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At Halloween George Miller jumps down from the roof of a hotel. But he's rescued and survives. In psychiatry the young Dr. Jennifer Curtis cares for him and gives him back his will to live. However he suffers from terrible nightmares. Back home, he discovers in the newspaper that his dreams, in which he forces other people to kill themselves in most cruel ways, seem to be reality. Written by
Tom Zoerner <Tom.Zoerner@informatik.uni-erlangen.de>
One really good episode of TALES FROM THE DARKSIDE that I remember is "Dead Man's Shoes," where an average Joe finds a pair of shoes and decides to put them on. The shoes, however, belonged to a recently deceased mobster, who decides to possess the man and seek revenge on those who sent him to his grave. RETRIBUTION is just like that, only a lot bloodier.
George is a depressed painter who's had it with life. On Halloween night, he jumps off the roof of his apartment building and dies. However, he is brought back by some paramedics, but something isn't quite right with him. Whenever he falls asleep, he has dreams of killing people in gruesome ways, and when he awakens, these people are actually dead. You see, he is now possessed by a mobster who not only shared his birthday, but he was gunned down at the same time George realized he can't fly, so now, the mobster is killing those who killed him. Can George stop him before the killing begins again?
RETRIBUTION is a decent enough watch, but it could have been a whole lot better. Considering this was released in the trash-tastic year of 1987, they managed to have a really intriguing plot, great actors, and good gore effects. Unfortunately, they underplay everything except the actors.
Yes, there is a lot of talking and a lot of character building, which is both a good and a bad thing. Good, because we actually begin to like and connect with the characters. Bad, because it keeps us away from the good stuff.
The kills in RETRIBUTION are all gory, all inventive, and there aren't many of them. There are only four people who gunned down Vito (the mobster), and he doesn't even get his revenge on all of them. There is some great build-up and suspense with the deaths and the "possessed George" is frightening enough to work.
There are a lot of scenes where George's possession takes hold, like when they go to a spiritualist, or when he paints several portraits of the charred Vito (which looks eerily similar to Freddy).
Don't get me wrong; RETRIBUTION is from being a bad movie, it's just not all that great. I liked all the characters, I liked the gore, and the scares were good, it's just that each of these is either underplayed or overplayed. It's "technically" a lot better than most late-eighties direct-to-video garbage; it's just not as entertaining as it should be.
Still, it's worth watching.
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