It’s 2020 and a certain pandemic is stopping the majority of upcoming box office hits from being released. But does this mean we can’t still enjoy some top movie related media? Of course it doesn’t! Will we still be bringing you brand new and fresh content you’ve never seen before? Maybe not – but here’s another eight awesome movie revenge kills we missed out last time… and the time before that.
The Princess Bride (1987)
Life can be very unfair. Like sometimes you might make a special sword for a six-fingered man, then he won’t pay you in full for it and murders you in front of your son. This is what happened to Inigo Montoya’s (Mandy Patinkin) father in The Princess Bride and, unsurprisingly, Inigo hasn’t forgotten about it.
Inigo finally confronts the object of his obsession – Count Rugen (Christopher Guest). It’s a wild ride: Rugen initially runs away, then manages a surprisingly accurate knife throw that injures Inigo and it looks like he won’t make it after all. But Inigo is driven by pure revenge, compounded by his repetition of the awesome line ‘My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.” He is stabbed three times but continues to advance, chanting his catchphrase like it’s going out of fashion. It’s a bit campy, it’s fun and it’s an awesome movie revenge kill.
Dead Man's Shoes (2004)
Less of a revenge kill and more a smattering of revenge kills, the 2004 British thriller Dead Man’s Shoes is driven by the idea of relentless vengeance. Richard (Paddy Considine) returns from the army and is plagued by memories of his helpless younger brother Antony’s (Toby Kebbell) abuse at the hands of a gang of drug dealers. The most intense segment of his revenge is when he drugs three of the gang: Sonny (Gary Stretch), Soz (Neil Bell) and Herbie (Stuart Wolfenden).
Slowly and playfully Richard kills each of the men one by one – shooting one in the head, killing one with a singular brutal upward palm strike and stabbing the last during an embrace. They’re awesome revenge kills, but also there is something incredibly sad about watching this exorcism of Richard’s pain over his brother’s mistreatment at the hands of the gang. His embrace with Herbie before he stabs him shows moments of humanity and yet the way he taunts the men and even shows Herbie the body of another murdered gang member in a suitcase - clearly shows he has lost his mind.
Leon: The Professional (1994)
Revenge kills don’t get much more heart-breaking and emotional than the beautiful death of Leon Montana (Jean Reno) and murder of Norman Stansfield (Gary Oldman) in Leon: The Professional. When 12-year-old Matilda’s (Natalie Portman) family is murdered by corrupt DEA agents led by Stansfield, she somehow persuades professional hit-man Leon to take her in and train her as an assassin so she can take her revenge.
Whilst the relationship between Matilda and Leon treads the line between adorable and inappropriate – a discussion for another video – there is no question as to the deep bond these two characters have. So much so that Leon carries out Matilda’s revenge for her. The beautiful music and intercutting with scenes of Matilda escaping, cuddling Leon’s pot plant, creates an emotional melting pot: Matilda is free, Leon is dying and Stansfield finally gets his comeuppance (and his perfect hair and suit are ruined). We’re not crying, you are.
The Count of Monte Cristo (2002)
They say there are two types of best friend – the ones who stick by you through everything and the ones who jealously ruin your career, steal your fiancée and send you to prison for 11 years. Unfortunately for Edmond Dantès (Jim Caviezel), his mate Fernand Mondego (Guy Pearce) falls into the latter category. So, when Edmond escapes jail, becomes incredibly wealthy and returns to Parisian society under a new identity as ‘The Count of Monte Cristo’ – we know he isn’t just back for a party.
The final showdown with Fernand is poetic, Fernand saying ‘Now I couldn’t live in a world where you have everything and I have nothing’ perfectly demonstrates how the tables have turned. The irony is that Fernand, who took everything from Edmond, is now facing the same fate. And he is so fearful of that fate, he is willing to fight to the death. In the lush long grass, in some very fancy outfits, the men spar with both fists and fencing swords and it truly feels like anyone’s game until the end. Next time Fernand try a floatier jacket; it may improve your chances.
Mad Max (1979)
When Max Rockatansky’s (Mel Gibson) fellow officer Jim Goose (Steve Bisley) is incinerated in his car by the bizarrely named Johnny The Boy (Tim Burns), Max makes a big effort to avoid the revenge kill by taking a holiday with his family to de-stress. Unfortunately, Johnny’s gang find Max’s wife and child and run them over, killing his son and seriously injuring his wife. No wonder Max got a bit “mad”…
When Max finds Jonny he is stealing the boots off a dead man who has died in a car crash – just to reiterate what a bad guy he is. This revenge kill is so awesome for its comparatively hands-off approach. By making Johnny handcuff his own ankle and using Johnny’s lighter, Max is showing Johnny how he has effectively sealed his own fate. Equally, by giving him the saw to hack through his own ankle to survive (where did Max even get that from?), Johnny is leaving his survival somewhat in his own hands as well. Presumably, Johnny is engulfed in flames proving what goes around comes around and Goose’s murder is avenged. Either that or he had a very long hop back home.
Some revenge kills are best served short and sweet and not many get to the point as efficiently as William (Mel Gibson) executing his wife’s murderer in Braveheart. William had already saved his childhood sweetheart Murron (Catherine McCormack) from being assaulted by soldiers once before but, when she battles off their second attempt, she is publically executed by having her throat cut by this dude in a red and white beach towel.
William is, understandably not too pleased about this, and wastes no time in taking his vengeance. A swift kick down the stairs, he gets the magistrate (Malcolm Tierney) against the post and, making it very clear why he is angry, quickly slits his throat – mirroring the way Murron herself was executed. Well, Scotland is being invaded, why beat around the bush?
Licence to Kill (1989)
Ever heard of keep your friends close but your enemies closer? When Franz Sanchez (Robert Davi) feeds James Bond’s (Timothy Dalton) friend Felix Leiter (David Hedison) to a shark and murders Leiter’s wife, Bond is ready to drop everything, including MI6, to seek his revenge and bring justice on Sanchez. By infiltrating Sanchez’s inner circle, Bond is able to get closer to the drug lord and find out more about his criminal activity.
The frenemy relationship is short-lived however, as Bond and a now suitably-crazy Sanchez attempt to kill each other in a high-octane chase. As petrol-soaked Sanchez looms over Bond with a machete, Bond’s quick-thinking saves him, as he produces the lighter given to him by Felix and his wife, Della (Priscilla Barnes) and sets Sanchez alight. The message from Della and Felix inscribed on the lighter seems almost a thank you, in Della’s case from beyond the grave, of carrying out the revenge that they could not. And it’s a suitably explosive one at that…
The Punisher (2004)
When you title a film something like The Punisher you are essentially promising to serve up some awesome revenge – and this movie doesn’t disappoint. Motivated by a bit of revenge-circle, Howard Saint (John Travolta) is out for vengeance when his son Bobby (James Carpinello) dies in a smuggling operation alongside an undercover agent, Frank Castle (Thomas Jane). When Saint finds out about Frank, he goes all out and orders his men to kill Frank’s entire family.
How do you counter revenge killing? With more revenge killing apparently, as Frank expertly works his way around Saint’s inner circle killing his men and even tricking him into killing his own wife and best friend out of jealousy. When Frank and Saint finally face-off, Frank casually announces to a background of screams he has now killed both of Saint’s sons. There is a mirroring of the men here, who have both lost everyone they ever cared about, as they reach for their guns at the same time. Vengeance truly is something they had in common. Frank reveals to Saint he tricked him into killing his own best friend and wife, showing Saint what a monster he is in his final moments. And then, like many of our awesome revenge kills, he uses a car to blow him up – well maybe more than one. Well he was walking away - he couldn’t leave it to chance now could he?
There we have it – eight more awesome movie revenge kills perfect for re-watching inside during your isolation. We bet you all still have more to add to the list and as always we welcome your suggestions in the comments below.
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