Movie Review: VFW Is Entertaining As Hell

January 17, 2020

Written by Kelli Marchman McNeely

Kelli Marchman McNeely is the owner of She is an Executive Producer of "13 Slays Till Christmas" which is out on Digital and DVD and now streaming on Tubi. She has several other films in the works. Kelli is an animal lover and a true horror addict since the age of 9 when she saw Friday the 13th. Email:



When you hear the names Stephen Lang, William Sadler, Fred Williamson, Martin Kove, David Patrick Kelly, and George Wendt you automatically think that you’re in for a good movie, so when I heard about Joe Begos’ horror flick VFW I was psyched. I eagerly waited for my chance to see it and last night I did.

The film follows a group of veterans hanging out at their local VFW when a young woman, “Lizard (Sierra McCormick),” runs in with a bag of drugs stolen from a dealer. The veterans feel obligated to protect the girl and when the dealer’s people come for the drugs it’s an all-out fight for survival, but the group is not going out without a fight.

As always Lang doesn’t disappoint. The man must have been a lumberjack in a previous life, he is 68 and swings an ax in like it was what he was meant to do. He is 100% a badass! He plays his role as Frank, a hardened vet who runs the bar and serves as the leader of the pack perfectly.  His gang of retired veteran friends is as tough as nails, as is their new young soldier friend Shawn (Tom Willamson).

With a strong 80s, B-movie feel, the film is lit by neon signs and glowing red and blue lights which gives the film a good look. But I will say this, there should be a flashing light warning label on the box.

The action never stops. It’s blood and brutality all the way through with weapons that are a clever combination of axes, knives, homemade nail-studded bats, saws, guns, and exploding tennis balls.

My only real complaint is the special effects. I was left questioning if the special effects were meant to be bad or if they were just bad. The use of mannequins instead of dummies was beyond obvious; blood sprayed like it came from a water hose even when the actors didn’t actually make contact; explosions were over the top. In one scene in the movie Frank is drinking from a Jack Daniels bottle when the angle switches it’s a different bottle and a different brand. Was this a mistake?

The movie is a mix of fixed cameras, POV, and shacky cam which may leave you a bit nauseous. The camera moves fast through the fight scenes, I’m guessing in an attempt to hide fx issues.

It has its flaws but VFW is entertaining as hell. It’s a fun flick that has a ton of action, blood, and badassery. That’s why I’m giving it a solid 4 out of 5. See it for yourself on Valentine’s Day in theaters and on VOD from RLEJ Films and Fangoria.


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