Review: CRY HAVOC (2020)
For Cry Havoc writer/director Rene Perez brings back the serial killer Havoc for the fourth time. He also brings back Richard Tyson’s character The Watcher, now upscaled to The Voyeur, from the first two Playing With Dolls films. Then he adds in his current meal ticket, the Charles Bronson lookalike Robert Bronzi. Is the result any improvement over what we’re used to from Perez?
The film opens up with a woman waking up chained to Havoc (J.D. Angstadt, It Hungers). She manages to run off but not before having her shirt ripped open. Havoc is distracted ripping someone’s jaw off.
A reporter, Ellen (Emily Sweet, Castle Freak, Fear Pharm) has arraigned an interview with the newest name on the FBI’s most-wanted list, The Voyeur (Richard Tyson, Eternal Code, Betrayed). Of course, it’s all a setup as he intends to watch Havoc stalk and kill her through his wilderness compound. However, what neither of them knows is that a rogue cop (Robert Bronzi, Death Kiss, Once Upon A Time In Deadwood) is following her, hoping she’ll lead him to The Voyeur and his missing daughter.
Cry Havoc has a lot in common with Perez’s previous film Cabal. Both revolve around a badass hero fighting a masked psychopath. A killer who has been brought to a highly guarded compound to torture and kill women for someone else’s purposes. If Cabal was Perez’s version of Silent Rage, this is a crossover between Death Wish and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Unfortunately, as tends to be the case with Perez’s films, it’s not very good.
After starting out as a slasher, Cry Havoc changes course in the second act. Havoc himself vanishes while we get Bronzi taking out guards outfitted with military-grade hardware using just his revolver. Ellen’s interview with The Voyeur at least features some footage of Havoc from the earlier films.
If Cry Havoc even built to a rousing climax it might not have been so bad. But the last act has everyone except The Voyeur running around in the woods. Bronzi picks off heavily armed goons who are happy to stand in the open and hold their fire while he fumbles in his pocket for bullets and reloads by hand. Of course, he always manages to shoot around their body armour while his leather jacket apparently is bulletproof.
And the final showdown? It lasts all of about five minutes and results in an incredible non-ending that paves the way for the next sequel. For all his badassery Bronzi’s detective manages to accomplish jack shit.
Despite all that Cry Havoc might be Perez’s best film, though that’s not saying much. At least this time out most of the effects are good and there are a couple of sets of boobs, (despite all his rants about hating PC culture he fogs out Sweet’s boobs for some reason). That at least helps distract from how shitty everything else is.