The Crime: Twelve-year-old Mathilda Lando loses her entire family when corrupt DEA agents murder them during a raid. As a result, Mathila moves in with Léon who lives down the hall. Handily, he just so happens to be a hitman.
The Revenge: Mathilda decides that it’s her job to kill Norman Stansfield, the drug-addled DEA responsible for her family’s death. In the end, though, it’s Léon who deals the death blow that she cannot.
The Awesome: Revenge by an adult? Pretty cool. Revenge by a 12 year old? Awesome, simple as.
The Last House On The Left (1972)
The Crime: Friends Mari and Phyllis (hey, we're in the ‘70s, okay?) go out to celebrate Mari’s 17th birthday. But while in town, they encounter a group of dangerous cons who take them hostage, torture them, rape them and finally kill them in the woods.
The Revenge: Tired after their killing business, the cons take refuge in a nearby house, masquerading as salesmen. But they’re unaware that this house belongs to Mari's parents. When her parents discover what has happened, they set about getting bloody retribution for their dead daughter.
The Awesome: Of all the luck! If only the cons had gone to the house nextdoor. The revenge that Marie’s parents exact on them is the thing of nightmares – penises chewed off, gutting by chainsaw…
The Crime: Leonard Shelby (Guy Pearce) is on the prowl after his wife was raped and killed. With help from Natalie (Carrie-Anne Moss), he tracks down Teddy (Joe Pantoliano).
The Revenge: Thinking that Teddy is the one responsible for his wife’s murder, Leonard kills him. But is all what it really seems?
The Awesome: Leonard’s quest for vengeance is hampered somewhat by the fact that he suffers from anterograde amnesia, a condition that means he can't make new memories. Clever chap that he is, he tattoos clues all over his body to keep him in the know. Cool.
Man On Fire (2004)
The Crime: Retired marine John Creasy (Denzel Washington) has become a disillusioned alcoholic after the horrors he’s seen. Redemption comes when he’s assigned to watch over nine-year-old Pita (Dakota Fanning). But then Pita is abducted and held to ransom.
The Revenge: Creasy vows to kill anybody involved with the kidnapping, cutting off an informant’s ears and fingers, and slashing a bloody swathe through Mexico City in search of those responsible for Pita’s disappearance.
The Awesome: Washington is, quite simply, the man.
Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan (1982)
The Crime: Khan Noonien Singh (Ricardo Montalban) is banished for 15 years to a lifeless planet called Ceti Alpha VI by Captain Kirk. (He deserved it.) Not only that, but Khan holds Kirk responsible for his wife’s death, and swears revenge.
The Revenge: Khan intends to activate the Genesis Device, a new torpedo that has the capacity to destroy entire planets.
The Awesome: Star Trek ’s most celebrated movie has it all – towering hair, Kirk going crazy, Khan himself, and Spock making that devastating sacrifice.
The Virgin Spring (1960)
The Crime: More rape revenge, this one the basis for Wes Craven’s Last House , coming 12 years before it. A young virgin peasant girl living in 14th century Sweden is raped and murdered by goat herders.
The Revenge: Seeking shelter with a couple who they don’t know are the girl’s parents, the murderous herders attempt to sell her clothes and are discovered. The girl’s father is so enraged that he locks the killers in a chamber and murders them.
The Awesome: Love knows no bounds, and Ingmar Bergman’s morality-questioning thesis on justice and religion is as chilling and as it is spellbinding.
The Crime: Carrie White is the victim of unrelenting bullying courtesy of her high school classmates, who keep her well and truly in her place. There’s no escape at home, either, where Carrie’s religious fanatic of a mother forces her to repent her ‘sins’ in a tiny cubby closet.
The Revenge: Being covered in a bucket full of pig’s blood is the last straw for Carrie, who loses it and uses her psychic powers to kill her classmates at the Prom. Back home, Carrie then uses her mother as a pin cushion…
The Awesome: Carrie’s terrifying insurrection is one of the finest moments in horror cinema.
Inglourious Basterds (2009)
The Crime: It’s 1941, and teenager Shosanna is the only member of her family who escape their dairy farm in France when the evil SS Colonel Hans Landa comes calling. With her family slain, she flees into the surrounding fields.
The Revenge: It's 1944, and Shosanna has assumed a new identity as Emmanuelle Mimieux. She now works in a Paris cinema. When a Nazi suggests that she premiere propaganda film Stolz Der Nation there, she realises it would be the perfect opportunity to kill swathes of Nazis in one go – by burning the cinema to the ground with them inside.
The Awesome: The burning cinema moment is Basterds ’ standout scene, wound tight with tension as Shosanna carries out her desperate designs.
Mad Max (1979)
The Crime: Living in a dystopian future, Main Force Patrol officer Max Rockatansky becomes the target of motorbike gang members when he attempts to lay down the law. After a tense face-off, Max’s wife and baby son are run over and killed by the gang.
The Revenge: Seeing red, Max burns rubber to chase after the bikers and exacts his revenge – including shooting Bubba point blank and mercilessly blowing Johnny up.
The Awesome: Max is one seriously tough cookie. Even after his arm is crushed and he’s shot in the knee, he carries on until he’s got the job done. Now that’s dedication.
Sympathy For Lady Vengeance (2005)
The Crime: Teenager Lee Geum-ja causes a national scandal when she is found guilty of murdering a young school boy, and is sent to jail. But Geum-ja was actually forced into confessing to the murder after the real murderer, Mr. Baek, kidnapped her and threatened to kill her baby daughter.
The Revenge: After being released from prison, Geum-ja is consumed with revenge. Enlisting the help of Mr. Baek’s wife, she manages to apprehend him and finds evidence of his guilt. Geum-ja then contacts the parents of all the children who Baek murdered, and let’s them decide what to do with him…
The Awesome: Donning red eye shadow and high-heel pumps, Geum-ja is up there as one of the coolest ever femme fatales.