A thirty something man who lives in a suburb just outside of Portland says goodbye to his beautiful and loving wife and heads into town. There he unintentionally provokes the wrath of a ...
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A thirty something man who lives in a suburb just outside of Portland says goodbye to his beautiful and loving wife and heads into town. There he unintentionally provokes the wrath of a mysterious motorcyclist. The confrontation between the two, sets in motion a day long battle. Beginning in the form of harmless taunts then quickly escalating into something more serious and then into something unimaginable. Written by
Writer Dennis Twist (Rick Crawford) drives into town to end his extra-marital affair with lover Dana, but winds up invoking the wrath of a mysterious motorcyclist on the way. En route home, Dennis finds himself terrorised by the leather-clad, black-helmeted biker, who will stop at nothing to satisfy his rage.
Low budget horror/thriller Rage borrows so heavily from Steven Spielberg's Duel that its writer/director Chris Witherspoon feels obliged to acknowledge the fact with a scene where two incidental characters discuss the 1971 movie at length. In doing so, his film becomes an homage (which sounds so much better than rip-off, don'tcha think?). As if nicking the plot wasn't enough, Witherspoon also names his central character Dennispresumably after Dennis Weaver, who played the lead in Spielberg's movieand gives his film a similarly snappy four letter title.
For his final act, Witherspoon turns to the slasher genre for inspiration, his motorbiking psycho becoming a seemingly indestructible bogeyman à la Michael Myers, not just targeting Dennis, but also his poor wife Crystal (who, in one particularly brutal scene, is beaten up and raped), and an elderly couple who live across the street who meet a gruesome fate via the business end of a chainsaw.
However, despite the flagrant cribbing and a general lack of originality regarding the plot, Rage didn't have me flying into one. Witherspoon's film is actually a reasonably well crafted thriller, one that certainly belies its budgetary limitations, delivering some decent thrills and spills, cool characterisation (Dennis is such a slime-bag), and a smattering of gnarly violence. I doubt very much if it will launch Witherspoon as the next Spielberg, but as 'homages' go, I've seen plenty worse.
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