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Painkiller - Movie Review

Painkiller

. . . in which veteran character actor Bill Oberst Jr. takes the war on drugs to a whole NEW level as he, after the loss of his daughter to an opioid overdose, turns VIOLENT vigilante and hits the streets, hunting all those responsible for her death.  Suddenly, the tables have turned on those responsible in director Mark Savage’s brutal and timely film, Painkiller.

"leaves GRIT and SINEW in your teeth upon its conclusion"


 

Are you ready to face judgement day?  Painkiller is a film which leaves GRIT and SINEW in your teeth upon its conclusion.  I mean, Oberst plays a character that suffers a kind of loss that no parent wants to EVER face and he’s down to strangle every single man responsible.  

That’s how BRUTAL this revenge thriller as one he, radio show host Bill Johnson (Oberst Jr.), turns the white collars of the pushers responsible for his daughter’s death dark red . . . with their own blood.  He’s done looking for answers.  He wants revenge and it - enjoying the thrill - wants him to WANT it, too.  

The TIMELY and powerful thriller brings Oberst right in the direct path of his co-star veteran Michael Paré (Eddie & the Cruisers, Gangster Land) as Dr. Alan Rhodes, who has been leading a lavish lifestyle, thanks to the profits he’s been making from his prescription business.  He’s not hurting for any small desire either.  With the money rolling in and the addicts piling up outside his door, there’s no end in sight for his profiteering either.

That’s where Oberst’s character comes into play.  This METHOD actor is simply ON FIRE throughout this flick and so, too, is Paré.  There might be some issues with the pacing and the editing, but none of that distracts from what is happening on-screen between these two acting VETERANS.Painkiller

Seeing that NO ONE is being held accountable, Oberst sets out on a campaign targeting those made rich by the suffering of so many.  He’s going the route of THE PUNISHER in this thriller. Teaming up with a rogue cop, they set out to dismantle this network of doctors and pharmaceutical executives that continue to devastate families across the country.

Welcome to the rough and tumble territory of Painkiller

This is a movie that takes a close look at not just the problem of opiate addiction, but those who are, ultimately, responsible.  It is indeed a crisis here in America and Savage and co-writer Tom Parnell, take a steely eyed approach to both the addict and those who keep the addicts supplied in this gritty thriller.  This one is going to sting a lot.  It is also probably going to feel very familiar to many households as its target is drawn from the pain of many Americans and, with MIGHT as RIGHT, is produced with raw emotions.

Co-starring Pacey Liz Walker (The Rosa Parks Story) and Alexander Pennecke (Blacklist), Painkiller was produced by Savage with Parnell also acting as Executive Producer, and in a pivotal role as a well-intentioned doctor.  In an unblinking fashion, it takes an unapologetic look at a crisis facing countless American families. 

Giving them a taste of their own medicine, Painkiller is available On Demand, Digital and DVD May 4 from CINEDIGM.

3/5 stars

Film Details

Painkiller

MPAA Rating: Unrated.
Runtime:
85 mins
Director
: Mark Savage
Writer:
Tom Parnell, Mark Savage
Cast:
Michael Paré, Bill Oberst Jr., Alexander Pennecke
Genre
: Thriller
Tagline:
This vigilante gives them a taste of their own medicine.
Memorable Movie Quote:
Distributor:
Cinedigm
Official Site:
Release Date:
May 4, 2021
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
May 4, 2021 (DVD)
Synopsis: In PAINKILLER, Bill Johnson (Oberst Jr.) has suffered the kind of loss that no parent should ever have to; watching his daughter fall victim to the opioid epidemic, which too long went unnoticed. Conversely, Dr. Alan Rhodes (Pare), has been leading a lavish lifestyle, thanks to the profits he’s been making from his prescription business. Seeing that no one is being held accountable, Bill sets out on a campaign targeting those made rich by the suffering of so many.  Teaming up with a rogue cop, they set out to dismantle this network of doctors and pharmaceutical executives that continue to devastate families across the country.

Art

Painkiller

 

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