Thursday, March 27, 2008

Rage to Kill

The Action Mutant…
knows Ollie Reed’s not dead…he’s just pickled.

Rage to Kill

review by Joe Burrows

You know, I’m always hearing about how much of a “bad boy” Colin Farrell is. About how much he drinks and how many women he fucks. And I always come to one conclusion: Oliver Reed could fuck up Colin Farrell any day of the year! Before his untimely death in 1999, Reed had an insane reputation for both women and libation. His final day pretty much says it all about the man. On the day of his death, he drank three bottles of Captain Morgan's Jamaica rum, eight bottles of German beer and various double shots of Famous Grouse whiskey…while beating five much younger sailors in arm wrestling! And AFTER THAT, he dies of a heart attack. What a way to go out! In a blaze of excess and craziness, well beyond his years. Colin’s manliness couldn’t equal up to one of Ollie Reed’s testicles! There’s still time, Blarney. There’s still time.

The Plot, as it was:
Reed plays General Turner, a maniacal militarist that leads his army in a bloody coup of a South African city. They slaughter everyone except for a college that contains American students because American kids naturally make the best bargaining chips. One of the student’s brother is Blaine Striker (James Ryan) a Marine/race car driver (!) and he’s ready for some retaliation. With the aid of a band of rebels led by local hero Wally Arn (Henry Cele, aka Shaka Zulu), Striker and the students start blasting anything with a military uniform on until Turner is the only one left.

Don’t shoot me…I’m only the reviewer!:
I think “borderline mindless” doesn’t begin to describe how dumb and ridiculous this movie is. Its Toy Soldiers meets Rambo but with none of the style. It has grade Z production values and cheesy performances from everyone involved. Reed hams it up beyond all cure and can’t seem to go through the majority of the film without some sort of drink in his hand (ah, life imitates art!). It at least seems like he’s having fun, which cannot be said for the rest of the cast. Ryan may be ripped (and he takes every opportunity to let u know that, especially in the torture sequences) but he’s about as intimidating as your local gymnastics coach. And Cameron Mitchell (Space Mutiny…by the way, where was MST3K for this one?) seems to zone in and out as a covert CIA agent but when he’s on, he hams it up too. It is mindless fun at times but the endless gun battles become repetitive and there’s nothing else to help you along. Add the anti-climactic ending and you have an action piece with very little in redeeming value.

Body Count/Violence: 190! Son of a bitch, this movie’s violent! In an era where a high body count was a given, this certainly lives up to the task. 34 people buy it in the first 15 minutes alone and it just keeps building and building from there, with some hilariously falling over without being hit with bullets yet! Most are blown away by guns and grenades but there’s some neck breaking, electro-torture, clubbing, spear throwing, dart blowing and other stuff that doesn’t rhyme. However, the majority of the film cannot match the nastiness of the first 10 minutes, when the coup takes place. After mowing down several resort goers with bloody gunfire, Turner watches as one of his minions shoots the prime minister’s little kid. Turner develops a temporary conscience and explains to him that they don’t kill children. He then shoots the prick in the leg (with bloody close up of the wound) and backs his helicopter into him, slicing into him with the back propeller! The rest is a cakewalk compared to that!

Sexuality/Nudity: Ryan and Maxine John have the obligatory From Here to Eternity rip-off sex scene, complete with her showing her breasts. There are also some sorority girls in unbuttoned shirts and skimpy panties in one scene.

Language/Dialogue: Mild for the most part. It was funny to see Propeller guy screaming (Austin Powers-style) “God Damn You!” at Turner while the helicopter slowly backs up.

How bad was it?:
Again, there are no reviews like most A.I.P. releases. However, feedback on IMDB pretty much designates it as hollow dreck.

Did it make the studio’s day?:
No box office records here. I’m sure Ollie Reed’s bar tab was the highest expense in the budget, just slightly ahead of the bullets.

Film: */*****
Entertainment value: **1/2/*****

Copyright 2007 The Action Mutant.

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