Actor/Musician David Heavener stars in this low-budgeted action-drama that showcases more 80’s film and television talent and yet, still has the tendency to fall flat.
Heavener plays Cage Damante, an ex-Vietnam veteran who became a kickboxer for local promoter/mob boss Righetti (Allan Rich). While in one fight, Cage begins to suffer flashbacks and ultimately loses the match. Fearing Righetti will attempt to kill him, Cage decides to escape to Los Angeles. While in L.A., he meets country lounge singer Allie (Charlene Tilton), who gets him a job as a dishwasher.
While Cage attempts to go straight, by eventually writing songs for Allie’s possible breakthrough, Righetti has other plans. Losing money, Righetti sends his men to find Cage. The idea is to set Cage up and force him to fight one more time. The fight will be to the death and his opponent is Righetti’s new top fighter, Doctor Death (Jesse Borja). While Cage be able to shake his past demons to make his life better, or will his past continue to haunt him, eventually causing him to die when Allie is made as collateral so he has to fight?
From the opening, one would think that this film would be a kickboxing film. However, the film goes from action to drama in less than the opening five minutes. Written and directed by William Byron Hillman, it is ultimately a drama about an ex-fighter who suffers from post-traumatic stress syndrome who tries to make a better life for himself. Normally, in this type of film, one would expect said ex-fighter to at least take on some local thugs. Sadly, this is not the case for the hardcore fans. Instead, what Hillman does is have Heavener sing! Now the film goes from drama to a somewhat musical?! The film doesn’t scream B-movie, but more like a D-movie in terms of the script.
Heavener’s Cage spends most of the film angry and upset. Perhaps, like many fans, he was expecting to kick some more butt rather than spend time with pent-up frustrations and rather would sing to get his aggression out. As mentioned, the supporting cast consists of some former top names in film and television of the 80’s. Playing Cage’s potential love interest is Charlene Tilton, best known for DALLAS. She plays her role well not only as a typical damsel in distress, but someone who tries to get through to Cage. Samantha Eggar (THE EXTERMINATOR) plays the psychiatrist who tries to help Cage get past his demons while Sam Bottoms plays Cage’s war buddy, who suffers from agoraphobia.
Now onto the action, or rather lack of action. There are only two big fights in the film. The opening fight pits Cage against a fighter played by kickboxing legend Benny “The Jet” Urquidez. Urquidez served as the film’s kickboxing technical advisor, which is why Heavener looked good in the film’s last fight. Of course, the fight is that of typical 80’s cheese, with some slow motion mixed in with some decent long shots that could have been utilized slightly better.
Unless you are in the mood for some limburger cheese, it is best to stay away from RAGIN’ CAJUN. The only high point truly seems to be that of the cameo of Benny “The Jet” Urquidez. Other than that, it’s a lackluster effort that really drags in the middle and despite a decent last fight, the film ends with a musical number. In other words, avoid this unless you love the fast forward and stop buttons. Only a half star for the two only fight sequences.