I Am Rage Image

I Am Rage

By Michael Talbot-Haynes | September 6, 2023

This movie knocked me flat on my a*s. As implied in the opener, some movies go well with beer. Not only does this film fit in that category, but I Am Rage is such a good one you will forget to sip your beer. Yup, it will make you forget to smoke your weed, too. Watch it a few times, and you may start flying right, but that wouldn’t be any fun, would it? This kind of movie excites the area of your face between the skin and the smiling skull. The screenplay by Keith and Stephen Durham does a brilliant job of wedding the horror with action, taking the best from both genres and leaving the gristle behind.

I was also impressed with the bullet train pacing and tight storytelling. It is remarkable how, with a snap of the fingers, the movie becomes a massive revision of the vampire genre without even mentioning vampires. With this hard-boiled method, the big reveal is delivered, and it is a doozy. It is amazing how a concept can be established quickly for this film and a possible franchise. Because I want more. It is a bloody, crazy, and utterly vicious flick, just like the one mother used to forbid. 

“…trades on the celebration of the deadly female—a proud cinema tradition.”

I Am Rage trades on the celebration of the deadly female—a proud cinema tradition. The most exciting thing that ever happened in my day job (like costumed vigilantes outlaw film reviewers have to make their mutton somewhere) was speaking to Tura Santana on the phone. Santana broke cinema history by being the first woman on screen to kill a man with her bare hands in Faster Pussycat, Kill, Kill! Bendz captures some of that same Promethium fire of female fury found by Santana.

The screen time runs rich with lots of violent stunt work, with Bendz beating cast members to a bloody pulp. Svetek is the leading heavy and gets the lioness’ share of back-breaking and neck-snapping. These two women hit hard over and over again. I also applaud the level of what they used to call the “comic-bookness” of the movie. This exists in a hyperreality that is both gritty and flashy simultaneously. The mix of American with British accents cemented a retro feel from shows of the 70s like Space 1999 and UFO. This atmosphere makes the gore all the shinier and sickening. As you can tell, the visceral reaction to the film overpowers the intellectual reaction, creating that rare flick where the sum is greater than the parts. I Am Rage has that post-exploitation splatterpunk juice that sets your forehead on fire. 

I Am Rage (2023)

Directed: David Ryan Keith

Written: David Ryan Keith, Stephen Durham

Starring: Hannaj Bang Bendz, Marta Svetek, Antonia Whillans, Derek Nelson, Luke Aquilina, Jamie B. Chambers, Debbie Sheridan, Niko Foster, etc.

Movie score: 9/10

I Am Rage Image

"…excites the area of your face between the skin and smiling skull."

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