VFW (2020) is a lean and mean, simply plotted exploitation film. Very much a Grindhouse style film. It is ultra-violent and ultra bloody, just how we like it!
A group of Vietnam vet pals meet at the VFW for drinks and some partying for the birthday of a fellow vet. A young girl on the run from a violent drug gang ends up bursting into the VFW looking for shelter. So begins your standard Alamo / Assualt On Precinct 13 style stand-off. A siege follows, there is a lot of violence and blood, and it is great!
The cast is great for an indie film. Stephen Lang plays the main character. You may know him as Pickett from Gettysburg and General Jackson from Gods And Generals. Also, the evil military guy from the massive blockbuster Avatar from 2009.
VFW is a blood and neon-drenched celebration of violence, and I loved it. If you like violent sleazy B movies from the 80s, I give it my highest recommendation. If you like super high production values, deep art-house messages, and Michael Mann levels of cinematography, I still recommend it.
The press and propaganda blurb says:
“The Wild Bunch meets Night Of The Living Dead, the film follows Fred and his military buddies as they must defend their local V.F.W. (Veterans of Foreign Wars) post – and an innocent teen – against a deranged drug dealer and his relentless army of punk mutants. These Vietnam vets have been to hell and back, but this will be the longest night of their lives.
Directed by: Joe Begos
Starring: Stephen Lang, William Sadler, Fred Williamson, Martin Kove, Sierra McCormick, David Patrick Kelly”
VFW premiered at the 2019 Fantastic Fest in Austin, Texas, and was released to theaters, VOD, and Digital HD on February 14, 2020.
The movie has an 81% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 52 reviews with an average rating of 6.85/10. The critic consensus reads:
“VFW’s solid cast, deft direction, and surprisingly weighty subtext add extra heft to a gory thriller that should hold buckets of sanguine appeal for grindhouse fans.”
It is available now on various platforms including Prime Video.