Thursday, 18 August 2011



Gore! Blood! Severed heads! Vultures! Disease! Dwarves! Drugs! Trepanning! Say what you like about Robert Kurtzman's needlessly splattery horror cheapie but you can't fault it for cramming as much mayhem as possible into less than ninety minutes. Certainly it's rubbish but it is rubbish at Mach 5: an entertaining and energetic, if thuddingly dumb Saturday night rental that doesn't pretend to be anything else and doesn't stint on the offal.

The Rage is a hugely contagious virus (which has nothing to do with the Rage Virus from 28 Days Later), created by a mad East European scientist (Andrew Divoff) seeking cataclysmic vengeance on the West for ignoring his discovery of a cancer cure: he's now living in a shack in the woods, performing experiments on unfortunate travellers and keeping his hideously mutated failures in cages. Unfortunately his most recent "patient" gets loose and is promptly run over by a Winnebago full of squawking teens, most of whom we don't care about - and then some vultures nibble at the corpse (and are thus contaminated). Inevitably the remaining squawking teens end up at Dr Divoff's shack....

Since director Kurtzman comes from an effects background (specifically the K from the KNB FX group) it's only to be expected that The Rage is far more interested in the prosthetics and makeup (of which there's an abundance) than in finely crafted dialogue and layered characterisation (of which there's not a scrap). Sadly there's also some very dodgy CGI work on show, including some subliminally glimpsed CG poo when one character gets a broom handle rammed up their bum, as well as the physical vulture effects that look like Rod Hull should be just off the edge of the screen. And as usual most of the cast you're frankly glad to see the back of. Regardless of the gloop and gore and general depravity (and a cameo from Phantasm's Reggie Bannister) it's not a particularly likeable film and it's certainly not a notably good one.



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