“‘Vengeance Is Mine, All Others Pay Cash’: An Offbeat Martial Arts Romance That Really Wants To Become A Cult Classic [TIFF Review]”

Cult movies aren’t made. They happen. I’m unfailingly baffled by people who try to make a cult movie on purpose; the directors and writers and stars responsible for actual cult movies did not sit down and say, “hey, let’s make a cult movie.” They just made a movie. The cult part is the result of countless variables that go into shaping “cinema” into “cult,” specifically failure, whether commercially, critically, or artistically. 

I can’t speak for Edwin, the director of Vengeance is Mine, All Others Pay Cash, but I do get the distinct sense that he intends his film as cult; mostly this has to do with words about wanting to make an “ode” to the films of, say, Bruce Lee, and I tend to think odes made in the fashion of whatever they’re paying homage to function more as imitations than as actual movies. Vengeance is Mine, All Others Pay Cash hangs around the edges of that fuzzy space; I didn’t dislike it, but I think it’s too affected in too many places.

You can read my review of the film post-TIFF over at The Playlist.


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