July 12, 2015

VOD Review: Bound to Vengeance (2015)

The Rape-Revenge Sub-Genre is a tough one for us to get into. First and foremost, it's not very entertaining to watch a woman being beaten, tortured, or raped in a movie, fake or not. The revenge part is always satisfying, but the nasty shit leading up to it is always tough to endure.

It's also never good that most of them seem to play like misguided feminist fantasies to us. I guess in this day and age, the whole "men are evil, and must be stopped!" thing feels more like an attention-grabber for Social Media than anything else, and we don't want to see that preachy, misguided SJW shit in the movies that we watch.

In the case of Bound to Vengeance though, we get a straight-up Revenge flick that while a bit preachy at times, was also enjoyable enough to make us forget about its lesser parts, and that's really the best you can hope for from any movie, isn't it?

In the basement of an isolated house in the desert, young Eve is shackled to a bed. Her captor, Phil, comes by every now and then to give her some shitty soup and some cuddles, because "she's special." Having had enough of Phil's shitty soup, Eve takes to caving his head in with a brick, which allows her to unchain herself, chain him up in her place, and finally be free.

While looking for the keys to his van (because the house is seriously way out in the boonies), Eve finds pictures not only of herself, but of other girls who have presumably been abducted, and so she decides to forgo escaping in an effort to find out where the other girls are. Phil tells her that he'll take her to the other girls if she'll agree not to kill him, and let him go at the end of their journey. Eve agrees, and the party begins!

From here on out, the movie follows Eve and Phil as they go to different safe-houses, in an effort to set the other abducted women free. As time goes on however, it becomes apparent to Eve that there is more to this than just Phil being a sick creep, and the further she goes into the sick word of sexual slavery, the more she realizes that people are going to have to die. By her hand.

Plenty of good old fashioned revenge ensues.

It seems as if Bound to Vengeance has rubbed a lot of critics the wrong way, which is surprising to us, because we found it to be one of the better Rape-Revenge moves that we've ever seen. Now we say Rape-Revenge even though there is no actual rape in this movie, but it's pretty easy to figure out that these girls weren't abducted and locked away in filthy houses for anything other than the purposes of sexual slavery. After seeing The Seasoning House (review) last year, we're really glad that we didn't have to see any of that shit play out on screen. Nasty business, that.

We really liked how this movie wasted very little time getting going, as Eve escaped her confines and set out on her course of revenge almost immediately after the opening credits had finished. We didn't have to spend half of the movie wondering how she was going to escape, and even better, we didn't have to wait until the third act for her to finally get down to the business of revenge. No, the "good stuff" happened right away, and kept on going all the way until the end of the movie, and we loved it. Kudos to the filmmakers for starting the story right in the middle of the action, you know, like any good narrative should.

Bound to Vengeance, like any other good Revenge flick, has to rely heavily on its main character turning into a bad-ass (and even more so on us believing that she truly is one), in order for it to work. In this case, Eve made for a believable heroine, even if the situations that she found herself in, and some of the decisions that she made, never felt quite as genuine.

We had no idea who Tina Ivlev was before watching this movie, but her performance here assures us that we will know her name for some time to come. She made for one hell of an ass-kicking heroine in this one, mainly because she made her character believable. Surely the writing helped out in that department too, but it was mostly a case of the actress doing her job exceptionally well. Also, she's really hot; she kinda gave off an odd Jennifer Lawrence vibe in this one, although maybe that's just us. This movie should put her on the map for plenty of future projects, and we'll gladly check her out in whatever she's got coming out next.

It was also fun to see Richard Tyson playing the scumbag bad guy in this one. Being kids in the 80's, we grew up watching him in movies like Three O'Clock High, Two Moon Junction, Kindergarten Cop, and much later on, Black Hawk Down. He's a blast from the past for us, and it was great seeing him carry the movie with Ivlev. They made a pretty good duo.

As much as we liked the movie, there are a few aspects of the plot that didn't ring true to us:

  • Are we honestly supposed to believe that a young girl who has been abducted and held captive in a basement, wouldn't do everything that she could to immediately get the Police involved after her escape? That she wouldn't be terrified and mentally unstable from experiencing such horrors is unbelievable enough, but for her to essentially say "Screw the Cops, I'm going Rambo!" is about as far from realistic as a movie could get.
  • And are we supposed to believe that she could truly subdue and hold a strong, creepy dude like Phil at bay, and effectively force him to do as she commands?

We also weren't sure why we had to see so much of the video flashback stuff throughout the movie; we get that it set up some plot twists, and that some of it was necessary for emotional depth, but after a while it just felt like repetitive filler. Given the movie's short run-time, that's probably what it was.

We get that #Women'sLivesMatter, and we also get that there are plenty of evil, creepy bastards out there who do what they want, to whomever they want, to fulfill their sick desires; atrocities like rape and sexual slavery are absolutely real, and are unquestionably abhorrent.

As a man though, please allow me to say one thing: A vast majority of us are not like that, nor do we condone, even in the smallest way, the behavior and mindsets of those of us who are. I get that this is only a movie, and that it was showing us a story from one particular point of view, but damn if it wasn't heavy-handed at times with its message.

I guess my biggest issue with the whole SJW thing is that if the Twitters and Facebooks of the world are to believed, that I, as a straight white male, am the cause of all of the world's injustices, and to that I say bullshit. I really need to read Twitter less. That's probably the main issue here.

There was no shortage of bloody, messy vengeance handed out in this one, most of coming by way of guns... and of course, a rather effective brick. There were also plenty of dirty, scummy, nasty set pieces throughout the movie, that felt gory in their own way.

No nudity in this one, and given the movie's subject matter, we're more than fine with that.

Never trust boys, because they're evil. Also... no, just don't trust boys. That's definitely worth mentioning twice.

Though it boasts some pretty uncomfortable subject matter, Bound to Vengeance is just about as entertaining as a bloody, nasty Revenge flick can hope to be. We're not sure if this was a star-making turn for Tina Ivlev or not, but she definitely makes for one of the better movie heroines that we've seen on-screen in a long time, which really made the movie work better as a whole.

If you're down with gritty, empowering Rape Revenge flicks, then this one is definitely worthy of your rental $$$.


Bound to Vengeance is available now on VOD.


Russian beauty Tina Ivlev is in this, and if she doesn't make you want to visit Moscow, then nothing will!


  1. I'm probably not going to watch this as there was a similar film called "Sweet Karma" a few years ago which seems to be the same story. A Russian girl heads off to Canada to avenge her sister who was tricked by human traffickers (in the guise of an au pair agency) and sold into prostitution. Much merriment ensues.

    I do like your spot-on comments about the SJWs though. Everyone is getting fucking sick of them.

    1. I remember hearing about Sweet Karma, but never ended up watching it.

      And as far as the SJW's go... there are definitely causes worth fighting for, and taking a stand is a good thing when necessary, but so much of it lately seems like reactionary BS, almost like people are looking for the smallest sliver of injustice in everything, so that they can soapbox about it.

      That kind of crying wolf kills it for me.

  2. Just watched this film. Truth be told, I was a wee bit bored during the first half of the film. I just wasn't into it. I felt it really picked up, though, after the second house. Finale was pretty solid, with a good twist and gut-wrenching ending (for Phil, anyways) thrown in. Good review.

    - JigsawX, Beyond the Darkened Door

    1. It did start out a bit "slow" I suppose, but you're right, it got better after a while, and ended strong.

      Gld you liked it, Jigsaw

  3. Is there going to be a sequel... I'm mad it ended like that

    1. Not sure, but I'd love to see one too.

    2. I hope they do make a part 2 and keep her in it

  4. How was her boyfriend related to the kidnapper? And who was the one sleeping in his bed? Is it a girl who he's going to give to the men involved in girls' trading? Oh and was he the one who gave Eve and her sister to the kidnapper??