Where is the Final Frontier with Devil’s Revenge?

1 Oct

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

VOD Release Date:
Oct 1, 2019 (iTunes)

Video Release Date:
Oct 15, 2019

  • Spoiler Alert

With three Star Trek alumni involved in Devil’s Revenge, what can go wrong? Not much. A leap of faith is required to understand how a family deals with a curse placed upon the whole generational line. When Sergio (Jason Brooks) has to locate a lost relic (a fetish) that’s also a key to unleashing Orc-like minions, just touching it is enough to cause hallucinations. He raced out of the cave like a bat out of hell. These phantoms are not those bikers from Nicola’s Cage Mandy, but they look like they sure can be!

Amusingly, Sergio’s wife Susan (Jeri Ryan) is the only thing in this entire world that’s pure, good and right (like the Meatloaf song). She wants to understand her husband; Her love is more than physical and her motivations are clearly spelled out. Now if only Hayes was the same. William Shatner plays the patriarch and is classic Shatner; this time he’s more gruff as he wants this curse lifted. It’s apparently held the family back from doing anything good. As for how much (in fiction) Spanish blood runs in his veins, that’s besides the point.

Maurice Hurley (better known for penning episodes of Baywatch and Star Trek: The Next Generation) wrote this film’s screenplay. Despite not being familiar with sci-fi tropes and conflicts with certain members of the cast and crew, Gene Roddenberry trusted him. It would have been interesting to see what he’d change had he lived to see his work when it finally went into production; it would have been the second time he would work with Shatner (Groom Lake was his first). In what director Jared Cohen took from it was to deliver a somewhat campy horror film that relies on digital effects–smoke rising from the demons who are more like Fox Film’s Predators. Slip in the odd Star Trek in-joke for fans hoping to see Shatner and Ryan share screen time (sadly, they don’t) and it should be good.

Image result for devil's revenge movie

Devil’s Revenge has the signs of being Hurley’s first attempt at writing horror. Cohen directed a few horror films in the past and does his best with the material. The backstory has a SyFy TV of the week quality to it. The Eimen (sp?) are the demons which are chasing after everyone, and the Black Hollow Cave must lay somewhere near Mexico to account for Spanish migration. Two tribes known as the People of the Sun and Moon used to inhabit the area, and just whom the latter turned to when their own gods weren’t listening was certainly cause for concern.

Sergio and Susan were once a happy couple. They have two fantastic kids, and their life was terrific–until pop reminds his son of what they must do: destroy the relic.

The story about family holds together quite well, and it explains why the poem “How Did You Die?” by Edmund Vance Cooke is used. It’s about realizing your self worth and understanding your purpose in life. Don’t let the past define you. Although we do not see enough of Sergio interacting with the family, it seems that without them, he can’t go on. His life as a career archaeologist took a turn for the worse at some point and so did his father’s (as an ex military, perhaps disgraced). It shouldn’t be passed on to the next generation. As for how this family survives, well, this film needs to show how to pay the devil his dues…

3½ Stars out of 5

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