I don’t say this very often, but holy shit is this movie ripe for a remake. An obscure western where Lee Van Cleef opposes the titular pre-teen and a hulking black man named Isaac? Yeah, you might say it’s got that je ne sais quoi. Maybe it’s all marketing, but to be honest, it’s probably the prospect of watching a pint-sized Lief Garrett grab his shovel and go gangbusters on some sorry outlaw.
But before it’s rampage time, our plucky young lad learns to hunt, tracking a hare over rock and placing an arrow straight through its heart. As it shudders there next to the brush, he turns and asks of his doomed father, “Do you ever get used to killing?” When you’re Kid Vengeance, the obvious answer is “Heck yes,” which brings us to the real meat and potatoes of this late night gem. As has been proven time and again, the greatest luxury afforded by revenge flicks is the ability to shamelessly revel in gratuitous violence. Remember the scene in Dirty Harry where Clint is chasing a hijacked school bus, and how after the killer smacks that kid in the face, he could be graphically dismembered and even your mom would still be all, “F YEAH!”? This movie is like that, but all the time.
Now, for those with a refined sense of morality, don’t worry, ‘cause these corpses have it coming. Try to relieve the Kid’s very dead parents of their wedding rings and you probably won’t make it through the 94 minute run time. We’re not talking execution style or anything like that, the Kid doesn’t roll that way. He’s got his wits about him and can sneak a snake into a saddlebag like a pro.
Sure you can buy this movie for a buck at Walmart, but give the writers some credit – they know how to tug at those heartstrings and give a boulder to the head the weight of 10 Erin Brockoviches. Each scene is shaped with such good intentions that it’s easy to overlook Van Cleef’s shitty Dennis Hopper impersonation and focus on how great this movie would be if someone lengthened the set-ups and just ratcheted up the red.
DVD edition: A Van Cleef double feature that came backed with God’s Gun (co-starring Jack Palance). It was a dollar and is so chincy my PowerBook won’t recognize the disk for the proper screen grab treatment.
Worst Kid Vengeance IMDB Message Board Post – There are no message board posts. How are there no message board posts?!
What to Watch For: Did I mention there’s a side plot with brothers who try and steal gold from Isaac’s mine? And how one of them is so blind without his glasses he accidentally kills one of his own kin? Blatant plot device, but damn if it doesn’t hurt when they go.