Plot: Zoe (Amanda Adrienne Smith) is a young woman about to embark on a life changing journey, as she drives cross country to start a new life with her boyfriend. She is nervous about the trip, but she has overcome so much in her life, she knows this is just one more obstacle. Her trek goes well at first, but things take a dark, violent turn when she encounters a group of men attacking a couple Native Americans. She tries to help, but she winds up the next victim and after the Native men are killed, Zoe is targeted for a brutal assault. After the thugs have finished tormenting and abusing her, she is left for dead in a shallow grave, but she is discovered by a local shaman, who uses an ancient ritual to save her life. But in the process, the spirit of a vengeful brave possesses Zoe, prompting her to begin a path of vigilante justice.
Entertainment Value: Avenged is a tight, often nasty throwback to old school style exploitation, as a woman hunts down the men who wronged her, with violence as her motivation. The narrative seems to be inspired by the rape/revenge films of the past, but the mystical twist adds a fresh vibe. I appreciated that the focus was tight here and the story never gets bogged down, it keeps things simple, but effective and it works, keeping you reeled in from the start. The tone leans toward the horror side more than thriller, thanks to the supernatural spin and a parade of violence that almost feels like a slasher movie at times. I think the movie can appeal to those beyond the horror realm however, so if you’re not a big genre fan, don’t dismiss this one out of hand. I should also mention that while there is a rape in the narrative, little of the assault is shown and the movie doesn’t exploit the sexual violence involved. This is one that surpassed all of my expectations and delivered a fresh take on a classic genre formula, so Avenged earns a high recommendation.
A brief shot of a dude’s bare ass is the lone nakedness here, so while the movie has an exploitation vibe, that doesn’t result in sleaze. But there’s a lot of violence on hand here and while most of the bloodshed is sadly CGI, it is still fun to watch, even if the gore looks rather weak in most cases. This department includes a painful ring removal, bugs in the wounds, scalping session, tomahawk trauma, a wild chainsaw to the midsection scene, pool cue to the eye socket, several stab wounds, car related injuries, barbed wire wounds, and more. As I said, much of the gore is low end CGI, but at least the movie isn’t afraid to embrace the brutal, blood soaked side of horror, so digital or not, it adds a lot to the film’s impact. The dialogue is mostly passable, if unmemorable, but the trashy thugs have some over the top lines at times. The tone here is quite serious, so it makes sense to limit the wackiness found in the exchanges. In the craziness section, the dark, violent nature of the movie earns a few points, but the serious tone once again ensures things never too out of control.
Overall Insanity: 3/10