Retribution (1987 film)

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Directed byGuy Magar
Produced byGuy Magar
Written byGuy Magar
Lee Wasserman
StarringDennis Lipscomb
Leslie Wing
Hoyt Axton
Suzanne Snyder
Music byAlan Howarth
CinematographyGary Thieltges
Edited byGuy Magar
Alan L. Shefland
Overseas FilmGroup
Taurus Entertainment Company
Distributed byTaurus Entertainment Company
Release date
  • 1987 (1987)
Running time
107 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$1.2 million[1]

Retribution is a 1987 American horror film directed by Guy Magar, written by Magar and Lee Wasserman, and starring Dennis Lipscomb as a suicidal man who is possessed by a vengeful spirit.


On Halloween, two men both die at the same time: George Miller commits suicide by jumping from a hotel roof, and Vito Minelli angers the mob when he can't pay off his gambling debts. When George is revived and nursed back to health, he begins to have nightmares about Vito's life. His psychiatrist, Dr. Curtis, thinks that he's mentally ill, but Lt. Ashley believes that he's responsible for a series of brutal murders. George eventually discovers that he's been possessed by Vito, who has been killing the gangsters responsible for his own death.



Guy Magar said it took three years before he found an investor for the film. A wealthy businessman finally put up the entire $1.2 million budget.[1] Filming began in January 1986 and lasted five weeks.[2]


Retribution screened at the AFI Film Festival of Los Angeles in March 1987.[3] The film was originally planned for theatrical release in October 1986, but it was delayed. It had a limited release in June 1987, missed a wide release in October 1987, and was finally scheduled for an October 1988 wide release.[2]


Chris Willman of the Los Angeles Times called it "stingy on scares" and poorly plotted.[4] Daryl Loomis of DVD Verdict wrote, "Retribution is overlong and kind of silly, but offers some imaginative kills; cult horror fans should get a kick out of it. I recommend it mildly to them, but to nobody else."[5] Empire rated it 3/5 stars and called it "a fun trash movie".[6] Time Out called it "often scary" but too focused on the human interest elements.[7]


  1. ^ a b Scott, Vernon (1987-08-20). "TV Directors Have Trouble with Film". The Bryan Times. UPI.
  2. ^ a b Scott, Vernon (1988-11-01). "Movie Meanders Mysteriously". The Bryan Times. UPI.
  3. ^ Klady, Leonard (1987-03-22). "Afi Film Fest: The Final Week". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2014-06-07.
  4. ^ Willman, Chris (1988-10-29). "Movie Reviews : Beware of This Frighteningly Tedious 'Retribution'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2014-06-07.
  5. ^ Loomis, Daryl (2012-09-12). "Retribution (1987)". DVD Verdict. Retrieved 2014-06-07.
  6. ^ "Retribution". Empire. Retrieved 2014-06-07.
  7. ^ Floyd, Nigel (2010). Pym, John (ed.). Time Out Film Guide. Time Out Guides. p. 891. ISBN 9781846702082.

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