An unknown killer, clad in World War II U.S. Army fatigues, stalks a small New Jersey town bent on reliving a 35 year-old double murder by focusing on a group of college kids holding an annual Spring Dance.
Five campers arrive in the mountains to examine some property they have bought, but are warned by Forest Ranger Roy McLean that a huge machete-wielding maniac has been terrorising the area.... See full summary »
While trying to understand a frightening reoccurring nightmare, a pledge is coaxed into breaking into her father's department store by her sorority sisters, where a deranged killer targets the girls and their boyfriends.
Twins Todd and Terry seem like sweet boys that is, until one of them takes an axe to face of a fellow patron at the local drive-in. Todd is blamed for the bloody crime and institutionalized, whilst twin brother Terry goes free. Ten years later and, as the family gathers around the table for a Thanksgiving meal, the news comes in that Todd has escaped. But has the real killer in fact been in their midst all along? One thing's for sure, there will be blood and rage!Written by
Nightmare at Shadow Woods (which was also the cable television title for this film) was heavily edited, abbreviating much of the gore, but it contained a swimming pool scene not found in the 1987 VHS Blood Rage version by Prism Entertainment. The latter contains all of the gore and includes an early scene, missing from the Nightmare at Shadow Woods version, where Maddy visits Todd at the mental hospital. See more »
"Blood Rage" begins with two twin adolescent boys at a drive-in with their mother on a date; the two slink off, and one of them murders a man in his car. Ten years later, the psycho twin is incarcerated in a mental institution. On Thanksgiving, the good twin and his mother go to visit, but find he has escaped. He returns to the woodsy community where his mother lives and begins carving up residents like turkeys.
Let's face it—evil twins are to horror films what pumpkin pie is to Thanksgiving. It just works. "Blood Rage," a little-known slasher filmed in the early 1980s, knows this, and takes full advantage of the trope. The film fell into obscurity and wasn't even released theatrically until 1987; it made it to small theaters and B-movie drive-ins, and all but disappeared. What's interesting is that the film actually offers all of the hallmarks that genre fans love about these films: a holiday setting, corny one-liners, young adults copulating, and some impressive special effects set to a pounding synth score. You'd think the film would have at least garnered a cult following, but the limited availability of it until Arrow Video's 2015 release prevented it from ever really catching on.
The film is admittedly a mess in areas; some of the performances are hammy and the dialogue contrived, while the pacing is certainly bizarre at times, but for a low-budget B slasher film, these are typically taken for granted, and if anything are part of the charm. Louise Lasser spends the majority of the film boozed out screaming into a telephone and eating Thanksgiving leftovers on her kitchen floor, while her good twin boy searches ruthlessly for his unhinged brother. Bodies start piling up, and elaborate gore effects take precedent over plot development at times. The script overall is vaguely sketched and doesn't completely feel rounded out, and the film does suffer from a frankly nonthreatening villain, but the final act is tongue-in-cheek and well handled.
Overall, the film is a nice slice of eighties slasher pie that somehow got left behind. It's not a great film by any means, but it's also not a bad one when pitted against the genre standards. The ending is rather grim, and Lasser's turn as the mentally destroyed mother is hammy, Oedipal, and at times poignant. In many ways, the film reminded me of "Butcher, Baker, Nightmare Maker," another eighties slasher that never really caught on, in both tone and thematics. "Blood Rage" is most definitely worth a look for genre fans, and is a hokey, gory effort if nothing else. 6/10.
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