Rolling Vengeance

Revenge! Some of the best exploitation vehicles (pun probably intended) see the protagonist avenging a fallen loved one in pitiless, revolting ways. Two of my favorite fright flicks - Creepshow and Pumpkinhead - put their victims on the receiving end of unholy retribution. Take the plight of the latter's Ed Harley, for example. His son died at the hands of foolhardy, temerarious teenagers. You can't blame the guy for summoning a badass demon to do the dirty work for him. If the opportunity presented itself, I would have done the same thing (sans the "self-damnation" clause of the initial agreement...Ed really should have drawn up a legally-binding contract with Countess Witchy Poo).

If you heed the advice of a certain zombie martyr, you're supposed to turn the other cheek in these situations. But what if a bedraggled gaggle of rednecks killed your mother, your siblings and your father? Oh, and they raped your girlfriend. Those are the cards that Joey Rosso is dealt. Now, he could fold and walk away from the table. Or he could roll the dice (if you prefer, you can substitute your own gambling metaphor). In 1987's Rolling Vengeance, "rolling the dice" equates to pounding the transgressors into a fine powder with a fucking monster truck. If you ask me, that sounds WAY more fun than turning the other cheek. I know I had fun watching this spare, yet potent story play out.

Back in the 90's, TBS aired a block of programming called "Movies For Guys Who Like Movies." Rolling Vengeance would have been a top-drawer candidate for said marathon. It fits the criteria. In fact, it stands alongside Predator and Roadhouse in terms of pure, unadulterated machismo. We get barfights, topless strippers, car chases and of course, a mean monster truck. I have no clue why this fortified four-wheeler isn't as iconic as the Green Goblin truck in Maximum Overdrive or The Creeper's gas guzzler in Jeepers Creepers. Because it could eat them both for breakfast. Sadly, the death sequences are bereft of blood. If any b-reel necessitated an exploding head and a stockpile of vital organs, it's Rolling Vengeance.

I can't express how simple this film is, but it runs smoother than the engine of a...hell, I'm not a car person. A cast of reliable, well-disposed thespians help keep everything in working order. Prolific Hollywood drudge Ned Beatty is pitch-perfect as the black-clad baddie. The rest of the characters are played by nobodies, but hey, they are solid actors. No complaints here. I wouldn't call Rolling Vengeance a tearjerker, but emotionally speaking, it hits all of the right notes. Don't get the wrong impression; action takes center stage. Overall, this is an above-average motion picture if you're the type of geek who thought that Death Wish was missing a lethal dose of monster truck wreckage.

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