Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

The reason I watch flicks like ‘Inner Rage’ is because I’m a big fan of the independent filmmaker. Making movies takes talent, skill, dedication and hard work, but not just from one person, but from a lot people to be able to pull it off. You may be a great director but if your actors suck then you’re screwed. You may be a fantastic actor but if the screenplay sucks then you’re in a crappy movie. This goes on and on as everybody has to at least be competent in what they do, with at least a few people being great at what they do actually pull off a good movie. The advantage that the big Hollywood movies have is that nearly everybody involved in the production is fairly competent in what they do, but THEY are hampered by the need to have a return on their massive investments which stifles creativity, originality and free thought. As such, Indies like ‘Inner Rage’ are further crippled by a lack of budget which obviously limits the availability of the best of just about everything. But yet these guys do the best they can and some are able to pull off small miracles to varying degrees of success. No, ‘Inner Rage’ is not one of these small miracles but writer / director Gaspar Hernandez III does show some promise and has put together a film that though I can’t call it ‘good’, I can call it watchable – and that’s saying something considering what I’ve seen from the True Indies as of late.

Our film opens with the obviously off his rocker Max (Kevin T. Collins) reading a magazine in what is the oddest looking convenience store I’ve ever seen. The store is run by old man Sam (The LEGENDARY William Smith) who can tell that Max is off his rocker, but one can't do anything about some dude just who just looks crazy now can you? Max leaves and enters a van with the rest of his crew of six including good guy Roy (Andrew Roth). Apparently they are planning on pulling a heist on this convenience store, though good guy Roy thinks they should wait. Max is about tired of

Roy always putting the kibosh on his plans, and swears he remembers him from somewhere. If he says he thinks he remembers him from somewhere, then we know he remembers him from somewhere. Anyway, Max’s overbearing personality wins out and they rob the place, but not before Max kills Sam and a cop that was stopping by and in the process one of the crew ends up getting blasted and eventually dumped to the side of the road after he expires.

The surviving crew decides to hang out Max’s Madam friend Katy (Denise Rodell), and her house of ill repute while lawman Sheriff McCarthy (Joe Estevez) is hot on their trail. Now what little sanity Max once is had has totally evaporated, paranoia has completely gripped his brain and he has taken to killing random whores and his accomplices one by one, while still trying to figure out where in the hell he remembers good guy Roy from. Well as you might imagine, Roy and Max do have a history together and it’s an explosive one that will leave only one man standing.

Though ‘Inner Rage’ wasn’t a terrible film, it did have a hard time rising above its low budget constraints. The things that worked in this film were the above average performances by its cast, a story that was well written with some decent dialog, and a narrative which flowed relatively smoothly. Not to mention the mere presence of William Smith who I honestly didn’t know was still alive. When oh when is that masterpiece of modern cinema that featured the combined talents of the late Andy Sidaris and the not yet late William Smith called ‘Seven’ coming to DVD? Not to be confused with the Pitt, Freeman, Lynch masterpiece twenty plus years later.

What ultimately keeps ‘Inner Rage’ from being classified as a ‘good movie’ is the overall lack of artistry behind the production, particularly the lighting. Everything in this film is evenly lit, very bright and very flat, as if the director of photography simply turned on the lights and left the room. Even in the love scene between the character of Roy and the hooker with a heart of gold Gloria (Jayme Terell), a scene that probably could have used a little less light and a shadow here and there, had the same basic pornographic lighting the rest of the movie had. Not that I’ve ever seen any porn of course.

Nonetheless, Gaspar Hernandez III does show a good grasp of the basic concepts of filmmaking and though he does shoot and frame his film fairly well, the lack of any dynamic lighting however betrays the limitations of shooting on digital video and gives the movie, which does have some good things going for it, an overall amateurish feel. Next time out Mr. Hernandez hire yourself a decent DP and you may have something pretty damn good on your hands.

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