I wish “The Crow” sequels took as much of an advantage with a creative premise as director Michael S. Ojeda does with “Avenged.” While his film isn’t exactly a revenge masterpiece, it’s a strong contender for one of the finer revenge films of the past five years, working as a tragic love story, and a vicious horror themed tale of vengeance. Amanda Adrienne Smith is rather compelling as the victimized Zoe, a deaf mute who ends up at the wrong place at the wrong time.
Despite the worries of her sister and fiancé Dane, Zoe decides to take a road trip alone and seek out the open road. While driving she interrupts a racial crime involving a group of violent brothers and a pair of Native American locals. Despite her best efforts to help, the attack victims are viciously murdered and Zoe is kidnapped. Raped repeatedly and strapped down with barbed wire, she builds the courage to escape but is brutally murdered by the oldest of the group of brothers. Miraculously discovered by a local Native American witch doctor, she’s revived from the dead, and the deadly spirit of an Apache chief possesses her.
Failing to stop the possession in time, Zoe is back from the dead, and hell bent on avenging her murder. Most of “Avenged” is built around Zoe stalking the group of brothers and violently mutilating them as the group struggles to comprehend how she came back from the dead. For folks that like to see evil get their comeuppance, Zoe’s presence quickly turns them in to paranoid prey, all of whom are helpless to Zoe’s relentless thirst for revenge. The spirit of the chief also allows her great stamina and warrior like combat abilities, allowing her to carry out her deeds. The only catch is Zoe’s body is gradually rotting, allowing for a lot of interesting effects.
This involves Zoe putting pieces of her own body together, and struggling to remain in tact as she carries out payback for the group of criminals. Even with the catch of Zoe rotting like a normal corpse, director Ojeda keeps “Avenged” going at a brisk pace with Zoe concocting interesting ways of striking down her attackers. There’s a neat bar brawl where she makes good use of intestines, and there’s a pretty sleek attack with a bow and arrow that star Smith delivers with sharp precision. That said, director Ojeda spends way too much time exploring how the brothers deal with Zoe’s re-emergence and their psychological trauma lending the feeling that “Avenged” was filling in its run time, but that doesn’t tarnish what is an overall very strong and entertaining amalgam of horror and revenge cinema.