Pact of Vengeance (2022) Review
Pact of Vengeance opens with a drug deal gone sour in what looks like the world’s cheapest strip club. Actually, it looks like an abandoned building with a few chairs and tables dragged in, but that’s beside the point. A bunch of people run around shooting at each other, and then the film flashes back thirty-six hours.
Champion’s Garage, owned by Zian played by Leo Fong, (Cage II, Low Blow) in his final role, and run by his granddaughter Angie (Jenna M. Fryer, Hellcat’s Revenge II: Deadman’s Hand, Swamp Zombies 2) with some help from head mechanic Jan (Len Kabasinski, Fist of the Vampire, Skull Forest). Unfortunately, it happens to be in territory claimed by The Black Roses, who try to shake Angie down for protection money. When that doesn’t go as planned, they come back later, trashing the place and putting Angie in the hospital.
While the police, including Bill Smith (The Horrific Evil Monsters, The Burned Over District), promise results, Zian and Jan decide not to wait. Reverting to their days as special forces operatives, they decide to take matters into their own hands.
Len Kabasinski, who wrote and directed Pact of Vengeance as well as starred in it seems to be taking his cues from 80s films like The Annihilators, the squad here is even called “The Obliterators with vets forced to fight the war on crime. Beyond the plot similarities, there’s the casting of Fong and, in a brief cameo, Jon Mikl Thor from the cult films Recruits and Rock ‘n’ Roll Nightmare. Better known for his music than his acting, Thor also provides three tracks for the film’s soundtrack. Including the theme song. They’re not on a level with “Let The Blood Run Red” or “Thunder on the Tundra” but they’re better than most recent film music.
The villains, apart from sharing a name with a cult 80s horror film, are a bunch of punks who look like they stepped out of The Class of 1984. And like that gang, they seem to favour knives over guns for some reason. They also spend a lot of time hanging out with naked women to provide Pact of Vengeance with plenty of old-school gratuitous nudity, something I won’t complain about.
What I can complain about, unfortunately, is just about everything else in Pact of Vengeance. The conflict is so one-sided, there’s never any sense of threat to the heroes. They’re a bunch of high-end operatives with sealed and/or erased records and friends in dangerous places. The bad guys are a bunch of inept street thugs, most of whom don’t even carry guns, until the final confrontation.
Unfortunately, the film’s action scenes don’t do anything to help the situation. The fight scenes in Pact of Vengeance range from adequately choreographed to, as in the case of Angie punching out a couple of huge goons, cringe-inducingly bad.
The scenes of the ninety-two-year-old Fong taking out attackers are embarrassing. They swing, miss, and stand there waiting for him to punch them. The scenes where Jan’s wife Ally (Lisa Neeld, Easter Holocaust, Found Footage of Fear) fresh out of the shower fights several of the gang members armed only a towel and two weapons of mass distraction is amusing, however.
A scene with a makeshift flamethrower, meant to remind us of The Exterminator, is so badly edited together it has none of the power of the scene it copies. I’m also fairly sure a fire like that in an auto repair shop would end with a lot more than a mess that could be cleaned up by the time the cops arrived.
If you just want to see a bunch of bad guys get killed in ridiculously one-sided fights along and loads of bare boobs, you may enjoy Pact of Vengeance. If you want to see a competent action film, however, you’re out of luck.
Kabasinski, has made several films before Pact of Vengeance and if you’re a fan of them then you’re probably subscribed to his Patreon where it’s available and will see it regardless of what I say. If you aren’t, and you’re curious, watch a couple of his other films first, several are on Tubi, and decide from there. If you decide to go with something else, FilmTagger has some suggestions.