Coming to DVD October 1st
Andrew Divoff as Dr. Viktor Vasilienko
Erin Brown as Kat
Reggie Bannister as Uncle Ben
Rachel Scheer as Olivia
Ryan Hooks as Josh
Sean Serino as Pris
Anthony Clark as Jay
Alan Tuskes as Gor
Christopher Allen Nelson as Chris
Directed by Robert Kurtzman
One of the horror genre’s many strengths, is that it seems to be the only place where a movie can succeed because of not only all the things that it does right, but also, in many of the ways that it completely screws things up. Us horror fans tend to embrace these movies, even when they’re wrong-headed, inane, or offensive. One period in particular that tends to prove this theory right is the ’80s. For as many horror classics that we got in that decade – studies in atmosphere and suspense – there are just as many completely gonzo horror flicks, that make little to no sense, drag ass at parts, and in no way could be considered a good film, yet, the fans hold them violently dear to the their heart. “The Rage” manages to capture everything that was right about those movies in the ’80s, as well as blend everything that’s completely wrong about no-budget flicks nowadays, and still it ends up being something completely f**king enjoyable and worthwhile.
We start off in a low-tech laboratory, set inside of a run down farmhouse in what appears to be rural Ohio. Dr. Viktor Vasilienko, played by Andrew Divoff of “Wishmaster” fame (also directed by Robert Kurtzman) is busily cutting open victims heads, and pouring some weird liquid into them, that turns them into rotting, flesh-hungry mutants. One of his subjects escapes, wreaking havoc in the lab, and breaks out. This event coincides with a van load of typical slasher kid archtypes, taking a trip to a rave of some sort. The rage mutant gets hit by their van, and then is feasted on by a flock of vultures, who then become rage vultures. This results in the surviving teens being pursued through the woods by the creatures, and ultimately having a showdown with the good doctor himself back at the lab, with the fate of the world hanging in the balance.
Yeah, so, the plot couldn’t get more convoluted, but it doesn’t matter, because this movie moves like a goddamn fever dream. The second it starts, you get nothing but titties, monster vultures, zombies, midgets, character actors, heavy metal…the list goes on. This is the epitome of a party film. You put it on in the background, and just let the sucker play. People don’t really need to watch it the whole time, but occasionally, they can turn around, look at the screen for a moment, and ask, “Why is that mutant dwarf, dressed like a clown? And why is he complaining about screwing corpses?” before returning to their drinks and conversation.
That’s why these kind of movies were designed!
The film may be off it’s rocker, but I can’t truly say that it didn’t know what it was doing at all. There’s a healthy mean-spiritedness to the proceedings, where you really have no idea who’s going to die, violent things can happen to children, and at any second, lovable Reggie Bannister can turn into a cold blooded nephew basher. Sometimes it’s hard work to make a good bad movie, and all the ingredients are here.
Obviously, the film isn’t perfect. It looks like it was shot using a camera phone. The video footage is just shit poor, which is a shame, because if this was captured on even crappy old film stock, the effect would be one hundred times stronger. Also, the lead kids, aside from Erin Brown (Misty Mundae for all you “Playmate of the Apes” fans), are relatively intolerable and seem more like interns at Kurtzman’s FX shop than real actors. Even that though does lend some charm to the film. When your lead hero looks like the burn-out guy who used to be in the only rock band in your high school, but now deals drugs in the back of the 7-11 he works at, there’s something enjoyable about it. It’s like, anybody can be a movie star. Anybody can be a hero in a low budget gore-fest!
The FX of the CGI vultures are completely worthless, but it doesn’t matter, because occasionally we get a mutant rage vulture puppet, and they’re pretty damn silly and cool at the same time. I just like the idea of mutant vultures, and these little suckers tear people the hell up.
In conclusion, don’t expect a good movie, don’t even expect a competent movie. But if you rent this thing, I promise you that you and your friends are gonna have a blast laughing, and you’ll definitely not be bored, and the last time I checked that was the whole point of these stupid movies anyway.