You read that right -- Silent Rage is a weird hybrid of a film, one part slasher movie, one part traditional Chuck Norris chop-socky flick. It's an unusual blending of elements even by today's standards, but it was downright baffling to most audiences back in the early 80's, when slasher cinema was just really starting to take off.
Norris plays Sheriff Dan Stevens, the law in a small Texas town. He and his partner are called out to a murder scene where a mentally unstable man named John Kirby (Brian Libby) has murdered a man and a woman. Norris and his partner get the killer into custody, but he's gunned down a short time later when he tries to escape. Rather than take the killer to the morgue, he winds up at a medical institute where his psychiatrist (the late, great Ron Silver) and two medical doctors use him as a test subject for their new formula, which promotes super healing. Naturally, this works and Kirby winds up as an unkillable psychopath and it's up to Chuck Norris to try and stop him.
It's a shame that director Michael Miller can't keep the film focused on the main story -- opting instead for uninteresting subplots and mediocre fight scenes (the fight between Sheriff Stevens and a group in a local bar is particularly unsatisfying in its execution). Because of this, Silent Rage isn't essential viewing, but it is a film that's historically interesting for the way it blended action and martial arts cinema with the burgeoning slasher film subgenre.
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