions, but none more than the “gunfight scene” and my absolute favorite, the “vibrator scene”. The vibrator scene was the most creative usage of a vibrator in a horror movie that I have ever seen, showing Prior's creativity and sense for good lulz.
Director D. Kerry Prior did a sweet job executing this film from the get-go until right before the film's unsatisfying final sequence. His atmosphere is fantastic and he employs numerous sets resulting from his story's many location changes, keeping the film moving at a good pace. The film constantly felt fun thanks to his musical score and the dark humor provided by the story, with the chemistry between David Anders and Chris Wylde selling the comedy and the conflict that eventually (and hilariously) boils between their characters. We get plenty of guns and weapons used by the vigilantes, and Prior's execution of this vigilante element grew more and more awesome as the vigilantism progressed. We get plenty of blood and gore throughout this piece, and I liked that Bart looked more like a zombie than a vampire. With the film's story being heavy on dark humor you would maybe expect to not come across that much gore, and while this is not a gorefest Prior does provide plenty of live-action gore and even a real life vibrator as well.
Overall, The Revenant is a cool flick that I was not surprised I enjoyed. The story is a unique one that gives us an original take on the vampire sub-genre and comes with plenty of laughs and badassery. D. Kerry Prior does a great job directing this piece and ensures that you will be entertained for the majority of the film's two hour runtime.
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