on March 16, 2007
I've had this video since the late '80s or early '90s, & I'm actually watching it as I write this review. To say THE ULTIMATE REVENGE is dated 22 years after it was released would be an understatement. The effects that Combat used in the video are pretty cheesy (slow-motion, still photo, going back & forth between the video negative & the developed shot, etc). It would have been better to just show the raw footage. Still, to a certain extent, THE ULTIMATE REVENGE does document the growing interest in thrash metal that was taking place at the time. Combat Records decided to showcase their three biggest acts, Slayer, Venom & Exodus. All three had released new or debut albums when the video was shot.
The video opens with a still photo of John Travolta & a female dancer taken from SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER. They are "posing" on the dance floor. The photo is then burned away to show a still shot of Slayer guitarist Kerry King that was taken during the show. Exodus frontman Paul Baloff can be heard talking to the crowd during this part. He says something about going out, getting wasted & killing posers. Sounds like good advice to me. This is all relevant because THE ULTIMATE REVENGE was shot at Studio 54 in New York City, the disco hot spot during the 1970's. It has now been taken over by metal maniacs. The video then shifts to the crowd outside the venue before the show started. They make all kinds of noise, bang their heads & show off their metal garb. On a humorous note, there's an older looking black guy in the video during this part. He looks a little out of place to say the least, but it'll give you a chuckle. THE ULTIMATE REVENGE then switches to the inside of Studio 54, where Exodus performs "Piranha" from their debut album, BONDED BY BLOOD. It's a good song, but the sound quality is poor & you'll probably have to turn up the volume on your TV. This will be a recurring problem throughout Exodus' & Slayer's performances. The video is actually louder when the two bands AREN'T playing. Exodus put on a fairly energetic show, but I can't stand bassist Rob McKillop. He looks totally awkward on stage. Guitarist Gary Holt plays a short outro solo. The energy level shoots way up when Slayer performs "Die By The Sword." These guys come off like they have something to prove. It becomes clear very quickly why Slayer had staying power while Venom & Exodus didn't. Despite the poor sound quality & lame effects, Slayer's performance stands head & shoulders above the rest.
THE ULTIMATE REVENGE is a bit of a rip-off when it comes to Venom. It contains none of their footage from the Studio 54 show. Instead, we're shown Venom's promotional video for the song "Witching Hour." It's a very corny piece. Venom were just as silly with their satanic imagery as bands like Poison & Ratt were with their glam image. Next up is Part I of Venom's interview. Bassist/vocalist Cronos & drummer Abaddon discuss their music, their playing skills, King Diamond & what they'd like to do to Madonna on-stage. They also molest a Jack Daniels bottle. I won't go any further than that. Exodus then perform three songs ("Metal Command," "Exodus" & "Strike Of The Beast"). They play their material well, but to put it simply, they don't possess Slayer's fire. Then again, there weren't been many bands that did. There are a few crowd shots at the end of Exodus' performance. Slayer's interview is next. They joke around a lot during the interview, & the only one who seems to say anything remotely serious is drummer Dave Lombardo. His statement about Slayer not changing their style of music to appease a major record label proved prescient. Slayer are still making the same angry music they were twenty-two years ago. They also discuss how classical music has influenced their sound. Slayer then perform three more songs ("The Antichrist," "Hell Awaits" & "Chemical Warfare"). They are absolutely smoking. Guitarist Jeff Hanneman bangs his head so hard you'll be wondering why it doesn't fall off!!! More crowd shots are shown at the end of Slayer's performance. Part II of Venom's interview is shown next. Cronos & Abaddon discuss the band's formation, their influence on metal music, their desire to put on bigger & better shows, the fact that they would never cover of a Deep Purple song (but Deep Purple might cover one of theirs) & their influence on the punk scene in England. Venom then perform "Countess Bathory," but again, it's not from the Studio 54 show. It's from a concert video that was shot in England the previous year. I believe the video was called THE SEVEN GATES OF HELL. The screen then goes black & credits roll. You can hear Slayer performing "Evil Has No Boundaries." There is a section after the credits where Combat Records promotes their "current" & "up-coming" releases.
This video is almost worth getting for Slayer's performance alone. Well, like I said, almost.
on March 18, 2012
slayer and exodus in studio 54 NYC playing only a hand full of thrash classics exodus with paul bayloff going crazy with bonded matterial but they sadly will not make the cut they should have and be in the pack with the big four and slayer showing no mercy to hell awaits not skipping haunting the chapel either only 4-5 song but you get the feeling that they will crush the rest in a few years come reign in blood and verom shows their grand spectical of live worshiping of venom on stage impresive but short lived glory of venoms history of black metal.If you don't like the video just remember it was 1985 not 2005 the video was not that great and the video special de-fects we low budget and simple,the point disco's dead and thrash metal might have killed them.