We all have our bad days, but for this one guy named Julio (Manuel "Flaco" Ibañez)— every day is a bad day. After spending 10 years in prison for a fatal car accident he didn’t even cause, Julio is back home to his mother, his brother Luis (Servando Manzetti) and 2 sisters Maria & Lola. So much has changed in Julio’s hometown since he’s been a way— poverty has stricken everyone in town & street gangs are running amok. Julio’s sisters Maria & Lola have been invited to a cave hangout where a guy called “Pantera” (Eleazar Garcia Jr) and his giant gang spend their nights drinking & getting high. Both sisters are then drugged up & assaulted and Lola ends up dead. Maria has become mentally impaired from drugs and so badly that she ends up killing one of Pantera’s guys when he tries to rape her at home. She bites his neck very hard and she is then stabbed to death. Julio has now lost his 2 sisters, his mother has also died due to the stress of everything going on and their family restaurant is roughed up by Pantera’s gang. Julio & his brother Luis are fed up by the gangs destroying their town & ruining their lives and thus decide to kill all the gang members one by one at night. And they’re gonna go hard on it too! No mercy!
Venganza En El Barrio is an interesting obscurity because as corny & cheap as it looks— the movie tries to remain serious as well. The subject matter here is clear and it is that drug abuse & gangs are just no good at all. It all causes harm to one person and it affects others all around them as well. It sucks, but it’s the reality. But other than its seriousness— the movie gives us a much appealing look at street gangs and particularly from that era. We’re treated to roughed up/torn leather & denim attire, a gang leader who gives no fucks & played by the villainous Eleazar Garcia Jr and the gang hangs out at an unusual but cool-looking cave where anything goes and this includes rock bands Nopalica & Banda Bostik playing live inside there. Venganza En El Barrio of course has violent scenes and not too shabby ones either. I’m particularly fascinated by the scene with Maria biting her rapist’s neck because it just comes off so sudden & gruesome. The rest of the violence consists of stabbings & beatings all around. Satisfying ones, too.
Venganza En El Barrio was directed by Antonio Lopez Sanchez and his name may not be well-known to Mexican cinema— but he does however have an interesting & fairly known filmography with titles such as Las Zorras, El Chacal, La Ley Del Barrio, La Pandilla Sin Rostro and La Rata. Antonio seems to have had a natch for street life & gangs since all his movies are about those particular subjects. I could only keep pondering why he made only movies about that kind of stuff and who was he exactly..
I’m not gonna hype up Venganza En El Barrio as yet another wild street gang flick, but I for sure will recommend it for fans of sleazy melodramas of street life in Mexico. And if you’re familiar with Antonio Lopez Sanchez’s other movies and enjoy them— then for sure you must see Venganza En El Barrio because it is a solid title as the others are.