Sheriff Dan Stevens (Chuck Norris) is called out on a disturbance. Dan and his deputy Charlie (Stephen Furst) respond. Dan finds two dead. It appears that John Kirby (Brian Libby) went off the deep end and took an axe to the people he was staying with. Dan eventually manages to get cuffs on him and he is placed in the back of a patrol car. With incredible strength, Kirby breaks his hand cuffs, kicks the door off the patrol car and manages to get a hold of a shotgun before he is shot down by several police.
Kirby is taken to the hospital where doctors try to save him. His psychiatrist Dr. Tom Halman (Ron Silver), Dr. Phillip Spires (Steven Keats) and Dr. Paul Vaughn (William Finley), in a last ditch effort to save John give him a treatment that Spires and Vaughn, who are also geneticists, developed. This serum is supposed to accelerate tissue regeneration. The serum has never been tested on people so Dr. Frankenstein, I mean Dr. Spires decides that it would be a good idea to shoot Kirby up with super juice and bring back to life a homicidal maniac.
Tom objects to using a deranged killer as a test monkey. He wants to let John die in peace. Spires pretends to agree but after Tom leaves he instructs Vaughn to shoot John up with more monster juice. Lots more. Eventually Spires and Vaughn get John stabilized. They bring Tom in on their results. John is basically still comatose but is totally healed. Spires demonstrates by cutting John with a scalpel. The wound instantly heals.
John wakes up but pretends to still be unconscious. All the while he is listening he hears Tom say that he thinks John should have been allowed to die. John’s body may be healed, but his mind is not. Later that night John leaves the institute and goes to Tom’s house. Tom throws acid in his face and shoots him but John doesn’t die. John can’t die. John’s just getting started.
“Silent Rage” was released in 1982 and was directed by Michael Miller. It is a science fiction/horror and a martial arts film.
Chuck Norris is not exactly the best actor in the world, but he can kick-ass with the best of them. Parts of the movie were really good, and parts were mostly fill-in to give Norris a chance to beat people up. The whole biker bar thing was one big biker trope but Norris does get to show some of his moves and he does kick an entire bar into unconsciousness.
It may be a Chuck Norris movie but the mostly mute Brian Libby as John Kirby is one of the most frightening villains ever. His performance is a cross between Michel Meyers in “Halloween” 1978 and “The Terminator” 1984. The stunts alone in the film are amazing and some of them are quite intricate. Ignoring the biker fiasco and the sub-plot love story between Dan and Tom’s sister Alison, played by Toni Kalem, the movie is one wild ride.
Even if you’re not into martial arts this is a good sci-fi/horror flick. The martial arts are very subdued and actually a little artistic. Normally an action/adventure actor, this is Norris’ first science fiction film. Variety called it "a combination horror-kung fu-oater-woman in peril-mad scientist film".
A remake of the movie was done in 2009 called “Indestructible”.