Just caught the tale end of Sleepers on TV and it I thought we might compile a list of great tales of revenge.
The Wrath Of Khan
(well, the inception, at least)
W.C. Morrow’s conte cruel “His Unconquerable Enemy.”
It’s about an Indian rajah who punishes a servant by chopping off his arms and legs and keeping him in a hanging cage. The servant’s revenge is rather…piquant.
You can probably find it online somewheres; it was published in the 1880s.
Here, as a matter of fact.
…Just… I. Whoa. :eek:
For some reason that made me think of: HOP-FROG OR THE EIGHT CHAINED OURANG-OUTANGS by Poe.
Poe’s Cask of the Amontillado is just a magnificiant example.
O’Henry’s Cisco Kid is another example (how the movie and television version came up with the sweet gentle Kid they did, I will never know).
The movie Revenge with Antony Quinn and Kevin Kosner is a rather obvious example.
This one’s decently obscure, but Through Darkest America is a really gritty and stomach-churning post-apolayptic war novel. The characters in this book live only for revenge, and their methods are always brutal. The writing is perfectly attuned to the subject matter. It’s so simplistic you almost don’t notice how gruesome the scenes are. Great stuff. There’s also a sequel called Dawn’s Uncertain Light, but it’s not as good.
The author is Neal Barrett, Jr. Seventy years old, he’s written science fiction, fantasy, mysteries, literary novels and poetry and they’re almost all excellent. Read anything you can find by him.
Speaking of Shakespeare we could add The Merchant of Venice even though it falls through for Shylock. Also the plays Julius Caesar and Titus Andronicus might qualify.
The two Poe stories that have been mentioned are good ones.
Then there’s “Revenge” by Bill Cosby.
I probably oughta leave The Princess Bride for Inigo Montoya to mention.
It’s just a [flesh wound](http://www.rit.edu/~smo4215/monty.htm#Scene 4).
Freaks, directed by Tod Browning. Moral of the story: don’t cross 'em.
Beneath the National Lampoon-style humor, there was a revenge-based plot in Trading Places.
**Cape Fear ** (original with Robert Mitchum and the remake with Robert DeNiro) are about a bad guy’s revenge against a corrupt attorney and his family.
The Death Wish series with Charles Bronson as a widower-turned-vigilante.
Sudden Impact, with Sondra Locke as a P.O.'d rape survivor-turned-vigilante.
The [made for the USA channel?] TV gothic horror flicks **Buried Alive ** and Buried Alive II. Good, cheesy fun.
I haven’t seen it and many critics hated it, but the movie **Double Jeopardy ** has a revenge theme.
The Japanese horror film Audition has a reputation of being a stomach-churning, if effective revenge tale.
And Steven Soderburgh’s The Limey, with Terence Stamp as a grieving father-turned-vigilante.
Strangely enough, **Star Wars, Episode III: The Revenge of the Sith ** doesn’t really qualify as a revenge tale, since the avenging party is just Emperor Palpatine on his usual power grab, and he was never an innocent unduly wronged, anyway.
**Jaws: The Revenge ** (a.k.a. Jaws 4), having a reputation for being a total crapfest, probably doesn’t qualify.
Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill: Volumes 1 & 2 would seem to be obvious choices here. So would Clint Eastwood’s Unforgiven.
There’s that episode of South Park where Cartman’s being picked on by the older kid who swindles him out of some small amount of money and plays a couple other practical jokes, so Cartman arranges for the kid’s parents to be killed, then cooks them into a pot of chili which he serves to the kid.
Foxy Brown, the loose inspiration for Tarantino’s “Jackie Brown” character.
Here’s the link to the IMDB page on “revenge,” with “nature-takes-revenge” an intriguing sub-list (albeit with only three titles). Hitchcock’s **The Birds ** would be perfect in that category, but it isn’t listed.
“The Ethics of Madness” by Larry Niven, which ends in a centuries long relativistic chase in Bussard ramjets; a former madman being pursued by the man whose family he killed while mad.
Also a novel called Revenge, by Stephen Fry, which is sort of a modern retelling of The Count of Monte Cristo.