If you were alive in the past decade, you might remember a simple art form called “The Chuck Norris Joke.” This complete branch of humor took random things and gave us reasons as to why martial artist/action hero Chuck Norris was better than them. They were extremely popular and extremely easy to make. It is because of this popularity and renewed interest in goatee’d men doing roundhouse kicks that I’m surprised that the last movie I bought isn’t more well-known. That movie is Silent Rage, the action/horror/thriller/sci fi/romance movie, in which Chuck Norris plays a small town sheriff who has to fight a genetically altered serial killer. It is, let me say it for you, Holy shit.
On the box, the tagline for the film reads “Science created him. Now Chuck Norris must destroy him.” Already you know that Chuck Norris is going to be a bad ass in this film. Chuck isn’t just going to pummel some guy. He’s going to kick the crap out of science itself. The tagline equates Chuck Norris to a part of the earthly equation.
There is magic.
There is science.
And there is Chuck.
The film starts with creepy music, and the credits showing over the walls of a dirty apartment. Some guy, lying on his bed, is woken up by a knock at the door. He opens it to find a child in a space helmet and a toy gun telling him that he has a call. Already, I’m wondering how the writers of this film got a hold of my dream journal. He goes downstairs to the phone, where he tells a guy he calls “Doc” that he is “losing it” and that he “doesn’t feel so good.” All around him, children scream. I would add “and play” but they don’t seem to be doing that as much as just yelling harshly. If Silent Rage has any hidden agenda, it’s that kids are loud and will drive you to murder.
The mother of the kids says something to the guy, which he ignores, and he goes outside to a woodpile, where he picks up an axe that he just kind of slaps against the logs. Meanwhile, the mother tells the kids to go to the park, where they will hopefully expend all their energy. When they leave, the guy enters the house and chases the woman up the stairs. An older man appears out of nowhere and hits the psycho with a wooden chair, but soon discovers that axe beats chair in the game of axe-chair-screaming woman, and gets hit in the face with it.
The psycho chops down a door to get to the lady, who is already screaming out the window at a postman for help. The woman, who hasn’t stopped screaming the whole time that she’s been on camera, is dispatched with one swing, and the cops arrive just as she dies, led by Sheriff Dan Stevens, played by Chuck Norris.
Chuck isn’t great at “murderer on the loose” situations, as he casually walks up the house alone, knocks on the door and lazily asks “Hello?” I think this might be because, in the 30 un-realisticly fast seconds that it took for a woman to cry for help and for the cops to arrive, he was never told the situation. As far as Norris knows, he’s going to check on the water heater or something. Stevens looks in some closets as slowly as he can, and then finds the dead man at the top of the stairs. No pulse. Oh shit, thinks Dan. Axes are lethal. He draws his gun and is soon attacked from behind by the killer.
Dan blocks the axe swing with his forearm like it is nothing. The swing just comes and Dan deflects it like he’s gotten sick of some gnats buzzing around his face. The two wrestle until the killer jumps out the window and rushes away. Dan follows and is almost shot by Fat Deputy Charlie. Dan gives Charlie a look of “You fat idiot” and gives chase after the killer.
Stevens loses him, impossibly, in a small field, as we see the killer in the background, grabbing a piece of wood. The killer attacks Dan again and Dan soon has him in handcuffs. It appears that, in this town, police procedural isn’t “tactical disarmament of dangerous subject” but rather “Let Chuck Norris, I mean Dan Stevens, Mosey Up To The House Where He’ll Knock Someone’s Shit.”
Dan is approached by Dr. Tom Halman, who reveals himself to be the killer’s psychiatrist. The killer is put into the back of a police car, where he breaks his cuffs, kicks the car’s back door off and then shoves an officer’s head through the car window. He hits two officers with a rifle, before being taken down by five pistol shots and a shotgun blast, while Dan says “Don’t shoot” with all the enthusiasm of someone wanting to see someone else get shot. He has a point regardless. Dan probably could’ve ended this with peaceful karate.
The killer is alive, however, and being operated on. At the hospital, a doctor talks about Dan’s injuries (Dan doesn’t really pay attention to him. Why should he? As the box art says, Dan fucks science for breakfast.) Meanwhile, Fat Deputy Charlie (I call him “Fat Deputy” because, as you’ll see, the film refuses to let the audience believe on their own that Fat Deputy Charlie is indeed fat and must beat us over the head with numerous examples of how fat fatty fat fat fat Fat Deputy Charlie is throughout the movie), marvels at the hospital. Turns out that the hospital isn’t just a hospital. It has stuff like genetic engineering going on in it.
Fat Deputy Charlie: You mean you work on monkeys or something like that?
Indian Doctor: Yes, something like that.
For those of you who have never seen a movie before, whenever a character says “Something like that,” he’s fucking lying. It’s nothing like that. If you ask someone in a movie “You make chocolate” and Wonka says “Yes, something like that,” you better prepare to stare at a river of blood and organs in about thirty minutes.
In the operating room, Tom stands with a Doctor Paul and, wait for it fifteen-year-olds… a Doctor Phil. Doctor Phil wants to test an untested formula on the killer, but Tom protests, because of the adjective that I just described the formula as being. Doctor Phil relents, but, as soon as Tom leaves the room, goes ahead with giving the formula to the killer, saying “There’s a first time for everything.” How is this dastardly asshole a doctor? Oh, wait. He’s an evil doctor. If you put “evil” on the employment forms, you let the insurance guys take care of it.
In the hallway, Dan is talking to some lady who slaps him. That lady is Alison Halman and apparently, she and Dan were in a prior relationship and I can understand why it ended. If Dan approached being a lover as anything like being a police sheriff, his idea of romance was slow, bored and steady, before a climax of bursting karate.
Tom tells Dan “He’s dead. I’m sorry” as if Dan would lose sleep over the two-time serial killer who fifteen minutes ago was trying to cleave his skull. Dan responds “Thanks anyway,” which has got to be like saying “Ya know, you suck at your job” when spoken to a doctor. Also, it turns out that Alison is Tom’s sister. Dan asks for a ride back to the station, and Alison relents into giving him one. On the way there, Dan acts like a distinguished member of law enforcement and strokes her neck and shoulder while she drives. Alison says that he doesn’t have a chance in hell of sleeping with her and we immediately cut to them, naked, in bed, with Alison saying “This doesn’t mean anything.” No woman can stand up to swagger and judo of that magnitude.
On the back of the box, the above scene is referred to with “…while revealing a warm, sexy side when he rekindles an old romance with Alison Halman…” This could not be more misleading, as them having sex takes place less than twenty-five minutes into the movie. A romance involves some kind of romancing, and unless you count Chuck taking a board to the gut as subtle foreplay, there was absolutely none of that. A more appropriate quote would be “Alison Halman can’t help but make the same mistake twice because she’s emotionally damaged and vulnerable to Dan’s pectorals.”
At a diner, Fat Deputy Charlie is being fat and orders two hamburger plates. Some lady, who turns out to be in gang and most notably has tattoos on both breasts, hits on him until Dan enters and orders hot tea. Another gang member mocks Dan for ordering tea, and Dan responds by choking him. The gang members leave on motorcycles, promising violence and foreshadowing karate. Fat Deputy Charlie can’t resist being Fat Deputy Charlie and asks if he can have Dan’s onions from the burger Dan orders. In China, Fat Deputy Charlie is dubbed with a cow mooing and the sounds of blubber sobbing as it struggles to get out of a bathtub.
Charlie expositions himself to Dan, revealing that he’s scared of violence. Dan stands naturally and tells Charlie “Maybe it’s time to stop running.” After a bit more petty encouragement, Charlie is placated and he and Dan drive off. Meanwhile, Tom and Doctor Paul enter a secret laboratory, made secret because colorful “Danger” signs are stuck all over the door. The two find Doctor Phil, who says that the killer has the internal organs of a twenty-year-old, and that his life support is off. To prove that he is now superhuman, Phil cuts the killer on the chest twice and the wounds re-heal. Science, I guess. Tom wants to run tests, and we cut to a single scene of the killer having an x-ray, because they could only afford the singular form of “tests” for this film.
Stevens visits Alison at work and bothers her about having sex with him again. He tells her that he’s been thinking about her, which must be so special considering that they’d slept together only a few hours prior. Back at the x-ray, the three doctors look at rainbows on a computer, showing that post formula, the rainbow shapes look much prettier than pre-formula. They say things like “C’mon! Look at that structure!” but they might as well be saying “Panda Valentine’s Day Panda Shop” because it would mean just as much to the viewer. Congratulations, scientists. Your computer has some kind of kaleidoscope setting. Sadly, I don’t speak Medically Uninformed Screenwriter.
Stevens and Alison decide that the best place to discuss their sex life would be the lobby of what turns out to be the same hospital that Tom and the other scientists work at. Alison is confused and wants to end the relationship. She will change her mind in ten minutes. Stevens is calm and collected, because he may have read the script already and knows what will happen in ten minutes. After this, they talk to Tom and Phil and make some point about the killer’s body, letting the film try and loosely keep stuff related. It doesn’t amount to much, probably because Phil is evil, Alison is confused, Tom is anxious and Stevens is thinking mostly about getting more poon.
Back in the laboratory, Phil and Tom argue about the morality of their science, and Phil yells at Tom to leave because Phil is the boss. The killer is revealed to be awake and hears the whole thing, but closes his eyes whenever someone comes near. Back in the truck, Fat Deputy Charlie tells Stevens more of his life story as they sort of drive around aimlessly. It’s here that you start to think that Fat Deputy Charlie isn’t really much of a Fat Deputy. He’s just kind of Steven’s Fat Chauffeur, who drives Stevens places so that Stevens can hit on old flames while Fat Deputy Charlie sits in the car and probably thinks about turkey sandwiches and the like.
Fat Deputy Charlie reveals that, when he was young, he accidently killed a puppy by putting it in a freezer and forgetting about it. I’m not quite sure if this is supposed to be played for laughs, mainly because it’s a dog dying in the worst way possible because of an obese police officer’s lifelong duel with ineptitude. It just comes off as awkward and kind of malicious. Stevens forgives Fat Deputy Charlie for his sins against pets and you hope that the scene will end exactly when it does. Seems that Stevens has noticed the motorcycle gang’s bikes (three of the members had harassed Stevens and Fat Deputy Charlie at the diner earlier) outside of a bar. Countdown to karate.
Stevens and Fat Deputy Charlie enter the bar, where loud music plays and girls get passed around, having beer poured on their breasts while they have those same breasts grabbed at. The film makes a big deal out of this, showing it happen twice. It doesn’t seem all that bad or degrading though, considering that Silent Rage just tried to play a story about a small animal getting frozen to death for laughs. Fat Deputy Charlie immediately yells “ALRIGHT, MOTHERFUCKERS, AGAINST THE WALL.” The gang looks at him, unimpressed of his Flesh/Cookie Dough medley and laughs at him. A large breasted woman comes up and flashes Fat Deputy Charlie, and Stevens has to actually prevent Fat Deputy Charlie from groping her. How does anyone in this town keep their job?
Stevens tells Fat Deputy Charlie to call for back-up and starts a fight with the biker gang. I’ve listed the highlights below:
-Big chested woman smashes pitcher over Stevens’ head.
-Bald, overweight man puts Stevens in a bear hug.
-The biker gang decides to take him on one at a time, a poor choice considering the amount of karate that they don’t know.
-Fat Deputy Charlie, rather than call for back up, just rambles on about the size of the woman’s boobs on the police radio. It was either that, or cutting to him, across town, shoveling donuts into a trash bag while he talks about the one time he laughed as his sister was crushed by a tractor.
-A guy tries to hit Stevens with a pool cue. Stevens blocks it, breaks the pool cue and hits the attacker with it, all in the same spin, thus proving once again that science can’t be proven.
-There’s an uppercut with a pool cue so massive that the gang member leaps off his feet.
-Stevens kicks a guy in the face multiple times and you can’t tell if the dude is spitting beer, blood, regular, insane amounts of spit, or all three.
-Twenty seconds of weird, un-dramatic slow motion.
-Stevens saying “You’re next” to the guy who originally harassed him for drinking tea in the diner. The guy tries to escape the bar on his damn motorcycle, which Stevens simply knocks him off of. The motorcycle, screaming “FUCK SCIENCE” in Motorcycle is ramped out a bar window and onto the ground.
-Stevens throws a guy out the door, which finally prompts Fat Deputy Charlie to stop using police airwaves to talk about tits and finally do his job.
Meanwhile, Doctor Phil talks to the killer, while the killer lies still, pretending to be asleep. We finally learn that the killer’s name is John Kirby. Thanks for that, Silent Rage.
Back at Steven’s kickass house, Alison arrives, saying that she came in ”because the door was just open.” He’s the damn police sheriff, woman. You don’t just walk into his house no matter how many times you’ve made an unnecessarily big deal about not sleeping with him and then did. Stevens is playing romantic music, which Alison cuts off. She tells him that she wants to start fresh and Stevens responds by sexing her again, while the music she just turned off plays. The camera pans over Steven’s uniform and unimpressive workout equipment: a hand grip and a 3.3 pound dumbbell. I know it’s 3.3. pounds because my mom used to have the same one.
The two, after sex, prepare a fruit and champagne tray that they feed each other while kissing. They then have sex some more, and swing really hard on a hammock, followed by more sex, followed by a walk in the forest (which Alison neglects to even put on pants for), and then even more sex, and then, finally, a conversation on the balcony, because their loins, I imagine, have crumbled into dust.
They make plans to go to Stevens’ mountain house in an hour. Alison says that if she doesn’t hear from Stevens in an hour, she’ll be back, which implies that she’ll be back. This is a movie plot, after all.
We cut to some woman painting, who turns out to be Nancy Halman, Tom’s wife. Tom enters the house, saying three variations of “Honey, I’m home,” and I can assume that this is an attempt at humor, but I don’t know for sure with Silent Rage. They bicker about things for far too long, as the writers try to cram as much characterization as possible into the frenetic and weak dialogue. The couple somehow comes to the point where Nancy is going to go out and get a pizza.
We see John Kirby outside of Tom’s house, sneaking around. Tom cuts a piece of salami and leaves both the big knife and salami on the kitchen table before going down to his dark room in the basement. John Kirby goes into the house and grabs the knife. This is shot from Kirby’s POV, so it’s like the beginning of Halloween, only with an extra bar fight. Kirby goes down to the dark room and tries to attack Tom, who throws liquid in Kirby’s face. A chase starts and Tom eventually grabs a gun. He shoots Kirby twice, but Kirby gets back up. He shoots Kirby again and Kirby falls down the stairs. Kirby gets up yet again and Tom drops the gun and they struggle some more.
Nancy returns home with the pizza and finds Tom’s body. I can assume that this was meant to surprise the audience too, since we didn’t see Tom die earlier, and can only assume that the wimpy amateur photographer turned the tables on the genetically enhanced psychopath. Kirby chases Nancy around, leading Nancy to hide in the attic. Then, to stop the necessary tension entirely, we cut to Stevens loading a suitcase into the back of his truck. Back at the Halman house, Nancy, feeling safe, leaves the attic, but is attacked by Kirby who bashes her head against the wall. Kirby then leaves the camera frame, so he probably also leaves the house.
Alison returns to the Halman home and begins to pack her bags. Kirby is then shown sleeping on the basement stairs, the genetic formula zooming him past “ultra powered” and straight into “hobo.” He awakens at the noises Alison is making upstairs. Alison finds Tom and Nancy’s body and freaks out. She doesn’t seem too motivated to leave the room, despite the fact that her brother and sister-in-law are gruesomely dead in it. She spends a large amount of time just standing shoulder to shoulder with Tom’s hanging body, screaming at it. I think this is sign language for actors when they want to call “Line?”
Alison, on the way out the front door, runs into Stevens, who shakes her and then looks like he’s trying to make out with her. Kirby sneaks off into the woods behind them as they embrace, as he’s prone to do.
A bunch of police come to investigate, and Stevens tells Fat Deputy Charlie to take Alison to the institution, you know, where her late brother and herself worked, and to see if they can get her a sedative, despite Alison’s cries for Stevens not to leave her. Stevens can’t be bothered with this woman unless vaginal kung fu can be administered. Might as well tranquilize the raving thing.
At the lab, Phil and Paul are looking for Kirby, because they lost him. They just turned away while the giant, super psychopath walked out the door. Luckily for them, Kirby returns. At the same time, Fat Deputy Charlie arrives at the hospital/institution/lab (?) with Alison. Phil and Paul tend to Kirby’s bullet wounds, which have all but healed. Phil then gets a call from the front desk. Turns out that Stevens just arrived, to the same fucking institution that Alison is at. She pleaded for him to take her with him and he just let Fat Deputy Charlie drive her. Maybe he needed some time to get his thoughts together and for his sex buddy to ease up before he tried to neck her again. Phil says “I’ll take care of the Sheriff.”
He does, but only at the risk, and later reveal, of both character’s complete incompetence. Stevens tells Phil about the murders, and Phil tries to act shocked, giving a performance as convincing as a criminal who tries to hide his murder weapon in another living body. Stevens asks if there are others like Kirby and Phil promises to give Stevens some files in the morning. Stevens, satisfied that every possible thing that could be done has been done, leaves.
He goes to an office where Fat Deputy Charlie and Alison are. He immediately tells Fat Deputy Charlie to leave and then he rubs Alison’s leg and holds her, this time at her behest. Stevens is really kind of a sweet guy. Ridiculously horny and a terrible cop, but he’s got the best intentions. In the lab, Phil and Paul seethe and talk about possibly killing Kirby because of Kirby’s murders. “We’re scientists, not moralists” says Phil. “Ooooh, so clever” says me. Phil leaves, telling Paul that he’s gonna go down to the electron microscope. Why? Who knows. Maybe to calm down, scientists just have to nerd out as hard as possible.
Paul fills a plastic needle with acid. By all means, this should melt the needle, but maybe it’s made out of that special plastic that Walter White made such a big deal about in episode 2 of Breaking Bad. He injects Kirby with the acid, and Kirby just kind of snorts and “dies.” Paul seems content that the guy who died once, was resurrected as a monster, and then shot multiple times is finally super, double-time dead and leaves him. Phil sits in his microscope room, looking at pictures and pouting.
Paul, walking down a long, cool looking corridor, is surprised to find that Kirby is alive and following him. Kirby is surprised to find Paul alive, and attempts to fix this. He does by ramming Paul’s own needle into his throat. Outside of Alison’s room, Fat Deputy Charlie is sitting and reading a magazine. Stevens exits the room, tells Fat Deputy Charlie that he needs to go to the coroner’s office and that Fat Deputy Charlie should look after Alison. Why does he need to go to the coroner’s office? Who is dead that he needs to find, other than Kirby, who I believe Stevens still knows is at the institution.
Phil looks in his microscope, looks surprised and says “Of course!” a few times, in a huge scientific discovery that will never have its relevance revealed or explained. Fat Deputy Charlie mopes around the room, checking his hat in the mirror and doing a “You talkin’ to me?” routine in the same mirror. Okay, he’s supposed to funny.
Phil finds Paul’s dead body and then goes to his office to get drunk. Kirby appears in Phil’s doorway and Phil monologues about making history. The two have a weird moment before Kirby snaps his neck, thus ending about eight different sub-plots and proving every theme that Silent Rage has tried to incorporate so far as useless.
Alison drinks some milk and Fat Deputy Charlie brings her cookies, saying that they might make her feel better. Good, god. We get it. He’s fat. If this movie was ten minutes longer, we’d probably have a shot of Fat Deputy Charlie staring dejectedly and cursing at Slim Fast cans. Kirby gets out of an elevator, one that will end up working very selectively, and attacks a doctor. Fat Deputy Charlie and Alison hear the attack and go out to investigate. They find Kirby lazily bashing the doctor against a wall. Fat Deputy Charlie pulls a gun on Kirby but Kirby knocks it away and traps Fat Deputy Charlie in the second bear hug of the movie. Fat Deputy Charlie tells Alison to run before his spine is broken.
You can tell if the writers intended for you to like a comic-relief character by how the character dies. If you weren’t supposed to care, Jason Vorhees will shove a bong through the guy’s throat or something. But if you were supposed to care, then the funny guy will die like a martyr. It’s like icing on the cake of pity. This guy is fat, isn’t getting half the sex that the Sheriff is getting and now he’s sacrificing his life for the least important character in the movie. Feel bad. FEEL BAD.
Alison runs away, finds that the elevator is broken when she tries to use it and Kirby stalks her, thus sending Silent Rage into some very Halloween 2 type shit. They have the hospital, the needle death and what will soon be a dead security guard. Halloween 2 didn’t have Chuck Norris in it though, so that probably explains why the Halloween series lasted six more installments and Silent Rage ended with one.
Stevens is driving to the coroner’s office, when someone calls him on the radio (maybe the same officer who had to hear Fat Deputy Charlie go on and on about boobs earlier) and tells him about a multi-car accident. I’m not sure why he suddenly decides to screech around and drive back to the institution, but Stevens does. I can’t put any weight into how and why Stevens makes his decisions. It’s just mostly arbitrary and slightly influenced by whether or not he’ll get laid.
Alison is stalked around in a stairwell and then hides in a room. We get more killer POV, where a doctor is goofily chased for a second. Stevens enters the institution, finds that the elevator works for him, and then finds the security guard dead on the floor of it, bleeding from the skull. Alison comes out of her hiding spot, sneaks down the hallway and makes her way back to the stairwell.
Stevens finds Fat Deputy Charlie, who, to throw the Sheriff’s own inadequacy in his face, dies again, this time in Stevens’ arms. Stevens picks up Fat Deputy Charlie’s gun and fury swaggers down the hall. Kirby surprises Alison and chases her into the deceased Phil’s office. Stevens appears though, and shoots Kirby out a window.
Stevens checks on Kirby’s mangled body, but Kirby wakes up and they struggle. Somehow, Alison got inside the police truck and she drives forward and sort-of hits Kirby with it. Stevens gets in the truck with her and they flee, but Kirby has grabbed onto the back. Kirby surprises them from the truck bed and Alison and Stevens leap from the vehicle before it crashes and explodes. Kirby appears from it, screaming and ablaze and jumps into a lake. Stevens and Alison run from him.
What can stop this mad killer?
Will it take….Karate?
Stevens unleashes karate on Kirby and the two fight. Most of it is filmed in this wide, emotionless, “get everything in frame” shot, letting us know that the director wants us to give as little of a shit as possible about what’s going on. Also, there’s no music, so all we hear are grunts and kick sound effects. Stevens kicks Kirby. Kirby throws Stevens and they appear evenly matched until Stevens slow-motion front kicks Kirby and then tries to drag him into an open well. Kirby wakes up again and knock Stevens into the well. Alison jumps on Kirby’s back to help, I imagine.
Stevens climbs out and then, after flurry of punches and kicks, slow-motion fireman carry slams Kirby into the well. Kirby screams all the way down, and Stevens, exhausted from all the sex and karate that he’s subjected himself to, collapses beside the well. He tells Alison that “It’s over. Let’s go home” and I assume that they do, and have sex numerous times when they get there, all because of a fat stereotype’s sacrifice. We then see the bottom of the well, where Kirby leaps out the water and the credits roll over a freeze-frame of his face.
Thus far, there has never been a Silent Rage 2.