Blood in the Snow Review: ‘For the Sake of Vicious’ starts slow but ends big

A home invasion is a nightmare scenario for anyone. Masked intruders coming into your home to do all manner of violence and cruelty. For the Sake of Vicious takes that idea and runs with it.

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Romina (Lora Burke) is a nurse. She’s just come off a long shift on Halloween day. She arrives home to find two men in her kitchen: Alan (Colin Paradine), bound and beaten on the floor, and Chris (Nick Smyth), the man who assaulted Alan. A brief struggle ensues before Romina and Chris come to an understanding, and she starts to treat Alan’s wounds.

Soon Alan is tied to a chair and face to face with Chris and being asked to confess. He was tried for and acquitted of the brutal rape of Chris’s daughter. So why are they in Romina’s home? She was Chris’s daughters’ nurse, and Alan is her landlord. No one is exactly who they seem, though. Alan is clearly not a good guy, but maybe he’s not Chris’s Bad guy. Chris is clearly not a bad guy, but maybe he’s also not the father of the year, either.

Nick Smythe, Lora Burke, and Colin Paradine / For the Sake of Vicious
Nick Smythe, Lora Burke, and Colin Paradine / For the Sake of Vicious

The beginning of this film is, well, a little slow. There are about 40 minutes of Chris, Romina, and Alan arguing back and forth about what happened to Chris’s daughter. I’m not going to lie: this section of the film is very hit or miss. The pacing is uneven, and so are the performances. Smyth, in particular, doesn’t quite seem up to the weight of the material that he’s performing.

However, after that first 40 minutes, a group of bad guys in devil masks show up, and the rest of the film is a series of brutal fights. The rest of the movie is incredibly fun, and I am not kidding when I say brutal. The best fight of the bunch involves Chris, Romina, a motorcycle helmet, and a hammer (and an eyeball).

For the Sake of Vicious lacks the martial arts hook –or the polished filmmaking– of something like The Raid, but these films are on par in terms of outright viciousness. If I might nitpick for a moment, it is a little hard to believe that Chris could take on any number of trained killers, but once the carnage starts, it doesn’t really matter. The fights are what matter, and the fights are great.

The first half keeps For the Sake of Vicious from being truly great, but the back half is so much fun you will be quick to forgive it.

For the Sake of Vicious will air on SuperChannel as part of the 2020 Blood in the Snow Festival on Saturday, October 31st at 6 pm Pacific / 9 pm Eastern.