If you enjoy furiously paced thrillers with shoot-outs that include an amount of squibs that would appear heady by Sam Peckinpah standards then you may just enjoy Ronnie Sortor’s RAVAGE that has just received a DVD release from Sub-Rosa Studios.
Widowed, criminal psychologist Gregory Burroughs is trying to get his life back in order. Returning home from a date with girlfriend Lydia (Dina Harris) he arrives to find his eldest daughter’s lover dead on the doorstep, advancing upstairs he discovers the corpse of his youngest daughter and stumbles upon serial killer Charles Darwin (Dan Rowland) with a knife at the throat of fifteen–year old daughter’s throat. He persuades the madman (Dan Rowland) to put down the knife, but gets a nasty shock when the killer suddenly snaps the girl’s neck and dives out of a window, killing a couple of police officers in the process.
Burroughs decides to enlist the help of Detective Garrett (Frank Alexander) in order to track down the killer. The bloody trail leads to a gang of thrill killers led by the serial killer’s equally demented brother Samuel (again played by Rowland). Meanwhile Charles decides to return to the scene of his bloody crimes and kill both Garrett and Lydia. As the thrill killers continue on their bloody spree, the arrest of a vicious psychopath who manages to almost gun-down an entire police precinct gives them a few new clues and both Burroughs and Garret, whose partners have been viciously slaughtered, embark on a two man crusade to track down the killers with their own brand of justice.
Accompanied by an excellent soundtrack by Clark Carter, this riveting psycho-thriller features superb shoot-outs which resemble John Woo at times, the pace is at breakneck speed as a criminal seems to appear every five minutes to bring his brand of hatred to the screen in gory fashion. There’s a great scene where one psychopathic member of the underworld (Lei Rennecks) manages to escape his cell and arm himself with an assortment of weaponry as he stages a shoot-out in which cops fall left right and centre until he meets his own end, “Wild Bunch” style.
The DVD itself contains a few interesting extras including a director’s commentary, a cast and crew commentary, outtakes, and behind the scenes footage (mainly consisting of Sortor explaining how to make explosive squibs). My only gripe is the lighting used throughout – which is very dark in places and fails to do full justice to the SFX – blood often appears dark brown due to the washed out colours in the print. Nevertheless RAVAGE is a hard-hitting low budget piece of action, which should not be missed by those who enjoy their action with a liberal splattering of the red stuff.
Carl T. Ford
Directed by Ronnie Sorter
USA / 1995 / 85 minutes.
SPECIAL DVD FEATURES
Behind the Scenes Footage
A Sub Rosa Studios DVD release
Region 1. NTSC. Dolby Digital Mono. 1.85:1