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Mike Barnard

Published March 22nd, 2008 | by Mike Barnard

The Rage Review

Classification: 18 Director: Richard Kutzman Rating: 2.5/5

Non-stop gorefests which don’t take themselves too seriously tend to be hit or miss affairs – either you get straight up to speed with the hack-and-slash action or turned off by the incessant blood-letting. The Rage has no pretensions to aim above B-movie status, putting monsters getting chopped up and humans getting ripped apart as the focus of attention from start to finish.

In a brisk opening to this horror movie that just wants to get to the blood spraying and limb loss, The Rage introduces us to the reason for the carnage to come: one Dr. Viktor Vasilienko (Divoff). The once-benevolent scientific genius became disillusioned when his medical breakthrough was undermined by medical greed, so he has set up shop in a secret lab to continue his work. There his experiments go awry when a test subject is injected with a virus and becomes a savage beast with a taste for human flesh who goes rampaging off into the woods and straight into a group of twentysomethings raving it up at a free party fuelled by drugs.

In time-honoured horror fashion, anyone who shows dubious morals tends to get what’s coming to them so this group of revellers are in real trouble for their illegal antics – The Rage is all about seeing them pay for these misdemeanours with grizzly ends to their short lives. Directed by special make-up and effects wizard Robert Kurtzman, director of Wishmaster and creator of From Dusk Till Dawn, there’s no shortage of graphic detail as the screen is painted red in an Evil Dead style veering towards comic effect. It’s not for the squeamish, but if you’re a fan of cult horror then this will have an endearing appeal.

To mix things up the human infection spreads to vultures to create an airborne menace in what could easily be a tongue in cheek reference to Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds, and the youngsters find themselves in Vasilienko’s lab to make for a claustrophobic finish. The cast, headed by Andrew Divoff of Lost and Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull, horror and softcore porn icon Erin Brown (aka Misty Mundae) and genre movie legend Reggie Bannister of Bubba Ho-Tep, Wishmaster and Phantasm all play up the kitsch appeal of The Rage as a splatterfest for gorefans to drool over. The dodgy effects, gallons of blood and straight-for-the-kills story entrench the appeal of The Rage as an entertaining late-night offering for hardcore horror fans only.


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