A group of war veterans must defend their local VFW and an
innocent teenager from a deranged drug dealer and his minions.
Directed by Joe Begos
Written by Max Brallier and Matthew McArdle
Starring Stephen Lang, William Sadler, Fred Williamson,
Martin Kove, David Patrick Kelly, George Wendt,
Tom Williamson, Travis Hammer
As we’ve seen in films recently, nostalgia has been all the rage. Specifically, the 80's in general. Which has been awesome for the most part. But, I won’t lie in admitting in that it’s getting kind of tiring too. And if you don’t believe me: It, Stranger Things, Summer of 84, The Expendables. And I’m sure there will be more. But there are some directors who are going out of their way to not only get nostalgic but do something different with it as well. Enter Joe Begos’s newest film, VFW. A film where it doesn’t just serve as another nostalgic trip to the 80's. No, this feels and breathes like one too; with a cast ripped straight from the decade as well. Basically, this is a hell of a time at the movies.
So, I’ve already mentioned how this feels like an 80's film. But, if I were to be specific, this echoes much of John Carpenter’s filmography. Especially his more action-oriented works. Everything from the structure, characters, and score evoke that classic vibe of one of my all-time favorite directors’. The plot is simple. A person steals a drug lord’s stash and ends up in the VFW across the street. Gruesome, bloody violence ensues to get the stash back. Simple and to the point. To back this plot up is an all-star cast. Veteran actors like Stephen Lang, William Sadler, and Fred Williamson are among the few that round out this cast. I’ve grown up seeing many of these actors’ works and it was just a joy to see them here. They are clearly having a great time themselves as they deliver very committed performances. Finally, the gore. VFW delivers this aspect in spades. Heads getting blown off to limbs getting cut off are shown in grisly, gory detail. Gorehounds will be satisfied.
If you’re looking for something that isn’t just a simple nostalgia trip of the 80's, but feels like it comes from that beloved decade, then check out VFW. This is a gory, throwback, bombastic film. Seeing many of these actors in the same film is so much fun. The story is refreshingly simple. And the gore is absolutely satisfying. I can’t say it enough. Check this movie out. Now, it’s time for me to check out the rest of Joe Begos’s work.