Silent Rage (1982)
I can picture studio execs sitting around their office tables trying to come up with some high-concept surefire box office hit and suddenly someone shouts out, "Chuck Norris vs. a Zombie!" Hence, Silent Rage was born.
Uber-creepy Brian Libby is the featured psycho, and he gets Silent Rage off to a bang when he snaps and takes an axe to two annoying people in his boarding house. Enter Chuck Norris as the local sheriff, but before he can kick some psycho butt, Libby is gunned down by some other officers. Too bad. But wait! Libby is taken to a local medical clinic and dies...or does he?
Actually, two doctors take this opportunity to use Libby's corpse to test their experimental healing drug much to the chagrin of the one ethical doctor, Ron Silver. So, the drug is a success and Libby's heart starts beating again and his gun-riddled body heals miraculously.
Now all of this sounds like a great jumping off point for a great thriller, but unfortunately, Silent Rage's pacing is so glacial and the script is so disjointed that it takes fooorrreeevvvver to get on with it. We want carnage and action! We don't want deep insight into Chuck's on-again off-again romance with boring Toni Kalem, or Chuck's run-ins with a motorcycle gang that only serve to pad the running time and show off his martial arts skills...after all, that's why he was hired, right? It certainly wasn't for his 'acting ability'.
Another annoyance is the presence of Stephen Furst as Chuck's deputy sidekick who, yet again, does his 'fat guy is intrinsically funny' schtick that he already wore out with National Lampoon's Animal House, National Lampoon's Class Reunion and Midnight Madness.
Finally, after an eternity, Libby finally wakes up and causes mayhem by slaughtering all of the doctors and trying to off Kalem which makes Chuck very, very mad. The finale has a fairly lame fight scene between hero and villain that is overchoreographed within an inch of its life until Chuck finally kicks Libby down into a mine-shaft. But is he really dead? Doubtful. Thankfully no one was clammoring for a sequel.
Silent Rage rates about in the middle of Norris films in regards to quality. It's not as good as his high points Code of Silence and Lone Wolf McQuade, but it's miles better than such offensive, jingoistic junk like The Delta Force or Invasion U.S.A. So figure out where you fall in your appreciation of all things Norris to decide whether Silent Rage is right for you.