[Norris] is a kind of whitebread Bruce Lee, with no screen presence to speak of, but nothing terribly offensive working against him, either. He is just sort of there...Silent Rage may be trying to say something here about wealthy technicians and the popular culture, but then the psychopath or Mr. Norris appear and the thought gets lost.
The level of unintentional mirth in Silent Rage is convulsive enough to endear it to connoisseurs of the preposterous. Still, the movie may be too much of a dumb delight to retain a shred of credibility. As an exercise in brawling action combined with blood-curdling terror, it represents a botched experiment. [2 Apr 1982, p.C6]
What could be more frightening than an indestructible murdering mutant? Consider the unbelievably horrifying performance of Stephen Furst as Charlie, the sheriff's deputy. Couple Furst's incompetence with a scene like this one and you know real fear: Charlie tells Sheriff Dan that he just isn't made for law-enforcement. Not because he's incredibly out of shape and dumb as a post, not because he can't drive a squad car. No, no, no. It's worse. The coquettish Charlie confesses to some pretty grim experimentation of his own. He tells of giving his first puppie a bath by swishing it around in the toilet. Then he put it in the freezer to dry. Voila! the first freeze-dried pupsicle. [2 Apr 1982, p.11]
Filled with implausibilities and unintentionally funny moments, this early Norris feature was little more than an excuse for the actor to use his karate skills. Exploitative in nature, but popular with its audiences.
Silent Rage seems as if it were made with a demographics sampler entitled ’10 Sleazy Ways to Cash in on the Exploitation Market’. The result is a combination horror-kung fu-oater-woman in peril-mad scientist film with more unintentional laughs than possible in the space of 100 minutes.