Recoil (2011)


Tagline: They Each Have A Score To Settle

Main Cast:

Stone Cold Steve Austin as Ryan Varrett a former cop seeking vengeance after his family is gunned down in cold blood.

Danny Trejo as Drayke Salgado leader of a biker gang and a ruthless crime lord who is linked to Varrett’s past.

Serinda Swan as Darcy a widowed motel owner who befriends Varrett.

Lochlyn Munro as Agent Frank Sutton a federal agent following the trail of bodies Varett has left behind in his one man quest for justice.

The 411:

From the opening moments of Recoil Stone Cold Steve Austin is driving a vintage muscle car down a road and for anyone who has been a hardcore action junkie the past two or three decades this is all too familiar territory where a mysterious stranger ends up coming to a small town in need of cleaning up due to an illegal drug trade and other seedy activities. Looking at Recoil from a certain perspective might have you thinking this is an all too cliched mold to try and form a solid direct to video actioner from however as with most stand outs it’s the impressive pair up of Stone Cold Steve Austin and Danny Trejo that make this worth a look. If you witnessed the rise of Austin 3:16 back in the mid to late 90s Steve isn’t taking the anti-hero gimmick he developed into any uncharted territory he just appears on screen, opens up a ton of whoop-ass and leaves any that gets in his way in a bloody heap. Trejo, on the other hand, plays a vile antagonist who literally doesn’t pull any punches and for a guy that shows up everywhere in movies and television to see him peak in his late 60s/early 70s if roles the likes of this continue to fall into his lap I’ll have no problem watching him play the heavy well into his 80s and beyond.

The smooth pacing is why Recoil excels and while there are a couple clunky moments it’s quite impressive to see director Terry Miles blend some well-choreographed stunts/fights with an explosion or two. This genre requires pure blunt force while balancing a solid story that viewers can find a way to get behind. So look at it this way at least Recoil didn’t have a budget of over $150 million because then Miles would’ve most likely suffered from Michael Bay syndrome.

Film Stats:

Number of Stone Cold Stunners (or professional wrestling holds/moves): Zero.

Number of intimidating stares from either Stone Cold Steve Austin or Danny Trejo: Way too many to keep track of.

Best One Liner:

Kirby the town mechanic: ‘Where’d you learn how to fight like that?’

Ryan Verritt: ‘From Fighting!’

Random Observations:

Apparently when you’re out hunting something as small as rabbits a giant assault rifle is the perfect weapon to use.

Ryan Verritt sounds more like the name of a guy who would be working as an assistant manager at a Pep Boys than a manly action hero. Drayke Salgado, on the other hand, complete bad ass! I mean come on anyone who spells Drake with a Y and looks like one bad hombre I’d be getting out of dodge if he even briefly glanced in my general direction.

I’m sorry but the horror ‘Look out he might get up one last time!’ cliché doesn’t work here and the fact that the damsel in distress actually says that line c’mon movie you should know better than that!

Buy It, Rent It or Don’t Waste Your Time?

I’ve watched Recoil three times since picking it up a while back so there’s no denying it has a very high replay value. With the way the world is nowadays and everyone is keeping a watchful eye on their budgets if one is looking for an affordable way to keep fueling an adrenaline rush a used copy of Recoil on DVD goes for $1.60 on Amazon (not including shipping). Believe me when I say in the middle of winter when cabin fever takes hold there’s no better way to spend a lazy Saturday. The D2VD Recommendation: Buy It!



Darren Shahlavi: 1972 – 2015

Darren Shahlavi

One thing a person can never take for granted is how fragile life can be. Tonight I recieved a text informing me that acclaimed martial artist and actor Darren Shahlavi had died of an apparent drug overdose (TMZ).  We’ve lost a tremendous amount of greats in the past year but the news of Darren’s passing was like a sucker punch to the gut where I was left hopelessly trying to catch my breath. A bonafide action star on the small screen Shahlavi had the right amount of raw talent to make him a mainstream household name and whenever his face was in front of the camera he exuded a professionalism rarely found in the cesspool of CGI explosions.

If you haven’t seen any of Darren’s work I highly recommend picking up the Dolph Lundgren/Stone Cold Steve Austin D2V actioner The Package. Even with those two being the main stars its Darren who ends up stealing the entire movie playing a side antagonist that viewers love to hate.

This wasn’t exactly the update I was hoping to do this week and plans are still in place to debut a new format of reviewing for the Direct 2 Video Dungeon before January comes to a close. I’ll definitely be covering some of Darren Shahlavi’s finest work as a tribute to the man. My thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends, co-stars, and peers who looked upon him with the greatest respect and admiration. I too share that respect and am praying that Darren is at peace kicking ass in the great beyond. R.I.P.