fredag 30 juli 2021


I remember back in 1992, i was at the rental store, checking out VHS films ( as i did every weekend basically, i loved going through VHS releases ). I was 15 years old, and so happy that i could rent any violent films i wanted, since they had a 15 years age limit to horror, thriller and action films. This was during the late autumn, and i was talking a lot to one of the VHS rental store owners called Micke. I remember he was opening a box of new arrived horror films, as he said:- These ones are going to be rented out in no time. Since he could see how happy i was that i could rent any film i wanted, he picked out a couple of titles that might be in my interest. One of the films was Stone Cold, a biker action film with Brian Bosworth. I also remember that he picked out a horror film called Puppet Master 2, that turned out to be a great choice. The third film was a film called Into The Sun, an action film with actor Michael Paré ( this was the first time i have seen his name on a VHS cover ). So i rented these three, just to see if any of them were any good. It turned out that Stone Cold was a lot of fun, just the way i like it. A really fun action film, with a lot of big guns, naked women and funny cheesy dialogue. Puppet Master 2 turned out to be fun as well, as a simple puppet killer film. The classic story of André Toulon and his puppets, still worked in this sequel, that included some nice kills. Into The Sun turned out to be an entertaining action film, maybe not on the same level as Stone Cold, but still fun enough. Especially thanks to actor Michael Paré, you could see he had a charming style in acting. I have seen at least 8 films since Into The Sun with Michael, and i especially remember a film called BloodRayne ( based on the video game ) from director Uwe Boll ( the only man who can make films based on video games correctly, right? ). It was fun seeing him in a film like this, considering that this film also have actors such as Ben Kingsley, Michael Madsen, Michelle Rodriquez, Kristanna Loken, Meat Loaf, Billy Zane and Udo Kier. If you enjoy sci fi action films with fun dialogue, pick up the 2005 film BloodRayne on DVD. I found myself going through a list of VOD films, and i came across a Michael Paré film called Painkiller. I knew nothing about the plot, but the poster looked like fun. An independent action film that seems inspired by Death Wish, is this a film better than i expected, or should you stay away from Painkiller?

Bill Johnson ( Bill Obest Jr. ) is a radio host for a show, where he let listeners call in to talk about their loved ones, or drug problems in general, how easy it is for people to use dangerous medicines. Bill lost his beloved daughter in an overdose, and he is in pain, every single day. He can´t bring his daughter back, but he can make sure that people who should be punished, will pay their prize. Bill dresses up in a mask as the vigilante Six Shooter, who execute pharmaceutical CEO´s, pill-pushing doctors and street dealers as well. The longer Six Shooter end these people´s lives, can he really help society, or is he just causing more damage?

I did not have any high expectations at all on Painkiller, and this is why i am pleasantly surprised that this film is actually better than i expected. One of the biggest reason of why this film manage to work, is the combination of a revenge story and the pharmaceutical industry issues that are brought up in the plot. I may have seen something similar in the past, but i actually think this is a great plot that feels really relevant in today´s society. There are too many dangerous medicines out there, that people actually are killing themselves with. Pills that they can get their hands on through certain doctor´s or people who sell these pills. And this is a worldwide problem, that never seems to stop. The fact that this film actually manage to show this problem, while throwing in some inspiration from films such as The Purge, is a clever idea. I think it is good that an action film on a limited budget, tries to do a different approach on the medical issues of society. Legendary actor Michael Paré as Doctor Alan Rhodes deliver a performance that matches well with the story. The strongest acting performance comes without a doubt from actor Bill Obest Jr. ( who i reviewed recently in the independent horror film The Parish ) as the radio host Bill Johnson. This specific character is especially the reason why Painkiller is an effective revenge story. Imagine being in his shoes, where drugs killed his daughter, how do you go on with life after that? Can you find comfort to go on, or is it impossible? There are some issues surrounding the medical industry , that comes up through out the film, where you might begin to think, how we could handle this in a different way, and actually help people instead. That does not mean i think the revenge killer is doing something right, but you can understand why he kills people that he have chosen. Each person have done something terrible in society, and they need to pay for their sins. Director Mark Savage is a well known name in the independent film industry, who i especially remember from his film Purgatory Road. I feel that Mark have managed to balance this film in a solid way, with such an important message about the medical problems in society. With a good cast, and a story that does have something important to say, Painkiller is a wake up call for everyone, that we need to do something about dangerous pills in society. Definetely worth a watch, especially if you appreciate independent films that are trying to be a bit more serious, Painkiller have no problem getting an important message out.

Rating: DDD

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