Red Rage will be released in the UK on 12th April on DVD and digital download, it’s the second of three films to be directed by Savvas D. Michael who reunites with a host of UK talent including Vas Blackwood and Ian Reddington with a guest appearance from Steven Berkoff in this series of gangster thrillers.
The film starts with a vigilante couple Ella (Fernanda Diniz) and Oscar (Jack Turner) who are on a mission from God to rid the town of an addictive drug ‘Red Devil’ by killing the drug dealers whilst getting sexual kicks along the way. The town is full of seedy pimps, drug dealers and addicts such as Riley (Jamie Crew), one of the drug addicts, desperate for ‘Red Devil’, which is in short supply. His contorted contractions using ‘Red Devil’ make painful viewing as he desperately searches for drug dealers who are disappearing rapidly at the hands of Ella and Oscar. Hugo (Ian Reddington) is the spaced out local weed dealer who’s made his own special weed concoction ‘Triple Cream Dream’ as well as dealing in ‘Red Devil’. Hugo is a bit of a dope even for a drug dealer in his floppy eared hat, plenty of clientele pass through his doors but he wishes for a more compassionate punter who’ll stop and be more sociable but they never do, except that is for Gabrielle his much more imposing sidekick who keeps him company on his plush white sofa. Then there is the Virtual Reality shop where customers come for a virtual experience of their choice which ranges from plain old euphoria to some more unrepeatable sexual fantasies that completes this dark dystopian underworld setting.
The film has put a lot into making a visually creative gangster thriller. Shot mostly at night the film explores some interesting exteriors and interiors showing some stylised settings with lots of graffiti and neon lighting. Writer director Savvas D. Michael, working with some familiar faces that include a cameo from Steven Berkoff as one of Hugo’s hallucinations, Vas Blackwood as Father Barry and Adam Deacon as a pimp drug dealer, has created a mix of characters that are over the top and never really hit the mark. There’s lots of rambling dialogue and extreme themes and Savvas D. Michael is certainly not afraid to offend his audience. The music too is again an eclectic mix and has attempted to blend classical music, spaghetti western and 70s cop show brass sections but is likewise a bit hit or miss.
Whilst it’s been well shot and has some nice sound track moments, it lacks the writing flow and black humour of its more successful predecessors but maintains its level of shocking offensiveness. Compared to the first film Original Gangster, the male female relationship is noticeably on a much more equal footing of sexual desire and power this time but is still equally likely to offend. This film is shot entirely at night, compared to a mostly daytime shoot for OG and has similar stylised interiors and exteriors. There is much less glorifying of the drugs trade going on here, depicting more the desperation of addiction and the seedy depraved underworld with a great performance from Jamie Crew as the addict Riley but the rest of the cast look a bit out of character in this hazy drug addled thriller.
Film: Red Rage
Director: Savvas D. Michael
Stars: Fernanda Diniz, Jack Turner, Adam Deacon, Steven Berkoff, Ian Reddington & Vas Blackwood
Genre: Crime / Thriller
Run time: 1hr 33min