Rage Of Vengeance (1993)


Rage Of Vengeance
(1993)- * *

Directed by: Serge Rodunsky

Starring: Peter Shane, Daming Chen, Tess Colonello, Lawrence Hill, Susan Raines, and Megan Miyahira

Frank Hill (Shane) is a former L.A. Cop On The Edge that now works in a convenience store. Hill resigned from the Force after a particularly intense confrontation with the dreaded local gang leader Tony Woo (Chen). During the dust-up, Frank inadvertently shot Woo's wife. This makes Woo understandably upset, so in retaliation he kills Frank's brother, and amidst all the chaos, his wife Sandy (Colonello) leaves him. So now all Frank does is shirtlessly practice his Martial Arts moves in his studio apartment by candlelight, and then use said moves on potential shoplifters and armed robbers at the convenience store.

Things start looking up for him when Sandy comes back into his life. She still doesn't totally approve of his Karate-choppin' ways, but it's hard to resist the charms of Frank Hill. He also develops a fatherly relationship with young tot Christina (Miyahira), daughter of the owners of the store. But when that dastardly Tony Woo kidnaps Sandy, and other things go sour as well, Frank Hill has no choice but to fight Woo's baddies in and around an abandoned warehouse until the ultimate confrontation is at hand: Frank Hill vs. Tony Woo. Will Frank Hill unleash his RAGE OF VENGEANCE?

It was 1993. Convenience stores were huge at that time. Where else could you go to get your Doritos, Cheetos, or Fritos that was within walking distance of your house? Maybe wash it down with some Snapple. Peach iced tea or strawberry-kiwi cocktail. It was your choice. And, if you were lucky, a man that looks like a cross between David Bradley, Jeff Speakman, and Michael Pare would be there to kick miscreants in the head if they were stepping out of line.

Speaking of Speakman, who we often speak about, Rage of Vengeance is sort of like a low-rent Street Knight (1993). Or perhaps if it had more of a budget behind it, this could have worked with Lorenzo Lamas in the Frank Hill part, with James Liu as the main baddie and Chuck Jeffreys as Hill's former partner. We didn't mention Rodney (Lawrence Hill) and his new partner, the pixieish Estelle (Raines) before now, but that's because it's mainly about Peter Shane as Frank.

Again, it may not have the budget behind it to put it alongside the likes of Showdown in Little Tokyo (1991), China White (1989), or Red Sun Rising (1994), and the awkward and slow-ish pacing doesn't do the film any favors. But the whole thing is classic 90's and does have some positives in its corner, but it's not zany like a Samurai Cop (1991), so you can't really recommend it to anyone who isn't already a fan of this sort of material.

Speaking of the positives, there is an extremely stupid (in a good way) train-tracks fight, and a lengthy final warehouse fight that is very much in keeping with the DTV action genre. As is the presence of a cute young kid, in this case Christina, who is played winningly by Miyahira. Shane is well-cast as Frank Hill, a man who makes funny grunting noises as he fights and asks questions later.

Director Serge Rodnunsky - not to be confused with Jorgo Ognenovski - has many DTV outings under his belt, including Jack of Hearts and Paper Bullets (both 1999), among plenty of others. It seems he's trying to compete with the action-film wave of the time, and almostsortakindajustabout makes it. It's a shame this was Peter Shane's only cinematic appearance. He could have had a future punching it out with the other guys of the day. For much of the cast, this was their only (or second-to-only) film.

In the end, if you like 90's action (we're guessing that you do), and you've seen all the other ones you could find, you could do worse than Rage of Vengeance. But newcomers to the genre may want to watch those classic offerings first.

Comeuppance Review by: Brett and Ty

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