The Payback (1995) – By Brian Morton

Crime dramas are a dime a dozen, but The Payback (the first film by indie film legend Ron Atkins) is just a little different. Usually when you have criminals, the cops aren’t too far behind, but in The Payback, there’s not a cop or a good guy to be seen!

The Payback is the story of a group of drug dealers who begin to turn against each other. Sid is the ringleader and he’s brought Doug into the fold because Doug has shown a talent and a ruthlessness that Sid admires. The problem comes when Doug begins to think that Sid is cheating him out of money and the intrigue rolls from there. Some of the crew side with Sid, others side with Doug and before long people are being tortured and killed.

For a first effort, The Payback isn’t bad, the story is told by the characters themselves, talking directly to the camera, and the ending leaves some room for a return to these characters in the future. While it felt like the story slowed down a little in the middle (the torture of Doug’s henchman seemed to last forever and go nowhere for a long time), that’s to be expected from a first effort, and I’ve seen some more recent work by Atkins, he’s definitely learned from his mistakes. I’d recommend The Payback because it’s a good story and it’s well told, the positives far outweigh any negatives the movie has. If you’d like to judge for yourself, drop over to Cut Throat and check it out for yourself, but be advised, Ron doesn’t flinch and he doesn’t pretend that drug dealers don’t do drugs, so you don’t want to share this with the kiddies. So, until next time when I’ll reveal my own addiction to movies and twinkies (not necessarily in that order) remember that the best movies are bad movies.