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I Am Rage Review

August 21, 2023 | Posted by Bryan Kristopowitz
I Am Rage Image Credit: Uncork’d Entertainment
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I Am Rage Review  

I Am Rage Review

Hannaj Bang Bendz– Erin
Marta Svetek– Margret
Antonia Whillans– Sarah
Derek Nelson– Adam
Luke Aquilina– Michael
Jamie B. Chambers– Peter
Debbie Sheridan– Ruth
Niko Foster– Wilson

Directed by David Ryan Keith
Screenplay by Stephen Durham and David Ryan Keith

Distributed by Uncork’d Entertainment

Not Rated
Runtime– 89 minutes

I Am Rage is available via Digital and DVD starting August 1st, 2023

Image Credit: Uncork’d Entertainment

I Am Rage, directed by David Ryan Keith and available on digital and DVD starting August 1st, 2023, is a wicked new action horror flick that also serves as a kind of send up of one of the world’s current batshit conspiracy theories. Filled with multiple kickass performances and bloody action scenes, not to mention some truly brutal hand-to-hand brawls, I Am Rage is exactly what action horror movie nerds the world over need in their lives. I know I sure as hell need it in mine.

I Am Rage stars Hannaj Bang Bendz as Erin, a troubled young woman who is anxious about going camping with her boyfriend Adam (Derek Nelson) and then meeting his parents Peter and Ruth (Jamie B. Chambers and Debbie Sheridan). Erin is also set to meet Adam’s brother Michael (Luke Aquillina) and his girlfriend Sarah (Antonia Whillans). Erin would much rather not do any of this, but she wants to make Adam happy so she’s going through with it. The camping trip is in the middle of some remote wooded area, and then Adam’s parents live out even further in the boonies than that. Meeting Michael and Sarah is a bit of a disaster (Michael and Sarah pull a prank on Erin and Erin isn’t the kind of person you should ever pull a prank on. Ever), and then the initial meeting with Peter and Ruth goes even worse than that. Peter and Ruth are super rich weirdoes who are also Americans for some reason (the movie takes place in Scotland which makes Peter and Ruth as Americans so incredibly goddamn odd, and that’s before anything really odd happens). Both Erin and Sarah are told that Peter and Ruth are “traditional minded” and that they shouldn’t worry if it doesn’t seem like they’ve made good first impressions. It’s just the way Peter and Ruth are. Erin is immediately suspicious of both Peter and Ruth, as well as the workers that are on the property (and what’s the deal with holding both Erin’s and Sarah’s luggage?). There’s something totally off about the whole situation but Erin can’t figure out what it is. Was Adam like this when she met him and she just didn’t notice it?

So then some stuff happens, Erin and Sarah join everyone for dinner, and Erin and Sarah are offered drinks that taste funny (why the hell isn’t anyone else drinking?). It’s at this point that Erin and Sarah find out that their boyfriends are not the nice guys they thought they were and that this meeting was never about meeting their parents. Instead, Erin and Sarah were brought to the family estate so they could be drugged and then drained of their blood.

Wait, what? Drained of their blood? What the hell is going on here?

Peter, Ruth, Adam, and Michael are basically immortals who have been living off of and selling the blood of young people for hundreds of years. The family enjoys scaring their captives so they can measure the amount of adrenochrome they can harvest and then use for themselves and sell (adrenochrome, for those of you familiar with the QAnon scam, is supposed to be a chemical that the Satanic rich elites of the world harvest from the blood of scared kidnapped children and then drink it because it’s the fountain of youth or some bullshit). Sarah is a perfect specimen for this operation, while Erin appears to be just as perfect. Erin isn’t, though. Erin has an adrenaline problem that makes her blood dangerous for what the family wants to use it for. Adam didn’t know that when he hooked up with Erin, though. He knew she took some sort of medication but he didn’t think it was anything all that serious or detrimental to what the family wanted her for. What the heck is “wrong” with Erin?

Erin has a disturbing past, a past that she doesn’t like to talk about and takes medication to manage and forget about. Erin was kidnapped as a child and tortured for years on end. She managed to survive her ordeal but came out of it with multiple physical and mental issues. Erin also came out of her childhood trauma with a burning need to destroy every bad thing in her life. And by “destroy” I mean physically beat and kill. Erin is a martial arts master as well as extremely proficient with all sorts of weaponry and tactics. In so many ways, Erin is a bomb just waiting to go off, and the current situation she finds herself in is exactly the kind of thing that will set her off.

And it does.

Now, as Erin breaks out of her current predicament, kills some bad guys, and rescues Sarah while also setting loose several other people the family has captive on their estate, the actual leader of the family, Margret (Marta Svetek) is entertaining a new client of the family’s blood selling business. The client, a man named Wilson (Niko Foster), likes hunting people for sport (and we see him do just that) and the idea of drinking something that will give him eternal youth. Wilson also claims to have plenty of rich friends who would love to get in on the “eternal youth” action, too, and would be willing to pay just about any sum of money to get the chance to do it. Erin and Sarah eventually get recaptured and are given to Wilson as his next potential human trophies. To say it doesn’t go well for Wilson or Margret or anyone else involved in the big adrenochrome scheme would be a massive understatement. It goes bad for them. Very, very bad.

When I Am Rage begins you’re not quite sure what sort of movie it’s going to be. Is it a horror movie (there’s a certain Hostel vibe to the beginning of the movie)? Is it going to be a dark action movie (there’s a nifty martial arts beat down at the beginning of the movie)? And when the story shifts to the woods you almost expect it to start being a slasher movie of some sort (you just know something bad is going to happen to a bunch of young people camping in the woods. That’s what always happens in horror movies). Director David Ryan Keith is responsible for the Redwood Massacre movies (check out my review of his movie Redwood Massacre: Annihilation here) so he knows how to do that kind of thing. But then the movie takes another turn when we find out just how dangerous Erin is and what the family is really up to. I Am Rageis just a great amalgamation of the action movie world and the horror movie world. It really works as both and does it quite well.

The only aspect of the story that isn’t as well developed is the whole “the rich people have been living for years because they drink the blood of the young” thing. I would have loved to know how the family figured out that it could “live forever” by harvesting the blood of the young. Was it something that they figured out on their own or was it passed on to them by some other family or entity? And are they the only ones in the world doing this “adrenochrome harvesting” thing? That seems unlikely, so how many more rich families are out there capturing young people and taking their blood so they can live forever?

The whole “living forever” thing could have been better developed, too, or at least explained more. Because what does “living forever” mean? Do they have to drink the blood of the young every couple of days in order to maintain their youth? Every couple of weeks? And is the blood regenerative? There’s a moment where Adam drinks a glass of blood to repair the damage done to him by Erin, but is that what’s actually happening? Does the blood provide a sort of “healing factor” or does the blood provide “energy” that sort of rejuvenates the drinker for a few moments? And how much physical damage can a blood drinker actually endure? The movie doesn’t delve into any of this. Perhaps all of that is being saved for the potential sequel if and when that ever happens?

Still, even without the in depth explanation of what “living forever”/”eternal youth” actually means, the whole “drinking the blood of the young” thing is diabolical and creepy as hell. And the use of the word “adrenochrome” is hilarious because, as anyone who knows anything about the QAnon scam, adrenochrome is what the Satanic elite are harvesting from scared children so they can live forever. It’s absurd, yes, but on some level I’d imagine that this is what several QAnon adherents think is actually happening and they think that this movie is “exposing the truth.” The word adrenochrome is only used once so it’s not like ever villain in the movie is saying it over and over again. There’s no way that that’s an accident. It’s a goof for those paying attention. Again, it’s hilarious.

Hannaj Bang Bendz is fantastic as Erin. Bendz knows how to balance the violence of her character with the quiet parts of Erin’s personality. Erin doesn’t want to hurt or kill anyone or anything. She just wants to live in peace. But when Erin gets stressed out and needs to “unleash the beast” she does it with quick and blinding violence. Erin also doesn’t want anyone else to suffer, which is why she becomes fast friends with Sarah. Sarah isn’t a wimp but she can’t defend herself like Erin can, so Erin uses her skills to protect her new friend as well as she can. I’d love to see another movie with the Erin character in it, perhaps either a sort of prequel that shows how she trained herself to become a righteous violence machine, or a sequel where she’s forced to bring the fight to the bad guys once again. Bendz is a skilled martial artist of some sort and she should have a great future in the low budget action movie world if she decides to focus on that going forward. I’d watch another action movie with her in it.

Marta Svetek is mega evil as Margret. Margret has become so consumed by her job and place in the world that all she does is her job. She has no other aspect to her personality and you get the sense that she’s totally fine with that. Harvesting the blood of the young is all she needs to feel alive (and she probably just likes doing it). Svetek also shows that she has action chops of some sort and that she is a real deal badass (and if I’m wrong and she isn’t she’s great at faking it. As soon as you see her as Margret you get the sense that she is one of the most dangerous people in the world). Margret’s fight with Erin is quick and brutal but also a thing of low budget action horror movie beauty. Very cool stuff.

Antonia Whillans does a great job as Sarah, the young woman that just wanted to spend time with her rich boyfriend and ends up having to fight for her life. She’s totally out of her depth when the violence begins but she does her best to keep up with Erin and you’re rooting for her the whole time to get out of this predicament alive. You also end up supporting Sarah because she had to endure the super creepy scene where Ruth touches her while she’s taking a bath. Good God that’s freaky.

Derek Nelson and Luke Aquillina are two of the biggest scumbags you’ve ever seen as brothers Adam and Michael. Before you even know what’s going on with their family you can tell that there’s something off about both of them but you’re not quite sure what it is. When they reveal their true selves you can’t wait to see them die, especially Adam. It takes true skill to have the audience hate you as much as you end up hating both Adam and Michael. I think you’ll adore what happens to both of them (I know I’m a big fan).

Jamie B. Chambers will creep you out as Peter the patriarch of the family. Just like his sons you get the sense very early on that there’s something wrong with him but you’re not sure what it is (you also wonder why this American is living in Scotland. I mean, there’s nothing wrong with Americans living in Scotland or Scottish people living in America, but in this movie there’s just something not right about Peter living in Scotland). And then, again, just like his sons, once you find out who and what Peter is you can’t wait to see him die. I am intrigued, though, by how Peter is subservient to the wrath of Margret. You would think that a family that “loves tradition” so much that Peter would be the overall leader of the clan but that doesn’t seem to be the case.

Debbie Sheridan is scary as hell through most of the movie as Ruth. You know that Ruth is creepy as soon as you see her (the way she stands, the way she looks at everyone, the way she talks, it’s all so goddamn weird and unsettling). The scene where she touches Sarah while Sarah is taking a bath will make your goddamn skin crawl (what the hell is she doing in the bathroom with her son’s girlfriend? Who does that?). And when you find out what’s going with the family you suspect that Ruth’s weirdness acts as the family’s sort of guiding light (a sort of “she is who they all really are” kind of deal). But then when Margret shows up and barks orders and Ruth cowers a bit you wonder what the hell is really going on with her. Why is she so subservient to her daughter? Why isn’t Margret scared of her instead of the other way around? Great stuff.

And then there’s Niko Foster as Wilson, the rich hunter asshole that wants to buy blood from the family and hunt humans. Foster plays Wilson as someone who thinks they’re bigger than life and it’s hilarious. Wilson is a disgusting person through and through, but it’s funny how he thinks he’s a master hunter and the world’s biggest badass when all he really is is a mega rich jagoff that likes to dole out cruelty because it makes him feel alive. No one would pay attention to this piece of garbage if he didn’t have gobs of money. It’s also funny how Margret does all she can to play to Wilson’s inflated sense of self in order for him to give her money for the blood she wants to sell to him. Margret would rip this dude’s head off if he wasn’t rich and she wouldn’t think twice about it. Awesome job.

I Am Rage is a great action horror flick. It’s something you need in your life. It’s filled with everything action horror movie nerds love and desire. Be sure to track it down and check it out. It’s well worth your time. I loved it and I want more rage. More and more rage.

See I Am Rage. See it, see it, see it. I Am Rage is available via Digital and DVD starting August 1st, 2023.

So what do we have here?

Dead bodies: 17

Explosions: None.

Nudity?: None.

Doobage: An animal skull on a tree, a woman puts on lipstick, a woman puts on rubber gloves, a scary mask, chair bondage, a full on martial arts beat down, serious throat slitting, blood dripped into a bucket, a man in a white coat, flashbacks, driving out to the woods, a mean prank, face punching, medication hooey, multiple British accents, camping in the woods hooey, off screen sex (maybe), a weird family get together, sniper hooey, shooting at a captive person, room sharing hooey, cigar smoking, some cat and mouse hooey, tree branch to the face, a hand-to-hand brawl, more throat slitting, a weird bath scene, old photos, serious kissing, a weird dinner, multiple spiked drinks, barfing, more chair bondage, skin peeling, face slapping, a beeping watch, chair breaking, a beat down with an a chair arm, another hand-to-hand brawl, neck stabbing, locker to the face, off screen captive victims releasing, more face slapping, justified kidnapping, clothesline hooey, backstory hooey, human hunting, arrow to the back, some really poor shooting, a neck snapping, arrow point to the side of the neck, head bashing, bullet up through the chin and out the top of the head, gun jamming, woman beating, arm breaking, punch right through the back and out through the chest with bloody heart removal, a brutal martial arts hand-to-hand brawl, serious arm biting, heart attack hooey, bloody spray puking, a wicked bullet to the head followed by serious overkill, Mercedes van stealing, vehicular homicide, and a very bloody dead body.

Kim Richards? None.

Gratuitous: Scary masks, multiple flashbacks, a woman with a British accent, Scotland, another woman with a British accent, camping in the woods, animal heads on the wall, horn blowing, rich Americans who live in Scotland for some reason, guy shooting a sniper rifle that’s set up on a picnic table, a watch that beeps a lot, cigar smoking, skin peeling, some bullshit about adrenochrome harvesting, blood drinking, talk about eternal youth, clothesline hooey, a picture of a guy with his severed hand jammed into his mouth, human hunting, a punch right through the back and out through the chest with bloody heart removal, a Kurt Angle fall away slam, heart attack hooey, and a very bloody dead body.

Best lines: “Please! No!,” “Bucket! Now!,” “I really wish you would stop making such a mess. It’s such a waste of good product,” “Go clean yourself up. You’re a mess,” “Wow. I wish I looked as good as you in the morning,” “Told you this would be an adventure!,” “Promise you won’t leave me alone with them. Oh, it’s not them you should be worried about. My sister is also coming,” “What’s the medication for? I don’t want to talk about it,” “I’m sorry for hitting you,” “You know you look really familiar. Are you famous?,” “Let’s all agree, no more surprises from here on out,” “Remember we can hear what goes on in that tent. We’re not deaf,” “My parents are very traditional. They live by the hunt. Only eating what you kill,” “Welcome to Richmond Manor,” “Where’s Margaret?,” “Yeah. Yeah, this works,” “A little high and to the right,” “Would you look at that? Lucky sonofabitch,” “Okay, boys, let’s go kill this motherfucker!,” “So I guess we’re roomies now,” “Ooah! I guess that’s gonna be a closed casket,” “You. Are. So. Beautiful. Don’t be late for dinner,” “Just a heads up, the mother is a fucking lunatic,” “She’s asking why we’re not drinking!,” “Jesus, Ada, you want to bore her to death?,” “I’m going to kill you all,” “Stop fucking with her and get it done!,” “You ready to scream?,” “That temper isn’t going to help you now,” “I know you’re in here. I can smell your blood,” “I never did like you, Michael,” “You really fucked up this time,” “They don’t know what a nightmare is. They will,” “If I ever see you again, Billy, I’ll kill you. Do you understand?,” “Pathetic,” “I want her to suffer,” “Goddamit! I love this place!,” “I want her head on a plate before dark. No fuck ups this time,” “Kill the other one. Leave that bitch for me,” “Fuck you, rabbit,” “Where do you think you’re going?,” “You lucky bitch,” “Any last words? Boo,” “It’s over, Margaret. There’s nobody left,” “You don’t have the heart for it, Margaret,” “How can I help you, Billy?,” and “Go on vacation, they said. It’ll be good for your mental health, they said.”

The final score: review Amazing
The 411
I Am Rage, directed by David Ryan Keith, is a wicked new action horror flick that also serves as a kind of send up of one of the world’s current batshit conspiracy theories. Filled with multiple kickass performances and bloody action scenes, not to mention some truly brutal hand-to-hand brawls, I Am Rage is exactly what action horror movie nerds the world over need in their lives. I know I sure as hell need it in mine. I loved it and if you’re an action horror movie nerd you should make space in your life for I Am Rage. It’s well worth your time and effort. See I Am Rage. See it, see it, see it. I Am Rage is available via Digital and DVD starting August 1st, 2023.

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I Am Rage, Bryan Kristopowitz