January 2nd, 2014

RAGEWAR (1985) **

Ragewar is one weird mama jama of a movie. It was the product of no less than SEVEN directors, each of whom tackled a different sequence (Charles Band, John Carl Buechler, and Ted Nicolaou among them). On the surface, it plays like an anthology movie, but since it tells a linear (note I said “linear”; not “coherent”) story, that’s not really the case.

Jeffrey Byron (from Metalstorm: The Destruction of Jared-Syn) is a nerd who loves his computer more than he loves his girlfriend (Leslie Wing). So the devil (Richard Moll) zaps them into Hell and puts him in various scenarios to test his mettle. Byron puts his computer into a Power Glove type of doohickey that allows him to laser various monsters, zombies, and what have yous that attack him. Along the way, he proves to the devil that he is a worthy opponent and they eventually lock horns.

Ragewar runs a scant 78 minutes. About 12 of those minutes are made up of credits. If you count the overlong (but nudity filled) opening dream sequence, that means the film has less than one hour of actual “plot”. And because the flick moves at a zippy pace, I can forgive it for a lot of its lapses.

The various sequences are really uneven. The sequences that take place in modern day are pretty much a bust, and the post-apocalypse scene is over before it can gain any real traction. The scenes of our clueless hero duking it out with assorted hand puppets and stop motion monsters are okay, but for me, the funniest part comes when he does battle with WASP. And no, I don’t mean a giant wasp, I mean the rock band, WASP. I couldn’t make this shit up if I tried.

And because of that, I couldn’t completely hate it. I mean, the patchy nature of the flick pretty much prevents it from picking up any momentum. And some scenes are too stupid for words. But since Ragewar has some truly memorable WTF scenes, it’s hard to completely dismiss.

AKA: The Dungeonmaster.