Film #173: PENANCE
1 out of 5 stars
Directed by Jake Kennedy (the would be brains behind the brain-dead DAYS OF DARKNESS), this is - plain and simple - misogynistic torture porn… and a terrible example at that. Ham-fisted from beginning to end, it tries WAY to hard to seem sympathetic to the main characters plight, but then it uses that plight to justify the rampant violence inflicted on her… as if that makes it ok. There are a lot of cameos littered throughout (Tony Todd, Michael Rooker, Jason Connery) and that can only mean one of two things… 1) someone owed somebody else money / a favor or 2) the director had incriminating photos. And who did Graham McTavish (RAMBO) fuck over to have to take a lead role in this pile? But who cares, really? The plot is contrived and cliché (for example, the way the documenting camera keeps getting handed around just in time to catch all aspects of the supposed story) and the acting is, with one or two exceptions, pretty much just strippers chewing scenery. But let’s be honest, 9 out of 10 people who rent this bag of gas aren’t doing so for “great cinema.” They’re here for the violence & for the splatter. Sadly, PENANCE offers very little. Oh, sure, a LOT of it is implied and there are one or two moments that are well portrayed, but… the undeniably hateful - and exploitative - philosophy behind the film is just repugnant. But, by far, the most unpalatable thing about PENANCE is how shitty the filmmaking is.