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Old School Blood and Guts

Updated: Jul 4, 2020

VFW is a bloody-knuckle, rollicking good time of a movie filled with blood, gore, comradery, and some sizzling one-liners. It’s a throwback to the 70’s and 80’s, when good taste was considered a bad thing and exploitation was king. It’s available in Pay Per View right now and if you want a good, solid hour and a half distraction from the world, you really can’t to any better.

Set in a strange, modern world where a drug called Hype is screwing people up and turning them into docile zombies one minute, enraged addicts the next, a drug deal gone wrong ends up inside a local VFW bar, where a group of aged veterans are gathered reminiscing over old times and giving each other the business. A young girl steals a massive load of Hype from a local gang of miscreants because this gang killed her sister. When the gang finds out, they pursue her and, nowhere to go, she runs into the VFW. This leads the men there to stand up for her and do the right thing, which is a constant theme in this film. A war ensues between the two factions, as the gang sends wave after wave of junkies to try and force the stolid corps from their building, to give up the girl and the drugs. What comes next is a bloody gush of severed limbs, split heads, and plenty of blood squibs. The movie does not hold back on the wet stuff. There is a certain glee and delight taken when it comes to dispatching the bad guys, and even so with the good guys. Nobody gets it easy in this movie and by dawn’s early light, only a few are left standing.

The veterans are played by a bunch of grizzled old B-movie stars from days gone by, including William Sadler, Fred Williamson, Stephen Lang, Martin Kove, and David Patrick Kelly. They deliver their lines, chewed and frayed. The bad guys are played mostly by newcomers, although Dora Madison has a delightful and memorable turn as a femme fatale badass named Gutter, a chick you want to see die in all the most gruesome ways. Directed by Joe Begos, VFW is a real winner. It comes on like a hurricane and leaves a swath of destruction in its wake. For all its fun, it does remain serious, and nothing is treated lightly. People die and blood flows.

Parts Assault on Precinct 13, parts Escape From New York, with a little bit of The Wild Bunch thrown in there for good measure, VFW is a throwback to the exploitation days of old, where men and women killed each other in violent, Technicolor vibrancy, and the police never show up. It’s a great way to spend some time at home, cheering and shoveling popcorn down your throat. This is a perfect Midnight Movie, but since that’s not going to happen for a long while yet, might as well enjoy it in the comfort of your own home.

Four Buckets of Blood out of Four


Kelly is the author of dozens of stories and dozens of reviews, he likes to write, he likes to read, he likes going to the movies, and he loves to laugh.  He hails from the wilds of Kentucky and if you'd like to see more of his work, check out his website:

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