Let’s recap on where we last picked up on Chris Cones, writer/director/star of the Indianapolis-produced psychological thriller Rage: He’s big, bald and has this Vin Diesel thing going on, right down to the nice-guy attitude lurking beneath the ass-kicking, hothead bad-cop exterior. He and Sean Eichenberg worked for more than a decade in various levels of film before partnering up to form Impact Productions, starting with a relentless schedule shooting the cop-on-the-edge Bound By Blood, which first screened in 2005.
He and Impact Productions have been busy in that time. Bound By Blood was recently picked up for distribution by York Entertainment, and is available via Netflix, Hollywood Video, Family Video and numerous other outlets, with wider distribution on the way.
The Indianapolis red-carpet event premiere of Rage, meanwhile, is June 30 at IMAX in the Indiana State Museum, at 6:30 and 9 p.m. Rage has already picked up critical acclaim, winning Best Overall Film and Best Trailer at the Cleveland Film Festival.
Rage is a stripped-down take on the classic city-kids-trapped-in-wilderness slasher flick: Cones stars as Jake, a recently returned soldier still shaken by what he’s seen in Fallujah, who finds himself leading a small band fighting to survive against a lunatic in the woods. Oldest plot in the book, but it’s the characterization that sets it off, examining both Jake and his opponent, who they are and how they came to be.
“Everyone’s got rage. It’s what you do with your rage that makes you the good guy or the bad guy,” Cones says. “It’s how you express that anger: Do you make yourself a better person, or decline and become the villain?”
On a technical level, the photography is a standout, with scenes washed out by naked, blinding sunlight or painted with harsh yellow bulbs — atmospheric through and through.
Tickets are on sale at imaxindy.com.