Act of Vengeance (also known as Rape Squad and The Violator) is a 1974 American exploitation film. It was directed by Bob Kelljan and stars Jo Ann Harris, Peter Brown, Jennifer Lee, Connie Strickland, Lisa Moore, Tony Young, Steve Kanaly and Anneka Di Lorenzo.
A group of women who have all been attacked by the same serial hockey mask-wearing rapist get no help from the police. So they band together to form a vigilante group called "The Rape Squad" and set about going after the local scum.
Tropes in Act of Vengeance include:
- Abandoned Area: Jack lures the Rape Squad onto the grounds of the abandoned zoo for his final confrontation with them. The area is isolated enough that no one will hear them scream, and contains the old cages he can use for his nefarious purposes.
- Accidental Murder: Jack accidentally strangles Diane while attempting to keep her quiet while raping her. He decides he does not like the sensation of murder.
- All Men Are Perverts: Nearly all men in the movie ogle women, make lewd comments, and treat rape as nothing serious: suggesting the women want it, and should just lie back in enjoy it. Sgt. Long may be the sole exception. Two guys who joked at least make apologies when the women they're talking with furiously berates them, revealing that she'd been raped herself.
- Bathtub Bonding: After their first martial arts lesson with Tiny, the women relax in the club's whirlpool bath. It is here that they cement their plans for the Rape Squad, and take on Kathleen's case.
- Berserk Button: The one sure way to enrage Jack is to insult his prowess as a lover. Linda uses this to goad into coming out of the cage where he is holding Karen so she can attack him.
- Broken Heel: Karen breaks a heel while the Squad are searching the zoo, causing her to become separated from the others and easy prey for Jack.
- Chained to a Bed: When the manager of the Baby Doll Club attempts to rape Linda, the Rape Squad knock him out and trash his apartment. When he wakes up, he is tied to his bed. The women remove his pants, first pretending that they are going to rape him, and then that they are going to pour sulfuric acid over his genitals. They finally pour blue dye over his penis, so that if he attempts to rape anyone else his identity will be obvious.
- Dead Girl On Display: Jack murders Nancy and strings her naked body up in the zoo as a warning to the other women.
- Fan Disservice: Several of the female characters are shown topless early on. However, as it's due to having their clothes ripped off by a masked man who then rapes them, it's more disturbing rather than titillating.
- Fan Service With A Smile: The waitresses in the Baby Doll Club wear baby doll negligees with nothing on underneath.
- Fluffy the Terrible: The police have nicknamed the serial rapist "Jingle Bells", because he makes his victims sing that song as he rapes them.
- Good Girls Avoid Abortion: One of the women mentions her past abortion was used by the defense at her rape trial, painting her as bad in the jury's eyes.
- Groin Attack: Tiny teaches the Rape Squad that this is the quickest takedown when fighting men, and the women use it in all of their subsequent fights.
- Harassing Phone Call: Gloria contacts the Rape Squad after she receives a series of obscene phone calls from a man called Bernie (a.k.a. "Foul Mouth"). The Squad track him down and put the fear of God into him.
- Police Are Useless: The women form the Rape Squad to exact vengeance because the police show almost no interest in catching their rapist, often saying they don't even believe a crime has been committed. Even the sympathetic Sgt. Long admits it will be almost impossible to secure a conviction assuming they do catch him, as their rapist always wore a mask.
- Rape and Revenge: Five women raped by the same man team up to take revenge on their rapist, and any other rapists they can get their hands on.
- Roll in the Hay: Jack rapes Linda (which he regards as "making love") in the barn on the ranch.
- Serial Rapist: Five women who have all been the victims of the same serial rapist band together to track him down and extract their revenge. The rapist is nicknamed "Jingle Bells" by the police because he makes his victims sing the song while he rapes them.
- Shear Menace: When Jack rapes Karen, she attempts to fight him off with a set of dressmaker's shears, but he effortlessly takes them off her.
- Shovel Strike: During the final fight in the zoo, Linda uses a shovel to knock Jack down and then beat him to death with it.
- Sisterhood Eliminates Creep: What this movie is all about.
- Toplessness from the Back: The camera lingers on Karen's naked back as she walks down in the tub for the Bathtub Bonding scene.
- Twofer Token Minority: Karen is the sole woman of color on the Rape Squad. Granted, there are only five.
- Vigilante Man: The five women form the Rape Squad to track down and kill the man who raped them. Along the way, they decide to exact (non-lethal) vengeance on any other rapists they encounter.
- Would Hit a Girl: Jack's opening move in his rapes is to punch the victim in the face to take the fight out of them.