I know now that there is a ultimate purpose in the universe for the existence of on-demand cable movie services. And that is to prevent a magnificent gem of a movie like 1982’s “Silent Rage” from forever fading away into the abyss of obscurity.
As a result, the lucky few too cheap to order HBO and too indiscriminate to stay away from the free slate of darn-near public domain offerings served up by the friendly folks at FLIX On-Demand are allowed to uncover a nugget of wondrous goodness that is this film.
I am not exaggerating in the least when I say that this is quite possibly the greatest film of all time. This is the kind of movie that almost makes you glad you don’t have a wife or girlfriend to prevent you from watching it.
Yes, it’s that good. Or bad. Whatever.
In any event, if you want to know whether or not you too will love “Silent Rage”, you need only ask yourself the following two questions:
1) Do you like horror movies?
2) Do you like Chuck Norris?
If the answer was a resounding “YES” to either question, then put “Silent Rage” on your next order from Netflix or look for it the next time you visit the movie store in your local supermarket and/or truck stop.
Perhaps you would consider simply buying it from a discount web site like HotMovieSale.com. At $2.34, it is well worth the investment. Or you could just watch it for free on FLIX On-Demand like I did.
Take that, science!
The plot (ahem…) centers on a man, John Kirby, who goes insane at the beginning of the film for reasons unknown and unexplained (perhaps he just finished reading the screenplay). Kirby decides to capitalize upon his new found insanity by murdering a very annoying woman – coincidentally a mother of five young children – as well as her apparent husband, the latter by way of one of the better full-on axe shots to the forehead to ever grace the silver screen.
Enter Chuck Norris, the sheriff of this here one-Shoney’s town, who looks like he came straight from the set of “Walker, Texas Ranger” and promptly subdues the killer with a few front snap kicks. However, Kirby proves to be too simply too insane to be held captive by mere handcuffs and is shot and, presumably killed, while escaping from the squad car.
However, while at the hospital, Kirby is revived by a doctor (played by Steven Keats of “Death Wish” fame, another Grubb Hub favorite) that just happens to have invented some mystery formula that brings people back to life. Again, don’t let unimportant details, such as the origins of this mystery formula, how it works, or why a general practitioner in a small Texas town would be working on it (presumably between routine physicals) get in the way of your enjoyment of this truly groundbreaking piece of film making.
Anyway, our good doctor decides that, more than anyone else, an axe-wielding maniac would be the most deserving to serve as a test case for his precious, life-giving serum. What about our mother of five whom Kirby brutally murdered just minutes before? The father perhaps? Nah. Sorry kids, looks like it’s off to the orphanage with the whole lot of you.
Strangely opposed to this idea is another doctor, played by veteran standout Ron Silver, who is promptly dismissed for his silly, antiquated notion that bringing a man back from the dead is somehow “playing God” and there is at least a slight possibility that this particular scientific endeavor may not turn out to the benefit of all mankind.
Thankfully, what little acting prowess the movie provides is quickly snuffed out when Silver is the first to die at the hands of the now seemingly indestructible Kirby, who very much resembles (some might say rips off) a Jason Vorhees or Michael Myers-type.
The rest of the movie revolves around Kirby, now a genetically-altered mutant freak, stalking his prey in true 1980’s slasher style. And it is up to Chuck Norris to track him down…and kick his ass.
A nice subplot involves the insertion of as many excuses as the writers can think of for Norris to take his shirt off. One of these includes a romantic interest played by little-known actress Toni Kalem, whom viewers will no doubt be happy to discover finishes a close second to Norris in sheer volume of shirt removal.
Fans of Chuck’s mixed martial arts skills are treated to a scene where the notorious Norris beats the crap out of an entire biker gang which, oddly enough, really doesn’t fit in with the rest of the picture. Other than the fact that it would be unthinkable to have 110 minutes of Chuck Norris on film and NOT have him beat the crap out of a biker gang, right?
The All-Star cast is rounded out by Stephen Furst (of Flounder from “Animal House” fame), who plays Norris’ grotesquely overweight and predictably bumbling wuss of a deputy sheriff.
In all seriousness, “Silent Rage” is one of the few films ever made that so wonderfully (and terribly) combines the best (and worst) of two genres, horror and action. Really.
‘Silent Rage’ plays like a really awesome drop kick to the face that just keeps on kicking. If you like wonderfully bad movies as much as we do here at Grubb Hub, it’s definitely worth a wallop. We promise you won’t come away kicking yourself.