The Vengeance of She

Dir: Cliff Owen
Starring: Olinka Berova, John Richardson, Edward Judd, Colin Blakely

The good thing about Hammer, is that their films usually satisfied on some level; if the plot was hokey or ludicrous, the performances were solid enough to sustain interest. Or if both left something to be desired - often the case in their later work, especially - the sex 'n' violence was ramped up to compensate. Vengeance, however, fails miserably on all levels: it's one of those films which seems to suck the oxygen out of a room by its mere presence. Berova is the supposed incarnation of Ayesha, queen of a lost city, who is drawn around the world to her destiny. The story - by Modesty Blaise creator, Peter O'Donnell - leaves much to be desired, requiring vast leaps of credulity, when it isn't being extremely tedious. Berova shows no detectable talent whatsoever; sources say she was subsequently deported from Britain, supposedly for being a Czech spy, but I think someone at the Home Office just saw her performance here. Add in the awful saxophone soundtrack, and you have a real stinker, with about the only plus point, seeing Hammer actually film outside the British Isles. There's no actual "vengeance", and we don't even get to the lost city until after half-way. The last twenty minutes are as if the makers suddenly realised what a dull movie they had, and crammed in a million plot threads to try and make up for the previous tedium. It doesn't work.


It certainly brought ME
to my knees...
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