I was at the local Walmart on vacation when I came across this gem of a DVD collection.  10 action movies on one disc for $4.  4 DOLLARS!?!!?  That’s like 40 cents a movie!!! I hadn’t heard of one single movie on this collection but I figured why not buy this 10 High Octane Action Movies and see if I can find some hidden gems that no one has ever heard of.

Payback is the next film from this collection.  No this is not the awesome Mel Gibson movie that I adore (see the 2006 director’s cut Straight Up for an even better film).  This is a 2007 film that really reminds me of the type of film you would watch on Cinemax in the late 80’s/early 90’s.

There’s a basic formula to these films which is cast B-list celebs in a film that good guy chases bad guy with plenty of boobs and sex.  Your average person may watch this film and think it total nonsense.  For me I realize it for exactly what it is: B-movie goodness.

At first I was super excited that this film was actually written by Wendy Williams – known for her radio and TV shows.  I was very sad to learn that this wasn’t THAT Wendy Williams but just someone else named Wendy Williams.  That made me sad.

The B-list actors from this movie are Angie Everhart (known for Tales From The Crypt: Bordello of Blood, Last Action Hero, the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issues and….her amazing appearances in Playboy) and Costas Mandylor (the Saw films).  Angie’s role is pretty small and not really relevant to the plot until the very end of the film but I’ll get into that in a moment.

So the movie kicks off with cop Sean (Christopher Atkins) and his partner (I’d insert the actor’s name here but I don’t know who he was and I’m not going to look it up) going in to bust up a drug deal.  Inside is Billy (Costas Mandylor) and his cronies.  A not-so-flashy shootout occurs where everyone gets shot including Billy and the partner.  Sean is all pissed off when the other cops arrive on-scene because they should have been there (I guess implying that maybe his partner didn’t have to die).  The other dickhead cop says he should have followed protocol and waited for backup.  Dickhead cop was totally right.  Anywho the partner dies, Billy survives but goes to prison, and Sean quits the force & moves himself and his family out into the country.

Now the movie moves to a few years later and splits into three storylines.  Storyline #1 is Billy getting out of jail, finding his girlfriend Sadie (Laura Lane) in bed with another guy, and kills him.  Sadie is a sadist (I guess her name is applicable) and decides to join Billy in his quest to kill everyone who screwed him over – especially Sean.  Storyline #2 has Sean trying to help in the police investigation but not being a help.  At all.  Every time he has a lead the cops show up and find a dead person.  It’s actually pretty funny.  Storyline #3 is about Samantha (Angie Everhart) taking her daughter Jessica (Wendy Norton) to her father’s ranch.  The couple got divorced.  Awwwwww.

Joining along is Samantha’s…I guess friend?…Michelle (Nicole LaVoy) who only reason in being in the film becomes apparent later.

So the basic breakdown for the rest of the film is: Billy kills people, Sean helps find dead bodies, and Samantha, Jessica, and Michelle’s trip to Vegas then the ranch.

This being the perfect Skinamax B-movie there are lots of boobs, butts, and sex.  It’s exactly what a film like this needs.  There’s not much to the plot here and 2/3 of the storylines (Sean’s storyline and Samantha’s storyline) really make no sense.  You can cut most of their plot out and have a 30 minute film which would actually make much more sense.  The other storylines are pretty damn irrelevant.

You would think with Angie Everhart starring you would see the vixen naked in a hot sex scene.  This actually doesn’t happen.  Now her character has a sex scene but they don’t show it.  It is just implied.  I guess the producers weren’t paying Angie enough money to show off the goods.

Now I guess the only reason to have Michelle in the movie is when the trio go to Vegas and get a room together.  Earlier in the film Jessica was in a hot tub making out with a boy.  But in the hotel room she spies on Michelle taking a shower.  Michelle notice her.  They both exchange looks.  Then they go out to a bar, drink, and end up making out.  This is a 29ish year old woman making out with her friend’s eighteen year old daughter.  Perv factor is pretty high here in all sorts of different respects.  It was probably the best scene in the entire film but, again, totally irrelevant to the plot.  It’s just padding…or a way to sneak in a totally hot lesbian make out session.

The movie could also be misogynistic with Billy’s treatment of his girlfriend Sadie.  He beats on her and she pretty much relishes it.  Now I would think that if this movie was written by a man this would make more sense (because men think up stupid shit like that) but not by a film actually written by a woman.  Unless Wendy Williams is actually a pseudonym.

Now Billy’s storyline is the only one relevant to the plot.  But as someone who escaped from prison you would think there would be some sort of manhunt.  Instead Billy is just pretty much free to visit anyone he wants and kill them.  No police surveillance on these people.  Nada.  There’s not much to it.  Billy shows up, talks for a few minutes, and then kills the person.  Since there really is no backstory to the people that Billy kills it has no impact.  You really don’t care.  Instead of padding the film with useless plot lines they could have filled out the main storyline a bit better.  Honestly the best part of this movie was the three women in Vegas.  The filmmakers should have done a whole story about that.

The plot lines don’t really converge at the film’s climax.  It is more like the characters just come together so the finale can play out.

Ultimately this is a good B-movie that you can appreciate if you did like those late night films you would find on cable.  Nicole LaVoy as the hottie lesbian temptress Michelle was totally incredible and Head Dickhead Detective was pretty amazing.  I don’t know his name (nor am I going to look it up) but I really liked that dude.  It may have been the overacting but he rocked it.

I’m going to give this movie two rankings.  One based on it being a B-movie and the other based on its actual competence as a film.  I think that is completely fair.

B-MOVIE RANK: B+

RANK: C