This week, John and Matt dropped their Top 10 Movies of 2018. I have recently posted my top films of the year, so I hoped that the classic episode on the Patreon would be one that I could do. And it turned out to be Top 10 Revenge Movies, which I have never done. This was going to work well.
Then I started doing the research and I found a list of a lot of movies. However, there were no major standout films for me. Number one was tough to choose, and there are some movies I liked that did not make the list. There is at least movie that I love so much and it is one that I never considered a revenge film, but it was on a bunch of the lists so I am including it.
#10. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. Ricardo Montalban comes back to Star Trek as one of the great villains of all time, Khan. And this is the greatest Star Trek movie ever made. The final scene between Kirk and Spock is as emotional as any film you are ever going to see.
#9. The Princess Bride. Here is the film that I had not ever considered a revenge film, but it was on several lists that I saw during research and The Princess Bride is my absolute favorite movie. I placed it at number 9 only because the revenge is only part of this epic movie. “Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya…you killed my father… prepare to die.” Inigo lets us know as well that the reason he works for Vizzini is that there is not a lot of money in revenge. And yet, he found that villainous Count Rugen and his six fingers on his right hand and took care of business. This is my favorite film on this list, but, since it was only partially a revenge film, I dropped it down.
#8. The Crow. The Crow is a fantastic film featuring the final appearance of Brandon Lee, as he was accidentally killed during the filming of this movie. This has some wonderful violence and, unfortunately, was unable to ever recapture the magic after the loss of Lee. Still, I loved this heroic vigilante.
#7. Django Unchained. Quentin Tarantino created this wonderful western with the most brutal racial tone and imagery filled with violence and blood. The film has a ton of brilliant performances from Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Samuel L. Jackson, Leonardo DiCaprio, Kerry Washington, Don Johnson. Django is as compelling of a film as Tarantino has ever done.
#6. Cape Fear. Another film that features the antagonist as the person who is seeking revenge, Robert De Niro is just amazing as the ex-con Max Cady, who has returned to seek retribution from his lawyer, Sam Bowden, played by Nick Nolte, for his failure to get him off years before. And this goes crazy. The final confrontation on the boat is just tense as can be and features some of the best work from these actors. Throw in the great Jessica Lange and we got an awesome movie. Director Martin Scorsese brought us this remake of a film from 1962 and truly created some magic.
#5. Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. Johnny Depp appears as the crazy barber who returns to London after being railroaded to Australia for a crime he did not commit, by the evil Judge Turpin. Turpin’s lust for Benjamin Barker’s wife, Lucy, drove the judge’s decisions. When Barker returned under the guise of Sweeney Todd, he set out to find his revenge and maybe meet his daughter Johanna. However, the daughter is not really what Sweeney Todd is interested in. What better way to seek revenge than to bake your enemies into a meat pie? Great music. Great tone. Very suspenseful.
#4. Taken. Liam Neeson is not the dad you want to piss off. And when he tells you on the phone that you had better give him his daughter back, you had better give him his daughter back. This was a fantastic movie that has, admittedly, been tarnished by the terrible Taken 2 and Taken 3. Still, Taken has one of the most iconic moments in any revenge movie with that phone call scene. I found it extremely brutal and very fun.
#3. V for Vendetta. This film was based on the classic graphic novel by Alan Moore of the same name, despite the fact that Moore was a huge critic of the movie version of his work. V for Vendetta is the story of a future society in England trying to avoid seeing its population riot and overthrow the government. The push is lead by V, a man who was turned into a monster by the very government in a project. V has a list and he works on filling that list for the whole movie. Remember, Remember the Fifth of November…
#2. John Wick. I mean, they killed his dog. John Wick was such a surprise and a renaissance for Keanu Reeves. John wick just wanted to be left alone. He was out of the life and did not need to kill anyone any more, but, after his wife dies of cancer, the world he left behind pulled him back in. They killed his dog! One of my favorite lines in this movie is when the head bad guy discovered that the car that his dimwit son had stolen once belonged to John Wick and he was completely in shock. His simple response of “Oh” told you all you needed to know about who John Wick was and what was about to be unleashed.
#1. Unforgiven. The Clint Eastwood Oscar winning western featuring Eastwood as a killer trying to not kill again, but having the people around him not leaving him to his retirement. In this case, there is a prostitute who has been disfigured by a john and has come to William Munny for help. Unable to resist, Munny tries to do what needed to be done without becoming the monster he used to be. Unforgiven also stars Gene Hackman as the wicked Little Bill Daggett, the sheriff who has abused his power for years, and who is looking to prevent the spread of vigilantism in his land. Unforgiven is one of the best westerns I have seen and is probably the best Clint Eastwood movie made.
Honorable Mentions. There are a bunch of these. Kill Bill Vol 1 and 2 are films that I have only seen once, years ago, but I remember liking them. They just did not make the list. Payback from Mel Gibson is a great film. Christopher Nolan’s creative film, Memento, is another good addition, but another movie that I have not seen in years. The Revenant is the film that the classic Top 10 show was honoring this week. The bear scene was one of the best in the film. All I really remember in Inglorious Basterds is the ending with Hitler and Brad Pitt’s hilarious I-talian accent. The remake and original versions of True Grit are top notch, starring John Wayne and Jeff bridges respectably. Gladiator and Braveheart are “historical” revenge stories that could always make a list like this. They were both on Matt and John’s list. Stephen King’s original Carrie found that you had better not drop pig’s blood onto a powerful telekinetic if you want to survive prom. Darkman is another hero/vigilante film that was fun to watch.