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Reviews & Ratings for
Retribution More at IMDbPro »

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8 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

George came back from the dead...and he's not alone...

Author: Christopher T. Chase ( from Arlington, VA.
2 January 2001

Manic depressive artist George Miller snaps one Halloween night, decides he wants to end it all and jumps from the top of the inner-city fleabag motel he calls home. Across town, small-time gangster Vito Minelli finds out the hard way, what happens when you don't pay off your gambling debts, as his vengeful cronies blow out his kneecaps, then douse him in gasoline and set him on fire.

Somewhere between life and death, George's and Vito's lives intersect, and both will be changed forever. This is not a good thing for George, and even worse for Vito's assailants, as they will each discover to their horror and dismay...

As low-budget supernatural thrillers go, RETRIBUTION manages to strike a nice balance between the yen of those horror fans who like character-driven stories, and the gorehounds who like to see "folks git blowed up real good." TV and movie vet Dennis Lipscomb, who very rarely gets to carry a picture, delivers a scary and sympathetic performance as the troubled George. He has the chameleonic ability to disappear into his character, which is both a blessing and a curse to the best character actors. They make it look so easy, most people don't even consider what they do to be "work," and that's the trouble.

Another out-of-print, hard-as-hell-to-find but worthy entry into the B-movie hall of fame.

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7 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Can't go wrong with Suzanne Snyder

Author: BloodTheTelepathicDog from north dakota
22 March 2005

The plot centers around introverted artist George Miller, wonderfully portrayed by Dennis Lipscomb, who reminds me of a good friend in the military, and his failed attempt to commit suicide. The paramedics save him, but he acquires a link with the tortured soul of a hoodlum who was brutally murdered. This dampens George's new lease on life, with a courtship of a friendly prostitute, played by B-Movie Queen Suzanne Snyder. Every time George falls asleep, the tortured spirit tales control of his body, and exacts revenge on the people who killed him.

This is a very entertaining film with believable everyday characters. Dennis Lipscomb does a splendid job transforming himself from bumbling loser George to a possessed force of destruction.

Night of The Creeps and Killer Klowns From Outer Space star Suzanne Snyder, who owns the sexiest smile in cinema history, was sensual and caring all at the same time. This role allows Suzanne to wear some crazy looking, yet rather revealing hooker outfits.

I recommend this film to people who like a little substance with their horror, but keep in mind, there is plenty of gore to go with the superior genre acting.

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9 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

One of the best original horrors produced!

Author: DjLee-Manchester from Greater Manchester, England (UK)
21 September 2004

Retribution may look a little bit dated compared to up-to-date films, with it's cheesy 80's feel, but that was just the sign of the times.Dawn of the Dead by Romero, is just the same in the out-dated department-but anyone who's seen it will agree it's still one of the best Zombie films to date! Retribution still has an un-beatable original story-line. It is a little known, rare classic. If you enjoy the horror genre, and have not yet seen this classic- try and get a copy. It is an absolute must see for ALL horror enthusiasts.Well recommended. Everyone i have shown it to was well impressed.It's a treat-especially with todays appalling excuses for Horror films. I really do highly rate and recommend this film, and so does everyone i know.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Solid 80s horror film

Author: udar55 from Williamsburg, VA
20 January 2010

Starving artist George (Dennis Lipscomb) decides to end his life by jumping off his apartment building on Halloween night. As he lays dying, his body receives the spirit of a man who shares his birthday and is killed at the exact same time (confused?). He lives and the spirit takes over when George goes to sleep and seeks retribution on folks who burned him alive (Freddy who?). Of course, his psychiatrist Dr. Curtis (Leslie Wing) thinks he's crazy and Lt. Ashley (Hoyt Axton) thinks he is the killer. This is a pretty solid horror flick that I liked even more watching it now than back in the 80s. You can hear the filmmakers whisper, "It is like ELM STREET, see?" (the burned villain even looks like Freddy), but writer-director Guy Magar does enough to make it stand apart. The only misfire is a visit to one Doctor Rasta, a Rastafarian voodoo doctor. Oh, and lots of 80s neon. Was it really that prevalent? Lipscomb, looking like a nerdy Christopher Walken, is an interesting choice for a leading man and I like that casting. On the technical side, there is lots of great camera work and some interesting use of lighting. The gore appears to be cut, but is still plentiful. Magar cut his teeth on TV work and this was his first feature. He went on to do THE STEPFATHER III, which I also thought had great cinematography, and one of the CHILDREN OF THE CORN sequels.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

You get your money's worth with this effective B picture.

Author: Scott LeBrun (Hey_Sweden) from Canada
4 August 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Co-writer / director Guy Magar offers up a sufficient amount of razzle-dazzle in this low budget revenge saga. It's got plenty of atmosphere and special effects, plus an always grim feel to its story. It also gives a rare starring role to Dennis Lipscomb, a veteran of supporting and character parts (in movies like "WarGames", "A Soldier's Story", "Crossroads", and "Under Siege") who'd previously headlined the independent productions "Union City" and "Eyes of Fire". While his performance might not be to all tastes, it can't be argued that he truly gives his all to the role. He plays George Miller, a wimpy, depressed painter who survives a suicidal jump off a building only to find out that there's a scary reason that he survived. Somebody else who perished at the same time (on Halloween night, no less) is determined to get back at those that messed him up, using George's body as his instrument of revenge. Magar makes this a visually arresting experience at all times. For one thing, staging the opening sequence on Halloween night is great because it's a weird image to see a bunch of Halloween masks taking in the spectacle in front of them. Some strong violence is suggested without being shown in any great detail, which could understandably frustrate and disappoint some genre fans, especially as there's a little bit of invention here: one victim is shoved inside an animal carcass and sawed up. The score by John Carpenter associate Alan Howarth is very nicely done. Overall, the story is still reasonably entertaining no matter how familiar its theme may be. Better performances than usual for this sort of thing help, with Leslie Wing as a caring psychiatrist, Suzanne Snyder as your friendly neighbourhood hooker-with-a-heart-of-gold, and singer / actor Hoyt Axton as an investigating detective. (However, if you're an Axton fan, be advised that he doesn't get to do all that much and doesn't even show up until over an hour into the movie.) You may also recognize George Murdock ('Barney Miller') and Harry Caesar ("The Longest Yard" '74) among the supporting cast. At an hour and 49 minutes, this does go on longer than your typical horror movie, but it's nice that Magar actually cares about his characters, making them more than one-dimensional and focusing on adult protagonists and antagonists instead of teenagers. This is a true horror movie, and a fairly intense one, and deserves another look from devotees of the genre. Eight out of 10.

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3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

George Miller is possessed by vito Minelli who has homicidal tendencies

Author: babydave201183 from United Kingdom
9 February 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

BY FATE TWO MEN ARE BORN ON THE SAME DAY. BY DESTINY THEY DIE AT EXACTLY THE SAME MOMENT BY A SUPERNATURAL ACT, THEY BOTH COME BACK TO LIFE. ONE GOOD ONE EVIL ONE BODY. George Miller is a timid, gentle man whose failure as an artist drives him to attempt suicide by leaping off the roof of his seedy hotel. Vito Minelli is a small time crook whose treachery results in his brutal execution at the hands of his underworld associates.

Being a true horror fan i have come to know whats the difference between a good horror film and a bad one, and this is a great horror film. A real rare gem of a film. Probably one of the best horror films i have seen and delivers frights and gore at the barrel full. A pretty rare film now and just as hard to get hold of but i recommend anyone who enjoys this genre as much as me to do what you can to get hold of a copy.

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4 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

No surprises, but still a solid "B".

Author: gridoon
18 September 2002

Solid B-movie with OK performances and slam-bang special effects. This is one of those neglected little thrillers that set out not to offer anything new to the genre, but at least to give fans of those movies their money's worth. And this one generally seems to know its business (although it does get a little too loud near the end). (**)

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Above Average, But Could Have Been Better

Author: ObscureCinema101 from United States
1 June 2012

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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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:


Author: Randall Phillip ( from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
29 November 2004

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

WARNING: POSSIBLE SPOILERS CONTAINED HEREIN. This one teeters on the edge of pure cheesiness, and does fall wonderfully overboard into it, but is saved by Dennis Lipscomb's magnetic performance. I couldn't help myself chuckling at much of this movie- and really, that's a good thing. I was especially tickled by its portrayal of streetwise hookers, whose attire resembles that of circus clowns. I also enjoyed the fat lady in curlers with her dog dressed up in human clothes. The plot of someone being possessed by someone else from beyond the grave to exact revenge is as clichéd as they come, but it's still a fun ride here- and that's what I'd compare this movie to: a fun ride. The ride could've been quite unbearable if Dennis Lipscomb did not make it worth getting through. Something about his performance reminded me of Barnabas Collins. Perhaps, it was his walking stick, or maybe his strange haircut. The beating of a dead horse ending was truly ridiculous, and was the perfect way to end this affair. I have to give everybody an A for effort here. I'll definitely be checking out more efforts by Lipscomb and the director. Enjoy!

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2 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

can i own this on DVD?

Author: jacob-singer ( from United Kingdom
17 April 2005

i watched this film years ago, and was pleasantly surprised how effectively scary it was because i'd never heard of it. i can remember the lead character with scary eyes at the end, and a sexy suzanne snyder as prostitute i think. i would love to watch this movie again, just to see if it has the same effect now as it did then. i doubt it though as most of these eighty's films usually age badly, it would be good to know if i can own this film on DVD. this film if i remember rightly does not deserve to to b washed up and never seen again like a lot of the mindless tosh being produced at the time. there was a few little gems that slipped through the net that are half decent additions to the genre. I'm sure this is one of them.

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