A preacher trying to uncover his daughter’s murder finds himself in a literal kid of Hell in this insane fusion of nu-metal and horror featuring some major players in today’s metal scene.

Bishop is the local preacher in town, and he’s always been passive resistant. He doesn’t want to fight even when he finds himself in a situation that would force him to want to hit his opponent. However, for the sake of his family, he restrains. However, on Christmas Eve, his life is about to change forever. While en route to a Christmas party, his teen daughter Sarah is confronted and chased down by a psychopath, Ram Kady. Sarah ends up drowning in her car, and Bishop is devastated.

When Jed, a supposed cop, questions Bishop about what has happened to Sarah, he gets the surveillance footage and eventually finds Ram. However, Jed reveals his true colors. He knows who Ram is and it is personal. Ten years ago, Ram’s brother Quinn destroyed Jed’s life when he viciously killed his wife and unborn child. Seething with vengeance, Jed has vowed to destroy Quinn and his clan, known criminals who kill and deal in drugs, and knowing Bishop won’t stop until he finds out is responsible, he decides to show Bishop the terrible truth. What will happen when Bishop learns the horrifying truth?

This film from the trio of Samuel Gonzalez Jr., Michael Lombardi, and Bridget Smith is a great entry in the revenge film because screenwriters Darren Geare and Jeff Allen Geare do something different as it pertains to most of this genre. One would expect the protagonist to go full revenge on the ones responsible for the death of a loved one. However, this one goes something quite different but still holds up quite well as one hell of a throwback to 80’s film. Combined with some appearances from some of today’s metal stars, this may be this generation’s Rock n Roll Nightmare.

The cast is excellent in this film. Michael Lombardi is great as Bishop, the preacher who seeks answers after his daughter is murdered. We see Bishop in the first half of the film as a pacifist. This is apparent when he unsuccessfully confronts a customer who took his Christmas tree. The customer in question is played in a cameo by BrianO’Halloran of the Clerks trilogy. He spends most of the film questioning the situation involving his daughter and learns he will have to go through a new kind of Hell upon discovering not only who is responsible but learning someone else is looking for the killers.

The film has some excellent performances from Joseph Gatt as Ram and Papa Roach lead singer Jacoby Shaddix as the vicious ringleader Quinn Kady, who we see in a flashback ten years later, destroying the life of Jed, played by Mark Menchaca, when he killed his wife and unborn child. Jed has made it a mission to destroy the Kady clan, who spend their days murdering and forcing people to take drugs. Members of this violent clan are played by members of the nu-metal band Five Finger Death Punch. Metal legend Tommy Lee makes a cameo appearance at a DJ at a gentlemen’s club where the Kady Clan tends to hang out.

Things take a shocking turn when Bishop learns the horrifying truth and well, it seems like our Jed may not be alone when it comes to vengeance. This is where we see Bishop’s transformation as he must fight for his life, unleashing a dormant fire waiting to be unleashed. This is because he is forced into the situation and this leads to an all-out 80-style gorefest third act that’s amazing to watch!

The Retaliators is this millennium’s equivalent of films like Hard Rock Zombies and Rock n Roll Nightmare. The fusion of metal and horror lives on with this excellent homage to 80’s style horror with a hero undergoing a transformation from pacifist preacher to revenge seeking hero.


CineLife Entertainment presents a Better Noise Films production. Directors: Samuel Gonzalez Jr., Michael Lombardi, and Bridget Smith. Producers: Allen Kovac, Michael Lombardi, and Michael Walsh. Writers: Darren Geare and Jeff Allen Geare. Cinematography: Joseph Hennigan. Editing: Randy Bricker.

Cast: Michael Lombardi, Joseph Gatt, Mark Menchaca, Katie Kelly, Abbey Hafer, Jacoby Shaddix, Brian O’Halloran, Shannan Wilson, Ivan L. Moody, Zoltan Bathory, Chris Kael, Tommy Lee, Gigi Gustin.