Sunday, June 7, 2015

Blind Rage (1978)



A dumb heist/martial-arts thriller that also represents a huge bait-and-switch, seeing as how top-billed star Fred Williamson literally doesn’t appear onscreen until the last 10 minutes of the movie, Blind Rage tells the bizarre story of a criminal scheme to rob a bank using five blind men who happen to possess martial-arts skills. Among countless other logical problems, what’s the point of hiring the blind men, since they wear sunglasses throughout the heist? Couldn’t sighted men pretending to be blind have accomplished the same goal without all the hassle? Trying to answer these and other questions is pointless, because the movie is so unremittingly boring, shoddy, and stupid. Additionally, since Blind Rage was made in the Philippines, much of the dialogue was re-voiced during postproduction, so the whole enterprise has the bad-dubbing feel of a grade-Z chop-socky flick. After some goofy exposition about how the movie’s villains wish to keep the Domino Theory from becoming reality, the blind would-be criminals are recruited. Each has some dark backstory, such as the fellow who was blinded after crossing the Chinese Triads, so all of the men are susceptible to the promise of a big payoff. This occasions dreary training sequences,  punctuated by a warbling ballad about how the men are “falling into the system.” (Because, y’see, breaking the law is the ultimate expression of sociopolitical frustration—heavy, man.) The climactic robbery sequence is methodical and violent, raising the pulse of the movie somewhat, and then Williamson shows up as a government agent who, naturally, uses martial arts when facing off with the bad guys. Whatever. (Technically, Williamson plays the same character did in two 1976 pictures, Death Journey and No Way Back, though only the character name provides continuity between the three films.) Blind Rage comprises 80 very long minutes of numbing foolishness, but it does contain at least one sublime line of dialogue: “Unit Two to Unit One—it’s going down at the International House of Pancakes!”

Blind Rage: LAME

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