Film trends wax and wane, and at any given time a variety of them may be popular… remakes of classic films, superhero movies, realistic westerns, firefighting movies and dozens of other trends large and small have graced cinema screens over the past few decades as studios attempted to pull dollars from the pockets of audiences. In the 1970s, blaxsploitation (action films featuring black heroes in urban settings), martial arts and disability/illness films were all showing general success. It was only natural that some enterprising producer would put them all together, and 1978’s Blind Rage was the result.
Fred Williamson is the hero, although he doesn’t show up until the final twelve minutes of the film. He’s a covert agent, and he’s terrible at his job. He’s recognized on sight by one of the bad guys, but despite that he tails someone by standing behind the open door of his car and leaning against the top, watching them from a fairly close distance.
This type of abandonment of logic is common to the movie. The fundamental notion is that a bank robbery is going to be pulled off by five blind guys… and the reason the crime is foolproof is because nobody would ever expect such a robbery to be committed by blind people.
There are so many plot holes and failures that it allows a viewer to play a game of trying to identify as many as possible before the final reel ends. The notion that it’s a perfect crime until someone finds a blind man’s cane at the scene… despite everybody involved wearing black glasses the entire time. The training where blind people are shooting at silhouettes while people stand to either side of the target. The decision to recruit a blind magician without a criminal past, who then uses no magic tricks or even sleight of hand but somehow develops amazing martial arts prowess. The way the local hardened crime figure with a rage against the world surrenders utterly when he’s simply told by law enforcement that they know he’s guilty. How a man who just crossed two different Chinese mobs just casually opens his door when anyone knocks. That the choice of meeting place for the flashy, ostentatious head of a crime syndicate is, at two different points in the movie, the International House of Pancakes. And my favorite, that $15 million is expected to be enough to bankroll operations to stop the spread of communism through Asia.
Really, all you need is that it’s a heist movie with blind criminal martial artist crack shots… and yet the heist goes off perfectly. It’s in no way a good movie, but it’s definitely a Night Owl movie.
Question of the night: Are there any professional magicians you’ve enjoyed watching perform? (Provide clips below, if so inclined.)