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The Rage (2007)

DVD Cover (Screen Media)
Genres / Traits:
Horror, Natural Horror, Sci-Fi Horror, Birds
Director:
Robert Kurtzman Robert Kurtzman
Starring:
Andrew Divoff Andrew Divoff
Erin Brown Erin Brown
Ryan Hooks Ryan Hooks
Sean Serino Sean Serino
Rachel Scheer Rachel Scheer

4.8 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Review by Chad
Added: March 02, 2008
I have to admit that when I first heard about The Rage, I immediately assumed that it would be a simple knockoff of 28 Days Later; after all, both films deal with a virus that turns people into raging madmen with an appetite for flesh (but don't call them zombies!), and of course, there's that little detail about the title of this movie seemingly being a play off of the rage virus, the virus that kicked off the chain of events in the aforementioned British film. What I found is that the two films have very little in common: they both feature infected humans who want to consume the heroes as a result of science gone wrong, but really, that's about the extent of the similarities. While that may seem like a pretty big similarity in print, the actual events that take place on the screen are radically different in every way imaginable, and personally, I couldn't have been more pleased with the results.

We kick things off with a gore-soaked scene in which we learn that a mad scientist named Dr. Viktor Vasilienko (Andrew Divoff) is whipping up a concoction known as - wait for it - "Rage", a virus that causes the host to turn into a mindless being with an insatiable hunger for human flesh. Why? All of your questions will be answered towards the end of the film, but I'm not going to spoil it here. Anyway, it turns out that this virus does exactly what it was supposed to do, but unfortunately for Viktor, things don't go exactly as planned as his unwilling guinea pig manages to escape its confines and tear him to pieces. This infected man eventually makes his way outside the research lab (well, the wooden shack in the middle of the woods), but soon collapses in a puddle of his own blood and pus. This is a welcome treat for the vultures flying overhead, but once they consume the dead man's flesh... well, it may not technically be a zombie film, but you know that rule about bodily fluids transferring the disease? Yeah, it works here too, and it also works across species.

On the other side of town, a group of friends - Kat (Erin Brown), Josh (Ryan Hooks), Olivia (Rachel Scheer), Pris (Sean Serino), and Jay (Anthony Clark) - are heading for home after attending an outdoor rave party when they manage to wreck their RV thanks to a man "standing" in the middle of the road. They eventually find themselves stranded in the middle of nowhere with a horde of infected vultures hot on their heels in search of a warm meal, but once they find a place to hole up and wait it out, they realize that they may have been better off with the vultures. Oh, and for the horror geeks reading this, you'll be pleased to know that Reggie Bannister shows up for a cameo appearance and makes an amusing reference to the film that made him a horror convention mainstay to this day.

You may be thinking a couple of things at this point in the review, with "zombie vultures?" and "what the fuck?" clocking in near the top of that list. That's understandable, as the combination of zombies and birds doesn't exactly sound like a crowning achievement in the world of horror. However, you should be aware that this is not a horror film that attempts to scare the audience; no, this is a splatstick film in the grand tradition of Braindead, a film which attempts to combine a couple of scares with buckets of gores and plenty of laughs. I wouldn't go so far as to label it a horror comedy, but there's more than a couple of moments which will have you laughing with manic glee.

In my humble opinion, that's the main strength of the film: it's not a serious horror flick with a veiled reference to something that's going on in the world today, nor were the filmmakers trying to make some insightful social commentary - they just wanted to put together an entertaining splatter flick, and at that, they succeeded. This film may not go down in horror history as one of the greats and it certainly won't win any awards from the old farts who hand out the Academy Awards, but when it comes to putting a smile on the face of every horror geek in the audience, few films will top The Rage.

Really, the only downsides of the film are pretty minor and can be easily overlooked. There's some spotty CGI used for certain effects and the b-movie veterans (Erin Brown, Andrew Divoff, and Reggie Bannister) stick out like sore thumbs amidst a sea of otherwise bad casting decisions, but again, these are minor gripes when everything else about the film is so damned entertaining. You've got awesome practical effects, buckets of gore, plenty of laughs, and the actress formerly known as Misty Mundae beating a deformed midget on a meat hook with a femur as though he were a piņata - what's not to love?

Every once in a while, I make some pretty bold statements in my reviews, and tonight, I'm going to make another one: The Rage is one of the best splatstick affairs since Braindead. Jackson's work is still the pinnacle of this bizarre little subgenre, but Kurtzman's latest definitely ranks right up there alongside it. Yes, it's that damned good. 9/10.
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Tristan #1: Tristan - added 03/16/2008, 06:49 PM
This might be the easiest 10/10 I've ever given. This movie was exactly what I wanted. A campy, full-of-laughs gorefest that had only one thing in mind, entertaining the hell out of a horror fan. There were a few nice little genre nods in there as well, which would obviously draw a laugh from anyone with a little horror knowledge. All-in-all, this movie was a lot of fun, and the best I've watched in some time.
waxtadpole3657 #2: waxtadpole3657 - added 04/08/2008, 11:50 PM
I thought this movie was...how can I say it? Shitty? And I usually agree with your reviews, MvMMDI. I love stupid gory horror movie once in awhile, but I just couldn't get around the retarded looking vultures and such. I never once found myself chuckling (only at how bad it was). The only thing I enjoyed was Divoff's performance. I really was in it for Erin Brown. I was aware that she didn't get naked before seeing it, so that didn't disappoint me (I like her as an actress as well; I loved Sick Girl). I just didn't like it at all. But that's just me.
MrMurder #3: MrMurder - added 11/24/2009, 08:55 AM
What a completely disappointing movie. Perhaps I expected too much, but with comparisons to Braindead (one of my all time favorites) I figured it would at least be decent. The only thing this movie had going for it was gore. And although there was plenty of it, that alone could not get me past the horrendous acting. I mean, really fucking terrible acting. I found myself wanting to look up the name of the actor who played that douchy long-haired yuppy fuck who wouldn't stop narrating every sing half step of the movie so I could personally punch him in the fucking face. "Come on, go. They're right behind us. Come on, come on, we have to get out of here. They're behind us, we have to go, get up, in here. Hurry. In here." *believe me, it was really that bad* And need I mention the vultures? The constant screeching was just irritating as all hell. There were just far too many aspects of this movie that annoyed me into a "RAGE."

It wasn't all bad though. For buckets of gore, a slightly inventive take on the genre, a few laughs throughout and a rocking presence by Mushroomhead, I grudgingly give this movie a 6/10.
MrMurder #4: MrMurder - added 11/24/2009, 09:01 AM
Sorry, that should be a 4... yup, 4/10.
BuryMeAlive #5: BuryMeAlive - added 12/14/2012, 07:00 PM
Even for a dumb gore movie it's pretty much 'meh'. 4/10.
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