Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

Robert Kurtzman, who directed this film ‘The Rage’, is originally a make-up artist by trade and allow me to tell you he’s a damn good one. The gore and makeup effects in this flick are simply amazing and I recommend that you don’t eat, as I was doing, while watching this movie. Unfortunately, as I have said on numerous occasions, movies are ultimately about actors. If you have a movie with ILM quality special effects and an award winning set designer, a cinematographer who paints with light like Van Gogh and a top notch director but you have a group of actors who can’t sell their part, or worse yet, can’t deliver a line, then your movie is fairly screwed. All that other stuff is really important too, just to let you know how hard it is to make a halfway decent movie, but you gotta have some decent actors to start things off. My man Mr. Kurtzman casted some really good looking actors, but boy oh boy did these kids struggle with selling us that they knew what they were doing.

Movie Villain Veteran Andrew Divoff, who is Robert DeNiro in this flick compared to the rest of the cast, portrays evil scientist Doctor Viktor Vasilenko who for some reason hates us capitalistic, cotton candy loving American Imperialist and in his tucked away barn is doing live clinicals for a new drug he’s created. Once this drug is perfected, which he has called The Rage, it will transform regular folks into blood thirsty unstoppable zombies. After injecting one of his test subjects with the drug, he finally has success, but alas it was as bit too successful as this zombie breaks free killing the doc in the process and escaping into the world.

Next we are at one of those Satan filled rave parties where our future victims are getting down, but not before our wayward zombie wanders up to a duo doing the nasty and lays them to waste as our gratuitous nudity fix has been satisfied. At this same party Kat, as played by Erin Brown, or Misty Mundae as she is better known by us B-movie aficionados, is high on ecstasy and partying down with her man Josh (Ryan

Hooks) and her girlfriend Olivia (Rachel Scheer) while her best friend Pris (Sean Serino) and her man Jay (Anthony Clark) look on. Since Kat is all high and stuff she hardly knows what she’s doing as her, Josh and the very pretty Olivia get down Menage-a-trois style, though we don’t get to see it. Why is this important? We’re gonna let you know in a bit. So our future victims jump in the Winnebago and head on home but fortunately Jay knows a ‘short cut’. Yes I know, stop yer groaning. Anyways, by this time the infection is underway, and Kat is all pissed off because Olivia is sitting on Josh’s lap choking him with her tongue down his throat and starts a fight. This distracts Jay who runs over a zombie chowing down in the middle of the road thus disabling the Winnebago. Worst yet is that a group of vultures have devoured one of the dead zombies and are now flesh-eating flying harbingers of death and they hate horny young adults even more than Jason Vorhees does. Well now the chase is on as our group of yung ‘uns try to flee the terror that is ‘The Rage’, and considering that two of them are African American in descent and a third is something else I can’t quite decipher, I’m not liking their chances all that much.

There’s some good stuff here to be sure. I particularly liked Divoff’s portrayal as the evil doctor and his flashback scenes detailing why he’s setting off the world by releasing The Rage virus. Not only is Kurtzman a great Makeup artist but he’s not half bad as a movie director either as he frames a good scene, keeps his action moving and even manages to keep the narrative driving this thing fairly focused and on point, which is EXTREMELY rare in movies like this. ‘The Rage’ is one gory bloody mess so if you’re the least bit sensitive to these kinds of images you might want to steer clear of this one.

There’s really only one problem with this movie and that’s the fact that most of the young attractive cast can’t act worth a damn. I mean I know Misty Mundae has never been considered a great actress or anything, but jeez, girlfriend has been in like 8,000 movies and I’m thinking she should have picked up a few things along the way. I don’t want to be mean because these kids seem like they are all very nice and they are all very good looking, but doggonit, just remembering your lines ain’t acting. Admittedly some the dialog was forced and trite, particularly when they were just sitting around talking to each other which probably didn’t inspire these kids all that much, but there were times it seemed as if there were cue cards behind the camera helping them along. Now to their benefit they do run and scream and yell and die up real good and once the movie got around to them having to talk less and scream more they did become more tolerable, but you still have to get to that point.

Anyway, a lot of you out there won’t even care because there is enough gore out there for you gore hounds to keep you satisfied for weeks, though I probably would have taken more advantage of Erin Brown’s propensity to get naked though, a propensity Mr. Kurtzman inexplicably chose to completely ignore. But if you can get past the stiff and wooden acting, there is fun to be had in ‘The Rage’.

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