Directed by: Ivan Hall
Starring: Dawid Van Der Walt, Helga Van Wyk, Chris Du Toit, Roland Robinson, and Peter Tobin
When a nefarious gang of bank robbers led by arch-criminal Boy Jacobi (van der Walt) steps over the line and begins killing the police officers that are trying to stop them, Col. Aucamp (Tobin) unleashes his best men to stop the criminal gang – Captain Nick Jansen (du Toit) and Constable Johnny Peters (Robinson). A game of who can outsmart the other then ensues, but the police may have an advantage in Rene Visser (van Wyk), Jacobi’s girlfriend. Based on some events that happened to her in the past, she begins working with the so-called Flying Squad, AKA the VENGEANCE COPS. Will the good guys get revenge for their fallen brothers? Will they be able to stop Jacobi’s gang before they embark on a diamond heist so they can flee the country? Which side is Rene Visser really on? All those questions and more will be revealed…
Vengeance Cops is a fairly standard cops-and-robbers drama. The filmmakers probably threw all the resources they had available into the production, which were surely limited for South Africa in 1971. The overall tone fits in well with some of the older movies we’ve talked about previously, such as The Opium Connection (1966), or Slaughter Day (1973). The action is somewhat mild – there’s a bunch of car chases (which a movie alternately called Flying Squad couldn’t really avoid having), one of which is at an abandoned drive-in theater. There’s also a car flip, a couple of tame shootouts and some beat-ups. Maybe the idea was to eventually have this be on TV, which would explain the 78-minute running time.
In the end, nothing particularly stands out that would make Vengeance Cops a must-watch, but it’s certainly not bad and there’s a ton of worse stuff out there. Viewers with a particular interest in the roots of action movies in the 70’s in South Africa are probably the target demographic here.
Comeuppance Review by: Brett and Ty