Revenge is a Dish Best Served…PERIOD – By Brian Morton

They say that what goes around, comes around, but it seems to me that it never travels fast enough! I mean, how many times have you seen someone being a complete A-hole and everyone knows it but no one can do anything about it? I know I do…a lot! And there’s always that one person who says, “What goes around, comes around, so we’ll just have to be patient”‘, but it takes waaaaay toooo loooonng! I’d love to be the guy who drives the ‘what comes around’ delivery truck, then, let me tell you, what goes around would come around, very quickly! But, in lieu, of driving from place to place raining down hell fire and brimstone on every butt-wipe on the planet, I decided to just do a column about it! Now, the editor says that if I publish my list of people who have ‘got it coming’, there’s some kind of legal issue involved that will get both of us in trouble, and he also says that publishing that would mark me as certifiably insane. Apparently, right now I’m ‘pre-certification’! So, I thought we could do the next best thing; we can live vicariously through some of my favorite revenge movies!

The first one is one of my favorite comic books brought to life, The Punisher. No, not the one with Dolph Lundgren, this is the new one with Tom Jane as Frank Castle aka The Punisher and John Travolta as the local crime boss. Frank Castle is an FBI agent about to retire, when something goes wrong. On his last job, a local crime bosses son is accidentally killed. When the crime boss finds out, he and his wife vow revenge on whoever who killed their son. But, that’s not the revenge we’re talking about here, the best revenge is always taken on the bad guys by the good guys and boy do they get there’s in The Punisher. Travolta sends his thugs to find Frank Castle and kill him; his wife orders that Castle’s whole family be killed. So, being good thugs, they head out, find Castle and his family and kill them all…except they make one typical movie mistake and leave Frank alive. Cue the dramatically tense music here. Castle nurses himself back to help and begins his own personal path of revenge and destruction, this, my friends, is what revenge is all about. Castle moves into a dive, cuts off all human contact and makes it his personal mission to track down and kill Travolta, his family and anyone in the general vicinity and kill them all with extreme prejudice. The Punisher is your classic revenge story, man loses family, man gets mad, man kills everyone involved. And let’s admit it just here among ourselves; we really like seeing the bad guys getting what they deserve, because in real life they very rarely do.
Now, revenge doesn’t have to be taken on the local mafia and everyone involved in it, like in The Punisher. Revenge can be slowly and methodically taken on one person who deserves it. That’s the case in our next movie, Wanted: Dead Or Alive. This is probably the coolest movie that Rutger Hauer ever made, and don’t throw Blade Runner at me, because this one is so much cooler than Blade Runner that it doesn’t even show up on the same list! Basically, Rutger (or Rut as he’s known to his friends) is an ex-CIA agent who’s become one of the countries foremost bounty hunters. Well, Rut’s reputation draws a terrorist into the country to even a score for something or other and a game of cat and mouse begins between bounty hunter and terrorist. Now, I know that sounds like your generic revenge movie, and it basically is, but factor in Rutger Hauer’s cool and tough bounty hunter, a very cool ending (one of the best ever) and the fact that the terrorist is played by KISS’s Gene Simmons (one of our editor’s personal heroes) and you’ve got one of the coolest revenge flicks ever! And in this time when terrorists on our minds most of the time, it’s nice to see one of them get what’s coming to them all!
Now I know what some of you are saying out there, Hey, what about us women? Aren’t we allowed to get revenge on anyone? Well, yes, you are. In fact, no one has done it better than Sharon Stone in a western called The Quick And The Dead. This, besides being one of my favorite westerns, is a truly great revenge movie. Sharon rolls into a small town looking for the man who killed her father, who happens to be Gene Hackman (or Hack to his friends). Well, Sharon finds out that Hack runs the town and there just so happens to be a quick draw contest going on at the same time she’s there. So, Sharon signs up and begins shooting down men in order to get to the big boss…you guessed it, Hack, which she eventually does. This is as good as any western you’ve ever seen. It’s got everything you want in a western the dirty streets, lots of gunfights ending in someone lying dead in the road plus it’s got a few added extras not available in your standard western. This movie besides starring Sharon Stone and Gene Hackman, has Leonardo DiCaprio, Russell Crowe and, one of my personal favorites, Lance Henrickson. If it’s girl revenge you’re looking for, it doesn’t get much better than The Quick And The Dead.
The only thing you really need is a reason! In The Punisher, Frank Castle got even with someone who messed with his family, in Wanted: Dead or Alive Rut got even with a guy who messed with him, but you know, it doesn’t have to be so personal to get a little revenge. It could just be something as big as a country or an army, and that brings us to our next movie, Red Dawn. In Red Dawn, a group of brat pack kids and Patrick Swayze get revenge on the Soviet Union and Cuba for invading the US. Now, they don’t do it all that well at first, and most of them don’t survive, but hey, that’s the revenge game! Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. But these kids get so angry when our government is overrun from the Mexican border by those damned pinko Commies that they begin their own personal army to fight back. There are only a few of them, but they manage to blow up some tanks, take out a bunch of troops and generally cause all kinds of havoc behind enemy lines. This will make you feel proud to be an American, because it’s the new American Dream, the underdog, down and out, but not beaten who rises up to not only fight back, but actually wins. And Red Dawn does teach us one thing, Patrick Swayze DID used to be popular! Oh yeah, and also, revenge can be taken on something as big as the whole communist army, if you have to!

Now, you’re probably saying to yourself by now, ‘sure revenge is fine if you’re a tough guy or and ex-CIA agent turned bounty hunter and even a cowboy chick or a group of cheesy 80s teen actors, but what about me’? What about the regular working class guy?’ Well, I did a lot of research about this and revenge is something that it seems like everyone gets. Do a search on the net for revenge and you’ll find that in the movies everyone gets some. Frankenstein, Tarzan, Cheerleaders, The Creature, The Nerds, The Pink Panther, The Zombies, practically anyone you can put ‘The Revenge of’ in front of and you’ll find that it’s probably already a movie, revenge is that popular. Even a dead shark got his revenge in the fourth sequel called ‘Jaws: The Revenge’, so if it’s good enough for both Frankenstein and Jaws, it’s good enough for us.

So, class, let’s review what we’ve learned today about revenge. First, if someone messes with your family, hunt them down and kill them. Second, if someone messes with you, hunt them down and kill them. And third, if someone messes with your country, hunt them down and kill them! And it makes no difference you’re race, creed, color or gender (whatever creed is anyway) revenge is something that we can all share in and enjoy. And basically, in a perfect world we wouldn’t have to work or mow the lawn or shower or anything, we’d all be too busy hunting one another down for revenge, but, hey, if it’s good enough for Tarzan and Frankenstein and a bunch of Nerds, it’s good enough for me! Now go out there and tell your friends to drop in and visit this site…oh, what, you won’t? Well, you better, or else I’m going to have to put you on my list, put on my Ninja suit, get into my stash of top secret b movie weapons and head on over to your house for a little “discussion”. And none of us wants that do they?