Rancho Obscuro: The best kept Mexican secret on Alfred Hitchock's résumé.
My friend purchased a VHS copy of "Violent Rage" via eBay and we were immediately intrigued by it, since it's so unbelievably... No, wait a minute... This doesn't sound right... Oh yes, I remember: I recently purchased a VHS copy of "Violent Rage" via eBay because I was instantly intrigued by the cover-art, displaying a vicious three-headed dog against a blood-red background. Now, I couldn't be fooled by this overly cool painting on the cover, as I had seen it before, used in a context bearing absolutely no relation to this film. It dates back to my kiddie-days. I believe it was through a friend of my older brother I learned about a hard rock/heavy metal band called The Rods. I never listened to their music they happened a little before my time, but I'm checking them out on MySpace as I type, haha! - but one of their album covers stayed with me to this very day. The album is called "Wild Dogs" and was apparently released in 1982. Now if you want to know what this most awesome VHS cover art for "Rancho del Miedo" (aka "Violent Rage") looks like, just go Google The Rods & "Wild Dogs" and gaze at one of the most 'arrabbiata' album covers in hard rock history.
So what was I saying again...? Oh yes, so here it was: An utterly obscure-looking film I had never heard of in any way with a cover art that tried to fool me. An devilish grin contorted my facade, as I knew better. So I went on to look it up on this site, and learned it was a Mexican obscurity. Always interesting. But what really did it, was that virtually nobody seemed to have seen it. It had only 10 votes and not one single user-comment for it. Right at that very moment, I knew I just had to see it. And I knew my friend just had to see it too. Now my friend - as we're both clever persons - also knew not too expect a ravenous three-headed mutant monster-dog to run amok in this film. This wisdom simply comes from years of experience in renting movies. You just can't trust cool looking covers, especially the ones used for poor low-budget productions you've never heard of. But unfortunately, something did go wrong with our expectations. Well, with mine at least. Something I did not anticipate to be inaccurate, was the type of horror description provided by the eBay seller. This guy really seemed to know a bit about obscure 80's horror films in particular (he does, actually), so when I read "RARE DEMON HORROR", I just couldn't care less anymore about its puss-poor 2.8/10 rating on here and I just went ahead and ordered this thing. Given the description, I was hoping for at least a little bit of demonic possession of some kind in this film, but alas...
So last weekend we watched it. Three of us, actually, but don't expect a third review to pop up on this page. In fact, don't even expect a review from me either. Just go read Coventry's, as I completely agree with him. Well that's to say... I wouldn't exactly call the acting "decent enough" without further ado, but it did feel sort of decent enough for this type of production. We were also trying so hard to understand and follow the dumb logic of this film, that the first plot twist regarding three characters all at once completely took us by surprise. It didn't become a better movie all of the sudden, but it became a hell of a lot more enjoyable from then on. Of course Coventry has seen one too many Giallo films, however, he does have a point about certain Giallo echoes in the plot. I'll even add one more: There's also a detective running around trying to solve whodunit. If you should ask me what kind of movie this is, I'd say director Anthony Carras mistakingly took himself for Alfred Hitchcock. I'll just wrap it up by saying the plot actually does involve a dog and the "Violent Rage" title is even slightly more appropriate than its original "Rancho del Miedo" title. Perhaps "Rancho del Rabia" would have been perfect. But "The Fearmaker" sounds just like, well, where's the Fear and who's the Maker, really?
And yes, this trashy looking movie needed female nudity. Why wasn't there any? A chubby Mexican maid in lingerie just didn't cut it for me, sorry. However... The final twist at the end is a winner in its own right, I kid you not. Now if you really want to know what this film is about, you know where to read it.
Hey Cov, you want to do this again for the Australian "Computer Ghosts" (1988) (TV)? Hèhèhèh.
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