Plot: John Bradley (Lou Ferrigno) has devoted his life to the special forces, to the point that he has never felt comfortable in normal life as a citizen. He was trained to be a killing machine and when his service ended, he was unable to adjust to life after the special forces. Now in his sixties, John wants to reconnect with his estranged daughter and granddaughter, who both live in the UK. He knows he can’t make up for lost time, but he hopes to mend the relationships and in the process, perhaps find some inner peace for himself. But soon after he arrives, he witnesses a murder and in self defense, kills a couple of the criminals. This draws the attention of local kingpin Razor (Jerry Anderson), who wants John’s head on a stake and will do whatever he needs to in order to settle the score. In an effort to draw out John, Razor goes after his family and has no idea of the darkness that lurks within John. Now on a hunt for vengeance, John unleashes a torrent of violence like no one has ever seen, but even if he avenges his family, will he be able to stop his violent spree?
Entertainment Value: If you’ve ever wanted to see an elderly Lou Ferrigno in a blood soaked, brutal parade of violence, Instant Death has answered your prayers. The story might be all that original, but the movie makes some interesting choices to keep things fresh and amplifies the violence as well. John Bradley is our hero, but he is not the typical good guy in the least. He is a cold blooded beast who never hesitates to uncork violence at a moment’s notice. Ferrigno’s performance is fun to watch, as he embraces the dark side of the role and comes off like a well oiled machine of destruction. He is given a capable villain to target as well, with Jerry Anderson as the vile, sadistic crime boss Razor. These two men trade in sudden, brutal violence and neither has any issue with doing whatever it takes. So this isn’t a standard action movie, as it pushes the boundaries and never looks back. I mean, when the villain kills a child, then the kid’s mother is raped, beaten, and blinded, you know this isn’t a brisk, popcorn kind of action movie. But it was interesting to see a protagonist who was as ice cold as the villain, as we don’t see that often. I found this to be a wild, over the top hurricane of violence, one that fans of revenge cinema shouldn’t miss.
This one has a couple nude scenes, with quick moments of topless women and some naked flesh during a brutal rape scene. I found it odd that the movie had nudity, yet the strip club scenes were all fully clothed. A weird choice, but this one is more about that sweet violence than sex, so no worries. This is a violent, often sadistic movie and that means a lot of bloodshed and carnage. Some of the blood is CGI, which is a let down, but it looks better than most digital bloodshed. Most of the blood comes from gun shots, but we also have ample hand to hand combat and other weapons, from a razor blade to a hammer. I mean, Lou Ferrigno throwing a hammer directly into a dude’s face is just awesome, I think. The rape scene is harsh and brutal, while other violence against women happens in other scenes. This is not a popcorn action movie, so expect a wealth over the top, unflinching violence. The dialogue is dark too, with a lot of tough guy talk and nihilistic exchanges. John knows he is a killer and accepts his enjoyment of his work, which is reflected in his dialogue. The accents are thick and sometimes hard to pick up on, but overall the writing is solid here. The level of unrelenting violence adds some craziness, as the movie is so brutal and you never know how far things will escalate, which is fun. I do think seeing Ferrigno in such a sadistic role is wild as well, especially since he runs full speed with the role.
Overall Insanity: 6/10