Black Rage is a Blaxploitation movie. Actually, the title is Catch The Black Sunshine, but that title wasn't as catchy, so it was reissued under the more exploitative movie title Black Rage, even though neither of the main characters are particularly enraged. The movie is about two brothers, both slaves, who escape from Striker, their cruel slave master (Ted Cassidy), to freedom while searching for buried treasure. The angrier of the duo is an "albino" black man named Sunshine played by a white actor named Chris Robinson who also wrote and directed the movie. This is just one of many criticisms directed toward this movie that have led to its reputation as one of the worst movies ever made. Other gripes people have with the movie are the generally bad acting, poor writing and slow pacing. Plot holes include the fact that the "albino" Sunshine repeatedly identifies as a slave, even though his complexion would allow him to pass for a white man, which would speed up their journey significantly.
Though audience and critical reaction remains universally negative, the performance of actor Ted Cassidy, who plays the villainous plantation slave master chasing after the brothers, has been singled out for praise by viewers of the movie. Cassidy is better known for playing Lurch on The Addams Family. Though Cassidy's performance is the only saving grace of the movie, with critics such as Isaac Baranoff identifying Black Rage as "A Blaxploitation movie so cheap that it can't afford to hire black people" and The Cinema Snob featuring it on his show.
Tropes for Black Rage include:
- Angry Black Man: Except the man is barely angry and even less black.
- Black Like Me: Sunshine, an "Albino" black man, is played by a white guy.
- But Not Too Black: One of the major criticisms of the movie. The character of Sunshine was written as a sort of black militant, but they had a white guy playing him and to explain this away, they made him an "albino".
- Contemptible Cover: The movie's VHS cover makes it look like Mandingo crossed with Django Unchained. The actual movie isn't so exciting.
- Corrupt Hick: The protagonists are chased by them.
- Covers Always Lie: The movie's been frequently watched only because of its So Bad, It's Good VHS cover, which depicts a Scary Black Man menacing a white guy. Both of them are models and are not actually in the movie. In fact, the "raging" black guy in the movie is an "albino" played by a white actor.
- Evil Sounds Deep: Striker, holy shit.
- Honor Before Reason: Maybe why Sunshine didn't pretend to be white earlier.
- Just Eat Gilligan: Sunshine could have passed for white and pretended his brother was his slave much earlier.
- Public Domain Feature Films: The film's copyright ran out around the year 2000. But unlike other public domain features, this one never saw a home media re-release and bootlegs are rather hard to come by.
- Vocal Dissonance: Sunshine sounds like a white man who had a privileged education. His brother Levi sounds more like the black man in bondage he is supposed to be. They're supposed to both be black brothers.
- White Like Me: Very late in the movie, Sunshine tells a white woman that he is white so she could let him and his brother into her house. No one who watched the movie understands why he didn't try this earlier in the movie, when he screams very loudly at racists that he is black, even though this would have sped up their journey greatly, especially since they are being chased by people who want to put them back in bondage and forced labor, and Sunshine pretending to be white would have helped the duo greatly to attain freedom and get the buried treasure.