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‘Avenged’ Injects Vigilante Tale with Heart, Zombies

The shocker follows a deaf woman in a mixed-race relationship who exacts revenge against racist hillbillies thanks to a kindly Native American.

Take a breath. “Avenged” is all of the above, but it’s mainly a take no prisoners vigilante yarn with panache. And by “panache” we mean genre thrills that crackle with ingenuity.

Yes, the film recycles a zombie trope or two. It’s still a romp with a surprisingly sweet love story.

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Amanda Adrienne is Zoe, a deaf woman who hops in her muscle car for a solo road trip. She’s in constant contact with her beau (Marc Anthony Samuel), sharing selfies at every picturesque spot on the journey. When her selfie stream stops he’s understandably worried.

And boy, should he be.

Poor Zoe is kidnapped by thugs who spend their down time torturing Native Americans. They have worse things in mind for her. When their finished assaulting her they cast her aside to die. Only she won’t rest until she buries every person who savaged her beyond recognition.

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“Avenged” gleefully cribs from zombie 101 but handles the “undead” romance better than expected. It says plenty that a movie teeming with horror elements would flesh out (sorry…) the bond between these lovers.

A dead woman returns to punish her murderers in 'Avenged.'
A dead woman returns to punish her murderers in ‘Avenged.’

Director Michael S. Ojeda wrings fresh thrills out of unlikely places, including the back of a pickup truck. Yes, some of the storytelling falls on the obvious side. One character might as well be called Mr. Explainer. The film could have worked without him, letting us stitch together some pretty obvious pieces.

It helps that the villains deserve every hiss we can muster. Rodney Rowland is particularly sour as the head goon, injecting life into a crush of racist rants.

“Avenged” may pack on the PC elements but it has little appetite for sermons. It’s a gruff shocker that’s as mean as the genre demands. It’s not art, just B-movie goodness.

DID YOU KNOW: Director Michael S. Ojeda used Native American consultants to ensure the film’s plotline “wasn’t too outlandish,” as he told Bloody-Disgusting.com.

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