What's The ULTIMATE Revenge Movie?

(Probably not the ultimate revenge movie.)
(Probably not the ultimate revenge movie.)

I've spent the past few months chipping away at a few screenplays. One script -- a supernatural balls-to-the-wall actioner with a magma-hot hook -- is presently getting a polish by me and a co-writer (whose name I cannot yet divulge). Another screenplay started with a very strong concept, but competing obligations prevented another co-writer from dedicating appropriate creative bandwidth to the project. It's on ice for the time being.

Which happily frees my queue to pursue a third story, which I've been noodling on for nearly a year. The hook of this script prominently features themes with which 7th Son and Personal Effects fans are familiar: identity, sanity, and sanctity (both of the human body and mind). It also levels both barrels at many consumption- and brand-obsessed First World cultures.

I dare not share more about the concept, other than to say that this "near future" world I've created is one you've never seen, and the culture specifically will make your head spin like a top. Spin in a That's some cool shit kind of way.

I believe the very best sci-fi stories resonate because they successfully incorporate subgenres into their tales. Blade Runner's noir elements help make that unfamiliar world more accessible to a viewer. Consider Serenity's Western elements; they help deliver similar results. I contend that using mainstream-friendly subgenres helps make sci-fi feel palatable to wider audiences. It helps the story feel less sci-fi-ish, which I believe is a good thing.

I've been thinking hard about which subgenre to inject into my latest story ... and today, I turned my wicked eye toward the revenge movie. I love revenge flicks, as a third act filled with whup-ass is guaranteed. In addition, the subgenre plays nice with the loose outline I created for this story.

Unforgiven is my personal favorite revenge flick, but I knew I needed more reference material for creative inspiration. So I turned to YOU on Twitter and Facebook and asked:

What's the *very best* revenge movie you've seen? You can only pick one. Go!

And you sure as hell did. Here are your recommendations. There are some hella great flicks here. Fill up that Netflix queue, peeps.

  • Wes Platt recommends: El Mariachi
  • Tanya N. Kutasz: The Italian Job (the remake)
  • DC Perry, Brand Gamblin, Tony Southcotte, Jessika Oxford: Oldboy
  • Jared Axelrod: The Limey
  • Ted Wade, Adam Lefever, Ted Wade, Michelle Ristuccia: The Count of Monte Cristo
  • Tony Mast: Braveheart
  • Kevin Smokler: 9 to 5
  • Zach Ricks: Man on Fire
  • Scott Roche, Vivid Muse: Leon - The Professional
  • Johnny Ho, Jane Doh, Eliza Sea: Lady Vengeance
  • Tee Morris, Amber: The Sting
  • Neil Colquhoun: Jaws
  • C.C. Chapman: Hard Candy
  • Mary Rajotte: Heathers
  • Allen Sale: Theater of Blood
  • Seth, Karl Schild: Payback
  • Christiana Ellis, Duncan, Michael Falkner, Matthew Wayne Selznick, Tim Adamec: Star Trek II: The Wrath of Kahn
  • Martyn Casserly, Edward G. Talbot, Leandro Pezzente: The Princess Bride
  • Trisha Leigh: Lucky Number Slevin
  • Richard Green, Avery Tingle, Aaron Baldwin, Void Munashii: Kill Bill
  • Stuart Robertson, Billy Flynn: The Crow
  • Clinton: Aliens
  • Thomas Janci: Revenger's Tragedy
  • Douglas Hagler: Ransom
  • Josh Rosenfield: The Prestige
  • Adam Loyal: Dirty Work
  • J.R. Blackwell: Titus
  • James Auger: Memento
  • Gary Giovanetti: Death Race (the remake)
  • Robert Smith: Mad Max
  • Howard Dinatale: Get Carter (the original)
  • Dave Minkus: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
  • Gregory Gunther: Taken
  • Carlene Worthington: Repo

I've seen a lot of these ... and there's a lot I haven't seen, or even heard of. The Count of Monte Cristo is absolutely the quintessential revenge story (I loved reading it way back in high school, and should revisit it), and the countless recommendations for Oldboy have my curiosity majorly piqued. Thanks to everyone who recommended their favorites.

I hope you'll check out some of these cool revenge flicks too. And if you'd like to recommend your ULTIMATE revenge flick pick, sound off in the comments!

--J.C.

J.C. Hutchins    •    site design by J.C. Hutchins & Galin Kozarov