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Old 01-05-2011, 02:33 PM   #11
one seven spectrum
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Default Re: Revenge Stories--what makes 'em work?

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Originally Posted by SNAFU View Post
Similar ideas in POINT BLANK, DEATHWISH, DEATH SENTENCE, PAYBACK, EDGE OF DARKNESS, FASTER, DEAD MAN'S SHOES, UNFORGIVEN and fifty others I've seen.
Woah - is that DEATH SENTENCE as in the film starring Kevin Bacon and made by one of the SAW guys?

Wholly f'ing crap! That film is THE BIGGEST rip off of Taxi Driver and a tonne more films. I got the feeling it was a script penned in University as an assignment, where he just mashed together bits from all his favorite revenge/lone gunman style flicks and wrote "THE END"...

One of the worst films I've ever seen. I'm sorry to distract your thread, but it had to be said.
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Old 01-05-2011, 04:02 PM   #12
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Default Re: Revenge Stories--what makes 'em work?

TAKEN isn't technically a revenge flick (it's more of a rescue flick), but it's got the same kind of emotion that you need in a strong revenge story. First of all, something devastating happened to the protagonist: his daughter was taken to be used as a sex slave. Wow. And the antagonists are really despicable people from all walks of life: low life Eastern European thugs, a highbrow snob living in Paris, a crooked cop -- and an Arab sheik. So what you've really got going is a strong rooting interest for the protagonist to get even with all those guys (and, of course, save his daughter). Again, it's not technically a revenge flick, but it's got all the elements and emotion that you need.
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Old 01-05-2011, 04:06 PM   #13
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Default Re: Revenge Stories--what makes 'em work?

Emily mentioned THE ultimate revenge story. In fact Count of Monte Cristo is so on point, that I'd say it basically cannot be outdone.

If revenge stories are your forte, Count of Monte Cristo is the Bible.
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Old 01-05-2011, 04:07 PM   #14
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Default Re: Revenge Stories--what makes 'em work?

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HOSTEL has a great revenge/redemption moment.

****... I missed that. Must have been when I turned around to puke.

I really don't get why people want to see so much gore and blood. They could spend their day in a slaughterhouse or a mortuary facilitating car accidents.
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Old 01-05-2011, 04:09 PM   #15
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Default Re: Revenge Stories--what makes 'em work?

And Revenge of the Nerds is the hymnal.
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Old 01-05-2011, 04:10 PM   #16
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Default Re: Revenge Stories--what makes 'em work?

Another approach is to take on a system/nemesis that is already universally hated - and then add the personal touch. Like big corporations, or some extreme political group. Something that the everyday person already feels a bit uncomfortable or nervous about.

I'm thinking of a small local film called...

SPOILERS


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The Bank. (Including this film in this context is a spoiler, in effect.)

MORE SPOILERS






Banks are roundly and soundly hated by most Australians but for the first two acts of this film, we believe the hero is making his way (the self-made man) then getting caught up in the heady world of money, until we realise that this was all part of the plot to undo the bank that did over his parents when he was young, and brought about his father's(?) suicide.
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Old 01-05-2011, 04:10 PM   #17
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Default Re: Revenge Stories--what makes 'em work?

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If revenge stories are your forte, Count of Monte Cristo is the Bible.
I love the 2002 film with Guy Pearce and James Caviezel. Enormously under-appreciated.
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Old 01-05-2011, 04:14 PM   #18
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Default Re: Revenge Stories--what makes 'em work?

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If revenge stories are your forte, Count of Monte Cristo is the Bible.
Amen.
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Old 01-05-2011, 09:28 PM   #19
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Default Re: Revenge Stories--what makes 'em work?

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They're deceivingly hard to write.
Two core challenges:

1. How to explore the *emotional* aspects of a revenge yarn, and--
2. How to twist the plot in *fresh* way.

Wait. Those core challenges--deep Emotions and clever Plot--exist regardless of genre!
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Old 01-05-2011, 10:19 PM   #20
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Default Re: Revenge Stories--what makes 'em work?

The act of revenge in films almost always stems from personal loss. The protagonist's motivation comes from personal sadness manifested as anger for the Antagonist. HAMLET is the best example. Probably one of the best stories ever, and it's a revenge story. It's the simplest form of storytelling. The emotions are simple, the goal is clear and the bad guy is unequivocally bad. The good ones, however, also explore moral dilemma as well (MUNICH comes to mind).

Also, UNFORGIVEN isn't a revenge story, IMO. It only becomes a revenge story in the last 10 minutes of the film.

This time, it's personal!
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