Cry for the Bad Man tells the story of Marsha Kane, a small town widow. After losing her husband, her home and property become the target of the local family of rich scumbags. They will stop at nothing to make Marsha sign away her home and she would rather die than give it up. This leads to a bloody confrontation to see who wants it more.
As much as I enjoyed gushing about Clutch in my last review, it is nice to get back to what I feel the most comfortable doing: talking about bloody violent exploitation films. I had some pretty high hopes for this one. The cast is headed by legendary leading lady Camille Keaton (I Spit on Your Grave) and the poster reminds me a lot of Get My Gun which I loved. On top of that, it’s a home invasion flick and I love those. So, was I disappointed? Not even a little bit. Let’s get into it.
Cry for the Bad Man strikes a brilliant balance. On one hand, it’s bloody, violent, and gritty. On the other hand, it’s a really fun movie. You get some pretty great one liners alongside some pretty brutal shotgun-assisted extremity removal. Even though there are some good chuckles tossed in amongst the violence, the tone in the film remains consistent.
The gritty exploitation feel in this movie comes from it’s heart; the characters, their interactions, and the plot all feel like they would be at home in something that was released in the mid seventies. It doesn’t look like it was shot in the seventies though; there are no after effects to make it look old or any other gimmicks. This is a film made by some people who knew what they wanted to do and did it really well. Where something like 3 from Hell felt like an imitation exploitation film, this flick is the real deal.
I think the thing that really brings Cry for the Bad Man together is the characters. Usually when you have three armed young men breaking into an older woman’s house at midnight, there’s no room for humor. It usually plays out like a tense game of cat and mouse. The line between predator and prey is clearly drawn. This is not the case here.
For one Marsha Kane isn’t just some defenseless old widow; quite the opposite, actually. She’s a salt-of-the-earth kind of woman who knows her way around a shooting iron and doesn’t take shit from anybody. She isn’t some bullet proof badass but has definitely seen her fair share of shit.
The villains in the film aren’t hardened criminals or rape-crazed maniacs. They’re three brothers who have had everything handed to them their entire life because their dad is rich. They’re not The Strangers but they aren’t the Wet Bandits either. The leader, Wayne, is a piece of shit who has been able to bluff his way through life, convincing everyone that he’s some kind of bad motherfucker. His brothers, Billy and Derrek don’t call his bluff and end up being his henchmen. Wayne is a dickbag and Billy is kind of his bitch; Derrek, on the other hand, just seems to be there out of some kind of tenuous fear-based loyalty. He’s down to do what his brothers want but he’s not going to shut his smart ass mouth about how much he doesn’t want to do it. Out of the brothers, Derrek was the only likeable one.
All in All…
All in all, would I recommend Cry for the Bad Man? Absolutely. It’s violent, fun, and well put together. If you’re into home invasion flicks, exploitation, or just want a something a little different I can’t recommend this one enough. You’ll be able to get it on DVD and Digital May 5th.