RA: Silent Rage

Rating: 3 out of 4 /Buy the DVD Here

Tagline: The king of martial arts versus a bionic killing machine!

Directed by Michael Miller
Starring: Chuck Norris, Ron Silver, Toni Kalem, Brian Libby

THE PLAN: A wacked-out mental patient is killed by cops after a brief-but-nasty murder spree. Pushing common-sense aside, a trio of doctors revive the dead man with an experimental drug, effectively making him invulnerable (as well as doubly psychotic). It's a good thing this is all going down in a small-town where Chuck Norris is sheriff, and he don't take kindly to Frankenstein's monsters!

THE KILL: SILENT RAGE is a most interesting Chuck Norris vehicle. We don't see Chuck lug around tree trunk-sized machine guns like we would in INVASION U.S.A or the MISSING IN ACTION films, nor does he spend the entirety of the film karate-kicking faces in. Make no mistake, Norris knocks folks around (there's one sequence that exists solely to show Chuck annihilate a bar full of bikers), but SILENT RAGE is a more intense and sometimes vicious ride than we're used to with the Chuck.

Combine one part FRANKENSTEIN, one part HALLOWEEN, some WALKING TALL (and other "badass Sheriff" movies of that ilk), and mix it all together with Chuck Norris's moustache on top, and you've got yourself a wild flick that veers from one genre to the next without hesitation or subtlety. It's an odd mixture, but it's so damn compelling that you've got no choice but to sit there with a silly smile on your face, as one minute you're watching some mad scientists revive a corpse (and stop just short of saying "it's aliiive!), the next you're grooving to the Chuck take on a whole gang of scumbag bikers who've invaded his town. Indeed, the Chuck has a lot on his plate in this loony movie.

"Just don't pick at it..."

My favorite moments in SILENT RAGE are when the movie is living up to its title. There are long stretches where there's no sound at all, except for the chirping of crickets and the occasional scream of a terrified victim. Sure the occasional cheesy-synth music pops in (this IS the 80s after all) but for the most part the action takes place with a quiet eerieness. These scenes would seem to fit more snugly in a FRIDAY THE 13th film, and yet Brian Libby's John Kirby is a human monster, without sorrow or anger. His face is mostly a blank slate - he just IS who he is, and he's gonna kill you.

The first 10 awesome minutes!

Of course it can't all be just murder and mayhem - Chuck's the strong, silent type and he needs a woman! This woman (Toni Kalem, not afraid to flash us a few times) just happens to be sister to one of the doctors (played by a harried and entertaining Ron Silver), because this IS a small town after all - with a state-of-the-art hospital/research facility! Sheriff Chuck broke Alison's heart years ago, but that 'stache is irresistible, and we're privy to what it's capable of multiple times! (Faint of heart look elsewhere!)

SILENT RAGE isn't perfect by any means - Chuck's sheriff has a deputy who's meant to be comic relief, but is mostly just irritating, and sometimes there's such a thing as too much atmosphere - but it's just so dang weird you can't help but watch. By the time we have the Sheriff and killer Kirby go at it for many minutes at the end, you've witnessed a Chuck Norris flick that actually surprised you. Ain't that a kick in the crotch?

"How does all this effect lunch?"

TOP DEATH: There's quite a few violent demises, but my favorite has to be the completely casual axe-in-the-head death of a poor schmuck unlucky enough to get in John Kirby's way.

TOP ACTION: Chuck single-handedly clobbers about 30 members of a biker gang. Not even a bottle smashed over his head can deter Sheriff Asskick.

FEMALE EXPLOITATION: There's lots to gander at here. Chuck's lady Alison has no problem shedding the shirt for a few rolls-in-the-hay. Best of all, those bikers I mentioned have some hot biker-babes in tow, and they've got the goods, if ya know what I mean! (They like to expose their breasts is what I mean.)

HOMOEROTIC MOMENT: None really to speak of, unless Chuck cradling a wounded buddy counts (it IS quite tender).

TOP DIALOGUE:"Billy, they were the biggest things I ever saw and they had tattoos on them!" (Deputy Charlie describing his run-in with a busty biker babe.)

DRINKING GAME: Take a shot every time Chuck and his lady make cute but unconvincing sexy-talk. You'll find yourself painting a blond moustache on your face to capture some of that mojo!

TRIVIA: Toni Kalem (Alison) went on to be a writer on THE SOPRANOS, and starred in a few episodes as "Big Pussy's" wife.

- Stephen Furst, who plays Deputy Charlie, is best known as "Flounder" from ANIMAL HOUSE, and is currently working mostly as a director.


Source: AITH



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