Film Review: Blood Rage (1987)

Also known as: Nightmare at Shadow Woods, Slasher (alternate titles)
Release Date: May 1st, 1987
Directed by: John Grissmer
Written by: Bruce Rubin
Music by: Richard Einhorn
Cast: Louise Lasser, Mark Soper

Film Limited Partnership, 82 Minutes

Review:

“That’s not cranberry sauce…” – Todd

This was a slasher film made in the late 80s in and around Jacksonville, Florida. Strangely, even being a big slasher fan and a Floridian, this movie has eluded me until recently. In my defense, it wasn’t like it was highly successful or made a lot of waves. It apparently didn’t matter that I was in video stores on a daily basis in the 80s and 90s and even worked in one because I just never came across this. It wasn’t until I found this streaming for free for Prime members on Amazon that I knew it existed.

Now this is far from a great slasher film but it certainly stands well above the bottom of the barrel. I went into this expecting something that would be total shit. The film actually hooked me with its opening, which saw a young boy violently murder a teenager at a drive-in movie theater and then pin it on his twin brother.

The story picks up a decade later and we find out that the killer brother has been on the loose the whole time and the innocent brother has been in a mental hospital. The innocent brother escapes, however, so the killer brother takes that opportunity to start killing again, as he can frame it on the escaped mental patient.

Most of this film takes place at an apartment complex called Shadow Woods. In fact, even though I live on the other side of the state, the setting feels like every apartment complex I went to as a kid in 1980s Florida.

The film barely had any real acting talent other than the twins’ mother, who was played by Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman‘s Louise Lasser. Mark Soper pulled double duty as the twins Todd (the real killer) and Terry (the innocent nice one).

There was an obvious lack of budget with this film but the special effects and gore were still well handled and executed nicely. This is a really violent slasher picture with lots of dismemberment, split skulls, decapitations and just about anything else you can think of.

The music in this movie was really cool too. It was an electric 80s horror soundtrack in a similar vein as John Carpenter’s scores but a bit more poppy when it got going.

Blood Rage is a film I was impressed by. I wasn’t looking forward to firing it up but you don’t find diamonds in the rough by being timid. It exceeded my weak expectations and gave me hope that there are still long lost gems out there waiting to be discovered.

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