Lady Avenger (1988)- * * *
Directed by: David De Coteau
Starring: Peggy McIntaggart, Bill Butler, and Michelle Bauer
While Maggie (McIntaggart) is locked up in jail, a gang of street toughs murder her brother Kevin (Butler). Maggie is allowed a temporary release so she can attend the funeral, and then it's not long before she puts on her red revenge bandanna and aviator sunglasses in order to get tough with the baddies responsible. Maggie reconnects with her old friend Annalee (Bauer), and goes through some family drama as well, but she also finds time to get involved in some shootouts and car chases. Can anything stop Maggie as the LADY AVENGER?
While we prefer director DeCoteau's American Rampage (1989), Lady Avenger has plenty to recommend it as well, providing you have a taste for low-budget 80's action. You likely do, or you wouldn't be reading this site. It's a little bit surprising that Massacre Video didn't pair American Rampage with Lady Avenger on their recent Blu-ray release, instead pairing the former with the Dan Haggerty outing Danger USA (1989) - which is also an entertaining movie in its own right, but the DeCoteau action double bill seems to make sense. Oh well, it must have been a rights issue.
Anyway, we wouldn't necessarily recommend newbies of 80's cult action to watch Lady Avenger - it seems like the type of thing you already have to be a fan of - but, then again, who could fail to love the junkyard fight, the blowing-up of cars, the classic flat line readings by just about everybody, the nudity, and the otherwise down n' dirty vibe of the whole thing? It's a bit like a cross between Cyclone (1987) and Death Feud (1987).
Peggy McIntaggart AKA Peggy Sanders doesn't exactly scream "tough" in the way that Brigitte Nielsen might, but perhaps that was the point. That maybe a woman who isn't a bodybuilder and is slight of stature can still blow away the bad guys. Even though Michelle Bauer provides the eye candy, as she always does, it would have been nice to see her get into the baddie-killing fray alongside Peggy.
I think it's worth mentioning the context into which Lady Avenger was born. In 1988, video stores were hugely popular and always needing product to put on the shelves. It was also a time when the action/revenge genre was at a high point. It was only natural that filmmakers big and small would try to get in the game. One of the joys of going to the video store and perusing the aisles was when you'd come across a VHS tape such as Lady Avenger. It provided something you couldn't get in theaters. We would look at the box art and want to see how Lady Avenger dispensed justice. Now how can that be wrong?
Released on the classic South Gate label on VHS in America, Lady Avenger is well worth checking out for not just 80's VHS fiends such as yourself, but also it's ripe for rediscovery in the Blu-ray era.
Comeuppance Review by: Brett and Ty