Recently Mill Creek Entertainment has re-released Chuck Norris’ 1982 Action / Sci-fi / Horror, “Silent Rage.” This hour and forty-one minutes of R Rated action and drama, was a sci-fi first for Chuck. Full of slasher-style gore, several scenes of nudity, and a plethora of curse words, this film certainly isn’t for everyone, but is it worth watching for some?
Chuck Norris, six-time World Karate Champion, stars in his first suspense film as the tough, street-fighting sheriff of a Small Texas town terrorized by a psychotic killer. Norris is faced with the dilemma of stopping the invincible murder, made virtually indestructible through genetic engineering. A young group of researchers is responsible for developing the serum, and the head of the research institute is determined to continue the genetic experiments regardless of the consequences. Norris displays fighting brilliance as he single handedly routs a dozen brutal bikers from a truck stop hangout while revealing a warm and sexy side when he rekindles an old romance with Alison Halman (Toni Kalem), a researcher at the institute. Excitement, horror, and romance reveals as Norris combats the killer.
This is a cool nostalgic product. Currently, Mill Creek Entertainment is releasing several Blu-rays of 80’s films in these really neat VHS looking sleeves. This one comes complete with Video Store genre sticker and “be kind and rewind” sticker on the “VHS” portion of the box. Mill Creek has gone out of the way to make these look really fun. That said, once you put in the Blu-ray, the fun nostalgia and awe do come to an abrupt end. Sadly the disc does not feature any special features, yet a simple starting load screen.
By the time I became aware of Chuck Norris, he was Walker – Texas Ranger, the Karate Master Cowboy who fought with honor to protect the good people of Texas. With that image ingrained in my mind, watching Silent Rage was difficult. While he was essentially playing the same character, this is not a 90’s family show. But is it worth watching?
To be frank, the acting was more than over the top at times. From the blubbering Barney Fife-like character played by Stephen Furst to the awkward Frankenstein’s monster walk of Brian Libby, you will often find yourself shaking your head. Chuck’s run-ins with the biker gang is an unnecessary plot device that seems only to be there to give Chuck an opportunity to showcase his fighting skills. If you can strip away these elements, you could have the makings of a pretty enjoyable story.
The main story of a science experiment gone wrong was actually pretty interesting. The idea of a deranged individual becoming indestructible wasn’t a bad one. They did a great job of explaining why things were happening within the story so that you could believe that what was happening, could actually happen. Even the love story plot device that kept the Sheriff connected to the scientist wasn’t a bad one.
The cinematography and special effects are on par for a late 70’s early 80’s film. In the past, this film was joking called “Chuck Norris Vs. Michael Myers.” After watching it, I can honestly say that this encompasses the feel of the film. There is a certain tone and look to the Michael Myers films that this film encapsulates. Strange camera movements, dramatic lighting, long drawn out shots are essential slasher film tropes. These elements came together in a nice way to make sure you knew this wasn’t your average 80’s action flick but something dark and sinister was bound to happen.
Roads to Hope
Chuck Norris’ character is genuinely a good guy. His deputy is really green when it comes to the job. He lacks training, ability, and confidence. Yet, even with all his flaws, Sheriff Dan believes in his deputy and sees the potential in him. There are people in this world that need Sheriff Dan. They need someone to believe in them and encourage them. We live in a world that is very good at belittling, embarrassing, and trolling people. But what we really need in this world is more people like Sheriff Dan. We need people to encourage others. We need people to go out of their way to see the good in others and call them out. If we can see an increase in that, then we may truly see a change in this world.
So who is this film for? If you can get past some of the content, have a massive love for B-rate action slashers films that involve a kung-fu cowboy, then this is for you. If not, then this is not a film for you. All in all, I have to give this 1982’s “Silent Rage” a 2 out 5. While I can not recommend this as a must watch the film, if you're filming collector who’d like to add something really neat to your collection, then this film and the other VHS style box movies from Mill Creek Entertainment are a must have.
Special thanks to Mill Creek Entertainment for making this review possible. You can pick up your copy here