Silent Rage is streaming now for free on Tubi.
If you’re looking to kill some time this weekend with a high adrenaline action flick, Tubi has exactly what you’re looking for, in the form of a forgotten Chuck Norris classic. Silent Rage came out in 1982, and sports incredibly impressive martial arts, an antagonist who is essentially injected with the Captain America super soldier serum, and a soundtrack featuring Futurama‘s Katey Sagal, according to IMDb. The film is often regarded as the “human Terminator” for its use of a nearly indestructible foe, giving Chuck Norris plenty of scenery to chew on while showing off his black belt skills by performing insane high kicks.
Silent Rage follows Chuck Norris’ Sheriff Daniel Stevens, as he attempts to take down a superhuman madman raging through the streets of a small Texas town. Brian Libby’s John Kirby is mired with violent outbursts as a result of untreated mental illness, forcing the police to shoot him after catching him in an act of double homicide, nearly killing him. When Kirby is rushed to the hospital, a pair of geneticist doctors suggest utilizing the latest cell repairing technology to bring Kirby back from the brink of death.
The treatment heals Kirby miraculously, but backfires on the doctors when the cells repair too fast, creating a nearly indestructible self healing monster, not unlike the X-Men’s Wolverine. Chuck Norris’ character then spends the remainder of the film attempting to save the town from certain destruction as Kirby loses himself in a violent rampage, killing or wounding nearly every sorry individual who crosses his path. Norris’ Dan and Libby’s John Kirby exchange blows in a series of fights with firearms, fists, and roundhouse kicks, resulting in one of the most incredible action set pieces of the 1980’s, which sees Kirby kicked through a tavern window and subsequently down a water well.
Silent Rage is highly regarded for Chuck Norris’ excellent stunt choreography, as well as its high octane action set pieces throughout the film. Director Michael Miller is said to have done weeks of research with top geneticists around the country in preparation for the film, in order to accurately depict the science fiction concept of self healing cells. The film was the first to be produced by Chuck Norris’ newly formed production company, Topkick Productions, which went on to produce Norris’ hit series Walker, Texas Ranger, which he starred in for nearly 200 episodes from 1993 to 2001.
Chuck Norris has long been the cinema watermark for movie tough guys, making him a prolific meme throughout the internet in the early 2000s. If “Still a better love story than Twilight” or “But then I took an arrow to the knee” were era defining internet jokes in the early years of social media communities such as Facebook and Twitter, they sit on a Mount Rushmore beside Chuck Norris being an unstoppable badass, and the taste of bacon complimenting everything it touches. Silent Rage is one of many films to put the martial artist turned actor on the map, teaching a generation of kids that they can roundhouse kick their problems away with enough grit and high intensity training.
Other films in this genre include Forced Vengeance, the Missing In Action trilogy, and 1972’s The Way of the Dragon, which Chuck Norris starred in alongside Bruce Lee. These days, Chuck Norris tends to spend more time appearing in films as himself, capitalizing on the running gag of his tough as nails persona. Most recently, Norris lent his voice to the action-comedy crime video game Crime Boss: Rockay City, alongside a number of action icons such as Danny Glover, Michael Madsen, and Danny Trejo.
As for where we’ll see the high flying kicks of Chuck Norris next is anyone’s guess. The actor is now 83 years old, with a fortune from his film and television earnings and a half dozen grandchildren to look after, so don’t expect to see him dominating the box office this year. As far as his legacy, you can catch films like Silent Rage for free, or keep an eye out for the host of emerging martial arts talent that were no doubt inspired by his prolific run of films from the 80s to the early 2000s.