Writer, comedian, and actor Bobby J. Coleman was watching the news in 2014. He heard a story about a Black man who spent 25 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit.
“When you hear stuff like that you start to entertain thoughts in your head like ‘man, if that was me, I’d do this or do that. I wouldn’t spend 25 years in prison for nobody,’” says Coleman. “I got to thinking, that’d be a good movie.”
After he saw another, and another, and another case like that in the news, he started writing a screenplay. New cases seemed to pop up every few months, but when Coleman heard about the case of Lamonte McIntyre, the process went into overdrive.
“McIntyre’s case felt personal,” says Coleman. “I remember having a gun pulled on me by a police officer when I was 14 for mistaken identity, McIntyre was 17 but his case mesmerized me and I felt like I had to write this story.”
The script became “Vengeful,” which is a movie shot in various locations in the Kansas City area. Coleman stars as the main character ‘Ray’ who is framed for robbing a store and spends 10 years behind bars. When he returns his life has fallen apart, to the point where Ray seeks vengeance.
Coleman says the characters and events in the action suspense movie “Vengeful” mimic reality, up to a point.
“This film is exactly what they went through,” says Coleman. “But the ending is definitely different.”
Once released, McIntyre—who spent 23 years in prison for a double murder he did not commit—created the Miracle of Innocence project to help the wrongfully convicted with legal and re-entry services.
“Vengeful” is the work of a largely Black crew of filmmakers in Kansas City. Director Chuck Browne and director of photography Devonte Brown worked with Coleman on “Vengeful.” They previously worked together on their 2022 dramatic film “The Shutdown,” that can be streamed for free on Tubi.
“Vengeful” has vibes of “Law Abiding Citizen” (2009) merged with a Tarantino revenge flick, with events pulled from local headlines. The film was made for a budget of $57k and has a run time of roughly an hour and 34 minutes, and debuts September 22, at the GEM Theater. To watch the trailer or buy tickets go to the Vengeful Eventbrite page at https://bit.ly/3ErvGb7
Friday, September 22
The GEM Theater
1615 E. 18th St. Kansas City, MO
Red Carpet 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Showtime 7:30 p.m.
Tickets $20Trailer and tickets available on Eventbrite: https://bit.ly/3ErvGb7