Following a visit with Ella’s priest brother, Barry (Vas Blackwood), Oscar and Ella announce that they intend to retire. Their final job will be bumping off Hugo, who is apparently the last remaining dealer of Red Devil. In true Pulp Fiction fashion, all of the characters eventually and fatefully converge.
Films like Red Rage — the kind of movie where everyone does everything at gunpoint — when done well and with a suitable combination of style and story, can be so much fun. Cinema, being a visual medium, benefits from a substantial amount of visual attraction and stimuli. On this front, the filmmaker doesn’t skimp. Many of the shots are bathed in a neon glow (such as the frequent establishing shots of Hugo’s home). The titular drug’s administration provides a wonderfully hazy effect as users (mostly Riley) exhale. A crimson plume of smoke slowly billows from the user’s mouth.
“The director understands the concept of the outlandish…”
The director understands the concept of the outlandish and feeds the narrative with a recipe rich with strangeness. When these oddball characters are mixed in with the artistry of the compositions, a potent concoction for something wild begins to take shape. The performances are pitched at just the right level of absurdity to support the zaniness on display. Reddington, in particular, creates a portrait in Hugo of a man who doesn’t realize why no one wants to be his friend most engagingly. The character pathos borders on something you might encounter on Sesame Street, but in the context of Hugo, it makes perfect sense. Reddington’s genuine anguish, while not exactly touching, is nonetheless quite tender.
For as high as most of the characters in Red Rage seem to be at all times, it appears as though none of them are having much fun, other than Oscar and Ella, who can’t keep their hands off each other while blowing people away. Nevertheless, watching this county of eccentrics attempt to navigate their own mortality under the stylish watch of Savvas D. Michael is something lovers of the cinema will undoubtedly appreciate. So strap in and take a hit.
"…the kind of movie where everyone does everything at gunpoint..."