Penance – USA, 2009 – reviews

‘He made them pay for their sins’

Penance is a 2009 American horror feature film written and directed by Jake Kennedy. It stars Jason Connery, Marieh Delfino, Lochlyn Munro, James Duval, Graham McTavish, Eve Mauro, Alice Amter, Tracy Coogan and Michael Rooker (Slither; Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer). Horror film icon Tony Todd has a minor cameo role as a sinister chauffeur.

Single mother Amelia (Marieh Delfino) turns to stripping as a means of making ends meet and winds up the unwilling subject of a grim purification ritual.

When dancer Suzy is beaten in an attack that leaves her unable to perform, she asks Amelia to cover her latest gig. Reluctantly accepting so her friend can convalesce, Amelia begins to grow uneasy when her driver (Tony Todd) taxis her to a dark and remote location…

penance 2009 strip dance

Reviews [click links to read more]:

“Jason Connery’s epilogue scene is pure padding, serving no function except to nudge the running time far enough above 80 minutes to satisfy the modern definition of feature length— and even so, Penance would have been better off without it, as the epilogue’s action starkly underlines the absurdity of this footage ever being found in a form slightly resembling what we see.” 1000 Misspent Hours and Counting

“Kennedy however takes what budget he has, adds in some awesome special FX and some characters you actually can care about and comes out with a very clever and well put together modern exploitation film. It definitely belongs on the shelves of those who like their horror a little bit nasty.”

“Ignoring all that, it’s still just a terrible movie. McTavish fancies himself a religious man, which means were treated to the usual babble about cleansing sins and other shit, as he cuts off women’s genitalia. Riveting. And when he’s not doing that, the women are being tasered or whipped, or just plain shot in the head for various infractions…” Horror Movie a Day

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“Marieh Delfino is our lead actress and thankfully she’s very strong in her role here, giving it her all as a mother figure pushed into extraordinary circumstances. She makes the role and takes some pretty bold direction here and you can’t help but respect her. The real star of the show though is Graham McTavish. Say what you want about this movie, whether you dig it or not, you’ve got to give it to McTavish…” Rogue Cinema

“You know a movie is gonna be grim and harsh when Michael Rooker provides the bulk of the comedy relief. Its plot is perhaps a tad too derivative of the recent French shocker Martyrs, it’s not what you’d call a pleasant viewing experience, and the ending flat out sucks. But it’s worth a view for the cast…if you have the stomach for that sort of thing.” Annie Riordan, Brutal as Hell

penance eva mauro mariah delfino

The American IMD Films Unrated Director’s Cut DVD includes the following special features:
How to strip featurette with Eve Mauro and Marieh Delfino
3 alternate endings
Interviews of the cast in character
Anatomy of a scene
Interview with the director
Behind the scenes Featurette
Commentary with the director
Commentary with the director and producer
Deleted scenes

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