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3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Tony Todd, Lochlyn Munro, James Duval, Jason Connery, Marieh Delfino, Graham McTavish, Eve Mauro, Alice Amter, Tracy Coogan. Michael Rooker
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: IMDFILMS
  • DVD Release Date: November 17, 2009
  • Run Time: 85 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002M9FXNQ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #210,626 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Penance" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Based on a true character, and from the award winning horror writer/director of 'Days of Darkness', and the producer of the indie horror hit 'Automaton Transfusion', comes a cautionary tale that will make you squirm and twist in your seat. With unrelenting suspense and terror, Penance is the tale of a young, demure single mother, Amelia (Marieh Delfino), who hits upon hard times and decides to take her future into her own hands and becomes a stripper. Everything is going well until Suzy, her stripper friend, is beaten up on a job and recruits Amelia to take her place. Reluctantly, Amelia takes the job, only to find the job isn't everything it seems. Driven to a strange location by a dark and mysterious man (Tony Todd), and confronted by a grizzled hit man (Michael Rooker), Amelia's world is turned upside down, as her captor (the mind bending Graham McTavish), is intent on one thing and one thing only - to purify Amelia and the other women in his incarceration.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
36 of 38 people found the following review helpful
I ordered this for my customers who dig this kind of Hostel - The Director's Cut [Blu-ray]-like film depravity, and in this case coupled with the now-common first person video camera feel (ala [Rec], Quarantine and twenty others).

The story is all shown through "obtained" video camera footage found in an abandoned southern California institution. Footage purportedly from/by a victim's camera - one of many tortured ladies at the hands of a mutilation-prone physician (injuring both himself and many others). The premise of this is reportedly based upon the story/circumstances of the real Graeme Reeves, even inclusive of a text-ending stating how he has still escaped prosecution and has not been caught (in reality he is in prison awaiting trial overseas). Putting aside the film has really nothing to do with the guy, you get a well-acted low-budget take on this popular genre. Rooker is outstanding, though he only gets a few scenes. The torture scenes are tough, and if this were rated I am sure it would be in the NC-17 range. A musical score was added to further the impossibility of how certain scenes could be filmed or how this cut was edited, but if you skip the analysis of logistics and watch the performances you will get more out of it.

Supplements are lengthy and include:
* Three alternate endings. They average 1:20-1:30 each and vary in the level of information they text about the doctor, the level of genital mutilations upon women in the world, or a "twist" ending that furthered the "how could this be being filmed" notion.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly good February 18, 2010
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Penance basically involves the story of a woman who becomes a stripper to raise money for her sick child. On the way, she is hired by an unusual customer and soon she finds herself trapped in a prison run by a man who seems to want to help her repent her sins through pain. The film is shot in first person, which I thought worked well for the movie. The story in my view was surprisingly interesting and well-done. It was rather unusual, as the main antagonist provided a glimpse into a different kind of killer, one who thinks what he is doing is for the benefit of his victims. A few disturbing scenes, yet it was not incredibly gory, at least from my point of view. Acting was well done for the most part, especially the antagonist, who did a wonderful job playing a psychopath. If you are the kind of person who enjoys movies that are disturbing and present a rather dark atmosphere, then I would recommend this movie. Overall it was a decent horror movie that presents a lasting impact, not only for its rather disquieting scenes but for its psychological implications as well.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Good if this is what you are looking for March 9, 2010
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I'm just tired of the handheld found footage genre. It needs a rest. This starts off decent but delves into another genre that is getting tired: the torture genre. If you still aren't tired if these two genres, then you could do a lot worse. This film delivers what is expected with nudity and violence. I'm just ready for something different in the low budget horror world.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars For a horror movie with strippers, it's underwhelming October 5, 2010
Penance is the story of Amelia (Marieh Delfino), a single mother struggling for money, who decides to give stripping a shot. I know what you're thinking, "That never happens." Anyway, she reluctantly accepts a substitute stripping job and finds herself imprisoned by a madman named Geeves (Graham McTavish) who is intent on saving the souls of his young stripper captives through torture and mild asceticism. Shortly after imprisonment, Amelia learns through a beating that captives speak only when spoken to, and one does not simply ask Geeves (sorry). A struggle for survival and escape ensues, as Amelia makes continuously ignorant decisions in her pursuits of getting the whole ordeal on film.

None of these concepts are terribly original, but I suppose the stripper+Hostel formula was inevitable. Honestly, I never thought I would be bored by that near fool-proof formula, but a combination of shaky-cam - as if the torturers would give her a camera to document the atrocities - and subpar script make this a mildly enticing movie, which depends entirely on how much nudity a viewer is expecting from a movie about tortured strippers.

Surprisingly, the performances aren't overwhelmingly bad, despite the fact that none stand out. Actually, the strip-tease performances were atrocious, and I seriously doubt any of the so-called "exotic dancers" made a living without some illegal activity in the champagne room. Tony Todd makes an appearance as a chauffer, and Michael Rooker overacts throughout his brief appearances, but otherwise the film is carried by a fairly competent cast of the lesser known. Perhaps the best aspect of this film is the gory makeup work and special effects (head shot!).

Replete with recycled concepts and the unfortunately ubiquitous shaky-cam, Penance is mediocre at best. Unless the idea of tired torture porn shown through the religious lens of a handheld camera is your thing, I'd suggest skipping it.

Jason Elin
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Sob story found footage film December 17, 2010
Sob story found footage film. Now we see that the lead character is in real need of financial help since we learn early on she has no insurance for her sick daughter and as we all know this is a real life situation for many parents and as with this young lady there is no daddy in the picture to help out or rich grandparents . She comes up with the lame idea of some show were she might win $20.000 , hold your breath on that one. Amelia's (Marieh Delfino) BFF talks her into being a stripper for easy money and now we are off to the house of pain. After a slow start we get to the torture porn or what ever this is were Amelia is held hostage and is being forced to face her hoeing ways. There is a bunch of B.S. about saving there souls by the mad doctor (Graham McTavish). Michael Rooker has a small part as the hit man for the Mad doc.
Good ending and I like the after the credits added part, look for it.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Why so many good reviews??
If all you want to see is boobs then I guess this movie is for you. I know it's about strippers but I thought it would be more disturbing than what it was. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Gorygal
1.0 out of 5 stars Penance
I have had trouble with this movie, it goes blank after about a quarter of the way through it. I have tried it many times, and it does it every time. I think I got a bad movie.
Published on October 21, 2011 by Lorri E. Gum
4.0 out of 5 stars Bridget's Review
My husband and I watched this movie the other night and it was excessively creepy. The plot and the acting was great. The psycho freaked me out - majorly! Read more
Published on October 14, 2010 by bridget3420
1.0 out of 5 stars save yourself the face time
this movie gets 1 star because there's one scene about an hour in i didn't expect, but still wasn't worth watching this stupid movie. Read more
Published on August 31, 2010 by R. Vasquez
4.0 out of 5 stars Hostel gets a Sunday school lesson
PENANCE is another one of those first-person, hand-held camera horror flicks with may seem amateurish and improvised, but it also pushes the boundaries with its gritty realism. Read more
Published on August 14, 2010 by C. Christopher Blackshere
5.0 out of 5 stars Horror We Have Seen Too Many Times But This Movie Is Fun For The Cast
Tony Todd (CANDYMAN), Michael Rooker (SLITHER) and Lochlyn Munro (FREDDY VS. JASON) star in this provocative horror film. I have not finished this yet either. Read more
Published on June 24, 2010 by Daniel A. Foster
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