Totally obscure and mildly ambitious Mexican whodunit.
My friend purchased a VHS copy of "Violent Rage" via eBay and we were immediately intrigued by it, since it's so unbelievably obscure and unknown. The film hasn't got any reviews submitted anywhere and we literally never heard about it existence before. The VHS cover showcases a drawing of a vicious three-headed dog against a blood-red background. Although we immediately suspected that this drawing wouldn't have anything to do with the actual content of the film, it nevertheless helped increasing our interest even more. "Violent Rage" a.k.a. "The Fearmaker" obviously isn't a very great movie – if it was, it definitely would be a little more known – but it's nevertheless a worthwhile thriller effort with an admirably ambitious plot, a reasonably tense atmosphere and a handful of decent action scenes. Admittedly the first half hour is terribly slow and dull, without properly indicating where the plot might be heading towards to, but as soon as the set-up is more or less revealed the pace picks up. "Violent Rage" opens with the spectacular death of a Mexican patriarch, as his wheelchair drives through the balustrade and off a cliff. Apparently he was the father or a world-famous opera singer, who now returns home from her tour to look after her younger sister. But her sister doesn't want to be looked after, as she hopes to flee with her older lover. Meanwhile, the family's servant/chauffeur Roberto discovers that the father was imaginatively murdered and decides to blackmail the culprit. After a slow and rather boring start, "Violent Rage" certainly becomes enjoyable. The plot features some obvious Italian Giallo echoes, for example illustrated through the killer's unusual modus operandi and a few bizarrely unexpected plot-twists, but lacks the stylish elaboration and extreme violence. The whodunit plot and particularly the murder weapon are creative and compelling, but it's too little material to replenish an entire film with. There also obviously wasn't enough budget for bloody make-up effects, but there's at least one memorable death sequence. The acting performances are decent enough, too. Lead actress Kathy Jurado excels at playing an obnoxious, hideous and petrifying wench. "Violent Rage" really isn't such a bad film, but probably not worth the time and effort you would put into tracking down a copy.
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