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First Look Review - CRY FOR THE BAD MAN

cry for the bad man review
A woman stands up to the bullying family attempting to force her out of her home.

Review by Sue Finn

Directed by: Sam Farmer

Starring: Camille Keaton, Karen Konzen, Scott Peeler, Eric Dooley, Christopher James Forrest

cry for the bad man poster

Six months after some bloody altercation that the gravel-voiced Marcia Kane survived, three ‘good-ol-boy’ brothers pay her a visit in the middle of the night to heavy her into giving up her home.

Clearly this is the end of a campaign of terror designed to pressure the older woman into giving in; but despite their threats, she refuses to leave.

Using a Bowie knife, the brothers, led by charismatic and menacing Wayne, stab a contract to the doorframe for her to sign.

"Keep the knife," they tell her, because if she doesn’t sign, she might need it.

She doesn’t sign.

cry for the bad man review

Deputy Lyle, whom she calls to the house the following day, is no help, and in fact, his only advice is to sign the contract left for her.

He is clearly in admiration of the powerful McMohan family, led by Bill Senior and his three bully sons, or perhaps he is in cahoots with them? Or intimidated? Either way, he will offer no assistance to Marcia, even though she has obvious evidence of a crime.

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Even Marcia's good friend Pastor Knight is advising her to take the money, saying her home is a tomb and he never sees her among the parishioners anymore. Maybe God wants her to move on.

Marcia's daughter comes by for a visit of sulkiness and attitude (ah, family bliss), and is alarmed at the threats, but still leaves her mother to an evening alone.

Luckily, Marcia has a gun from her wilder days (a mugshot from a younger time sits tellingly under the revolver she removes from the box she dug out of the back of the closet).

cry for the bad man review

When the brothers come for her home they discuss their plans out the front, well within Marcia's earshot, but their underestimating of the homeowner could be their undoing when one is graphically wounded and the other two realise she is a more formidable foe than they had anticipated.

That old lady has some spunk in her, and ain’t nobody taking her house without a fight!

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Cry for the Bad Man (named after a Lynyrd Skynyrd song about a friend's betrayal), written and directed by Sam Farmer in only his second feature film since his debut Girl of My Dreams, could have been really great, but instead it's just okay.

There’s some good bloody violence, and the acting is above expected. The finale is satisfying, though you can’t help but wonder how it’ll all play out after the night of violence has ended. The characterisations, particularly of the brothers Derrick (Eric Dooley), Wayne (a maliciously gurning Scott Peeler) and Billy Jr (Christopher James Forrest) are thorough and well done. Marcia is played by Horror alum Camille Keaton (I Spit on Your Grave) in a wonderfully committed performance. I very much appreciated the '70s synth music and the dreamy film quality.

cry for the bad man review

The problem here is the lack of danger. Marcia always has the upper hand. The brothers aren’t credible threats, and so you are never really afraid for her.

This film is also littered with stupid decisions made by the characters. For instance, though they argue on her porch for five minutes after Marcia gut shoots one of them, she doesn’t shoot and incapacitate the brothers as she clearly could do; though she knows her daughter is heading over at the same time the brothers are, she doesn’t stop her visit; though mortally wounded, the three brothers continue to attempt to invade her home for very little gain - surely they would realise its futility at some point?

I like home invasion movies. They have the power to be truly scary given their basis in reality, but they need to be plot hole proof, and sadly this one is not.

Cry for the Bad Man is on US DVD/Digital now. A UK/ROI release has yet to be announced.




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