Blue Vengeance (1989)

Here’s a movie that you’ve never heard of – Blue Vengeance.  How do I know you haven’t heard of that?  Well, because I hadn’t heard of it.  I’m not going to say that I’m the end-all, be-all expert in weird and obscure movies – oh no, far from it.  I’m just saying that before Jason Oliver, who I co-host a weekly podcast with called Film Seizure, brought it to my attention, and basically dropped it in my lap to watch, I was completely ignorant to what this movie is.

There’s no Wikipedia page for it.  There is an IMDb page for this, but I’m guessing there’s a page on that site for my totally unauthorized biography movie made on a shitty, soundless Super-8 camera called Hey That Guy Over There Totally Shit His Pants!  I just want to make it clear that I have indeed shit my pants a few times in life, but I haven’t in the last eight months so if you would kindly leave me alone, I’d greatly appreciate it.

Anyway, where was I?  Oh yeah, no Wikipedia page…

Whenever you find a movie that actually has some production value like Blue Vengeance has, but does not have a Wikipedia page, you almost have to wonder if you’re watching something akin to that video tape in The Ring.  Am I going to die in seven days?  (God, I can only hope so.)  Will Blue Vengeance crawl out of my computer screen and make me shit my pants?  (I would actually prefer to die in seven days than shit my pants… again.)

Here’s what I can tell you.  This movie is directed by, and starring, J. Christian Ingvordsen.  It’s about a convicted murderer who escaped from an asylum and tracking down members of his favorite heavy metal band.  However, he is soon being hunted by a cop (Ingvordsen) who wants to take him down for the murder of his partner some ten years before.

This seems pretty straightforward, and for about 92 of the total 103 minutes, it pretty much is, but whoa boy…  The grand finale is…  It’s just…  Whoa.

So, we begin at the State Hospital for the Criminally Insane.  We see killer Mark Trex mumbling about how he has to defeat his enemy because he’s too powerful or some such shit.  Trex fashions a noose from his bed sheets and hangs himself outside his cell at the asylum.  He’s taken to the infirmary where the asylum doctor instructs one of the inmates to revive him while he sticks a giant needle into his arm.  It’s like a giant needle for embalming!  I’m not sure that’s going to help revive him.  While they work on him, Trex has a dream where he’s some warrior fighting against an evil night with a scary helmet with antlers sticking out of it.  He defeats him and is about to stab him with a sacrificial knife of some sort but is surprised to find the man in the helmet is cop Mickey McCardle – the partner of the cop he killed 10 years ago.

This wakes Trex up and he kills the inmate and the doctor and escapes through the window.

Cut to New York where we meet cop Mickey McCardle, our hero for the next 97 minutes of movie.  He’s… how do I put this kindly… a big, giant dork.  Yeah, yeah, I know – pot, kettle, black, blah blah blah.  But when we first meet him, he looks like a shlub.  He’s setting another cop straight about how this dude the guy is trying to book is going to walk pretty much instantaneously because he’s being booked at a higher offense than he actually committed.  He looks like what cops and detectives actually look like as opposed to, like, fucking Cobra or Dirty Harry.

Also, I have to cut him some slack, the dude does have some issues. In 1979, Trex killed his partner – sort of.  McCardle believes it was entirely his fault.  He intended to shoot Trex, but hit his partner by accident.  He carries that with him to this day – despite a superior telling him he shouldn’t blame himself.

Meanwhile, Trex gets a lift from a man believing his car has broken down.  Noticing that the man has a knife on his belt, Trex grabs it and stabs the man in the throat and takes off with his truck.  Trex himself picks up a hitchhiker and pretty much immediately freaks the dude out when he starts singing crazy heavy metal lyrics and talking about searching for the gates of hell and stuff.  When the hitchhiker notices the dead body in the back of the truck, he gets the fuck out of Dodge, but Trex runs him down.  Trex even covers his tracks (heh) further by chiseling out one of the hitchhiker’s teeth to match his dental records and blows that fucking truck to kingdom come.

So here we have a cold, calculating murderer who seems to be pretty on top of it in terms of intelligence and viciousness up against a broken cop whose colleagues think is a fucking loser and his wife thinks he’s a fucking limp dick or something.  I mean I guess that’s what she thinks.  She didn’t say anything specifically about that, but I kinda recognize that frustration in her voice and body language, so I can pretty much assume she thinks McCardle is a limp dick.  Whatever his wife thinks of him, I like what we have going on here as adversaries.

Trex comes home to New York and checks out his old room.  He’s been gone for ten years.  His mom yells at him for being late for dinner.  He asks who’s been in his room and she says it was the cops, but can’t say if it was yesterday, today, or years ago.  Yeesh.  That’s kind of depressing and disturbing all wrapped into one short three minute scene.

After he checks out his collection of human bones and knives and swords and general weird guy shit, Trex goes to a heavy metal bar where he finds a former member of his favorite band.  We also meet Tiffany, a foxy redhead hired to take pics of the band that is playing at the bar that particular night.  The guy Trex is there to see is an uptight business fuck who only cares about making money.  Trex does follow him to the back office and when the member of his favorite band tells him to get lost, Trex kills the shit out of him first by choking him out, then by cutting his eyeballs out, then by chopping his head off with some sort of Dungeons and Dragons style ax.

The mere mention of the body found the night before gets McCardle thinking about the killing spree Trex went on ten years ago.  He meets with a former colleague and asks to help find Trex.  Even though Trex seemingly died (thanks to him staging the hitchhiker’s body and the fire previously mentioned), McCardle just feels that Trex is out there and he needs to help put him away.

If you told me that Weiner was so into his role he legit cut his own fucking chest open with a hunting knife, I’d believe it.

What’s really interesting about this movie is that it mixes two genres fairly well.  There’s a slasher/horror/occult element with Trex.  There’s a savagery to his murders and the actor playing him, John Weiner, is actually pretty damn frightening as the killer.  He looks and acts like someone who is completely unhinged.  On the other side, we have McCardle’s story.  This plays a lot like a police procedural we could see almost any night of the week on TV back then.  He’s broken, but also still driven to fix his own mistakes or face his own fears.  Yet, we’re still dealing with a heavy metal, fuck off to the whole world madman versus a shlub who looks like a pretty straight-laced dork.

Even being told to stay the fuck away from the investigation, McCardle decides to investigate anyway.  He goes to the bar where the murder happened and meets Tiffany.  Realizing she was there the night the guy was killed, she might have some photos that might help.  They look through the shots and he finds one that has Trex on it.

There’s another thing this movie does that is kind of hilarious.  We saw it earlier when Trex came home and his mom was a weirdo, but we also see it with Tiffany’s mom.  When she and McCardle go back to her place to go through the film, there’s a whole thing with her mom yelling at her for talking too loud because she just went to bed and she wants Tiffany to bring her meds and shit.  It’s so mundane, but also super realistic.  It also is kind of sad.  It’s also played out in other ways too.  The members of the band that Trex tracks down, a second being a “comedian” named “Buster Hyman” who also makes little goofy music tracks for jingles and other advertising, are all living boring lives that Trex can’t cope with.  It’s like as people grow up, they become pathetic.  However, McCardle and Trex are stuck in the past and still sharp.  Tiffany is still young and is able to take care of herself.

Now, I’m just blowing smoke out my butt here, but I think the movie may be trying to say something about age, maturity, idolatry, etc. in this movie you’ve never heard of…  I mean, it has so much to say for being such a small budget, unheard of movie, I wouldn’t even be surprised if it had something to say about bicycles and jousting.  But that would just be silly, wouldn’t it?

So anyway, McCardle and Tiffany search through a junkyard for the car owned by Trex’s mother when he was arrested.  They are suddenly attacked by Trex who tries to kill them with a crossbow.  Trex gets the jump on McCardle and takes his gun.  He shoots McCardle with a crossbow, but the cop is smart enough to be wearing protection.  However, being where he was and doing what he was doing gets McCardle suspended.  To make matters worse, McCardle’s pill of a wife decides she’s gonna leave when Tiffany shows up with some additional help for him in the form of an old rock magazine with the members of Trex’s favorite band listed.

Meanwhile, posing as McCardle, Trex shows up at Tiffany’s house asking for her.  After her boyfriend lets him in, Trex does what Trex does best – kills him.  However, he does so with McCardle’s gun, implicating him as an obsessed killer.

Tiffany helps McCardle to understand that Trex’s favorite band released only one album and it was a concept album that was based on Dante’s Inferno with some sword and sorcery stuff thrown in for flavor.  She figures he’s killing people he deems as not being fit to live.  He explains to her how they are connected and we see how he and his partner, Brendan, came to find Trex, dubbed “the Mirror Man” by the papers.  Long story short, McCardle and Brendan were on patrol and McCardle saw a strobe light in a window.  Curious, they went to check it out.  With all the mirrors and the flickering light, McCardle fired at what he thought was Trex, but the shot went through a mirror and struck Brendan.

McCardle gets arrested for the murder of Tiffany’s boyfriend, and without missing a beat, she picks up a toy uzi and some black spray paint to hold up the cops and help spring McCardle.  After telling Tiffany about her boyfriend’s murder, they take off to track down Trex to clear McCardle’s name and get everyone to believe them that Trex is back.  With the help of an old cop friend, they learn that the last guy on Trex’s list is a subway conductor and that he’s working.

Unfortunately for them, they don’t get to the final name on the list before Trex does.  Again, Trex is crushed by finding out another of his heroes has sold out and is just some nobody now.  Worse, none of the band members he found seems to care at all about what he held so dear.  Instead of finding true believers in all these death metal shit, he only finds people who admit they used all those bullshit lyrics as a way to cash in on their fifteen minutes of fame and it really didn’t mean anything to them.  Just before Trex stabs the final band member, McCardle distracts him and they go on a chase through the subway, onto a couple trains, and out into the streets.

Wait…  What’s this?  Why is it important for us to see Tiffany take a bike?  I mean I guess she’s the one running in third place in this race.  Maybe she needs something to help her get an edge.  Hmm..  Oh well, I’m sure it’s not important.  Like I said, it would be awfully silly for this movie to have anything to do with bicycles and jousting…

Eventually, McCardle catches Trex, but he gets his ass handed to him.  This leaves Tiffany to chase after Trex on that fucking bike.  Gee, this bike is all of a sudden really important.  Like, I know when they get to what appears to be some sort of factory place or some such shit, Tiffany ditches the bike, but surely it was important enough to see it again, right?

Trex eventually catches her and chains her down to some sort of machine that will has this super scary sharp press thing that he is going to use to kill her or something?  Suddenly, in swings McCardle to save her and take on Trex.  They basically sword fight with some, I dunno, some fuckin’ pipes or something.  I am still really curious what’s up with that bicycle Tiffany had earlier.  I mean it was really important that she commandeered it and used it to chase Trex.  I feel like that would not have been shown so clearly if it wasn’t important.

Anyway, Trex is going to kill McCardle with his sacrificial dagger, but Trex is distracted when Tiffany plays the tape of his favorite band, and McCardle makes Trex stab himself.  Everything sure seems peaceful now that they’ve won – oh shit!  Trex is still alive and now he has this dirtbike and a pipe!  Oh man…  Could it be?  Should it be?

OMG, guys…  I think it is.

The bike is back!

Wa… wait.  What are you doing with that pole?  Why you have that pole?

What are you smiling about, Trex?  What’s happening?

Oh…  Oh no…

Can we get some facial commentary from the foxy redhead?  Like the kind I normally get when I try to do something cool with whatever turd situation life has handed me?

Yup.  That’s the look.  Tiff, you gotta have something up your sleeve, right?  I mean, you’re a smart girl.  You have something to help defeat Trex, right?  Hey, where you goin’?  What are you doing with that high tensile cable shit?

Come to think of it, I think Trex is also kinda curious what you’re up to…

OHMYGOD!  What the fuck happened to Trex’s head?!?

Oh… oh my…  That’s gonna be a mess to clean up.

Well, at least our heroes can sit down in the twilight and reflect on their crazy adventure.  Say, they may even make a joke about how they will spend their next date together.

“Gee, that sure was pretty fucking crazy what just happened there. People have died. I just killed a man with high tensile cable. Wanna fuck?”

Seriously, dear readers.  This movie ends with a climax that includes two men jousting.  One of those men was on a goddamn bicycle with a little basket on front.  The other man had been previously stabbed, but doesn’t die from the incredibly ludicrous and stupid idea of jousting on a pedal bike, but from the foxy redhead grabbing some cable and creating a fucking booby trap that cut off the bad guy’s head.

I mean…  That’s just…  It’s…  I mean…

I actually kind of love this movie.  For the first 90 minutes, it’s just about as interesting as you can get with the mix of horror, thriller, and straight up police procedural crafting an interesting story.  But these last few minutes are utterly bonkers.  Never, not once, ever…  Never did you expect to see our lead dorky cop hero climbing onto a bike that would have looked perfectly normal for a 40 year old woman to ride around running errands on in New York City and jousting our bad guy only for our villain to be beheaded by the ingenuity of our female lead.

This…  This might be the greatest movie I ever have covered on B-Movie Enema.  Could this be the point in which I finally say I’ve done as much as I possibly could with my practice of presenting you the opportunity to cleanse yourself of some of the wackiest that cinema has to offer on a weekly basis?  Have I finally freed myself from the curse of watching these movies?  Am I cured of the deep inner scars that drove me to write about this shit so I can let my id roam free and provide some sense of therapy and solace to my tortured existence?

Fuck no.  I’ll be back next week with a Jim Wynorski fantasy/action flick with a whole lot of titties called The Lost Empire!  See you then!

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