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  • Made in 1983 but not released until 1987 until the title of Nightmare at Shadow Woods, Blood Rage is one of many forgotten slashers given a limited cinema run, only to be cut of a lot of its gore and released in various butchered versions on home video. Also like a lot of slashers, Blood Rage is terribly acted, badly written and features a plodding narrative in which we get to witness lots of boobs and blood-spraying. It’s also an evil twin movie, beginning with two young identical siblings, Todd and Terry, escaping their car at a drive-in while their mum gets it on with a man in the front seat. Terry inexplicably hacks a young, dry-humping couple to death, wipes the blood on Todd, and blames his shell-shocked brother for the crime.

    Todd is locked away in a mental asylum, and years later, the grown up Terry (Mark Soper) is preparing for a Thanksgiving meal with his smothering mother Maddy (Louise Lasser), her new beau Brad (William Fuller) and his girlfriend Karen (Julie Gordon). They learn of Todd’s escape and are soon joined by Dr. Berman (Marianne Kanter) and her assistant Jackie (Douglas Weiser) from the institute. Terry, seeing an opportunity to release his suppressed homicidal tendencies and frame Todd even more convincingly, embarks on a killing spree, stalking the estate and the surrounding wooded area with machete in hand, using his clean-cut mommy’s-boy image to divert any attention from him.

    There’s a clear oedipal theme running throughout Blood Rage, similar to but not to the same extent as fellow obscure horror (and video nasty) Night Warning (1982), but this is not explored with any care or intelligence. Decent slasher movies are extremely difficult to come by, and this is no exception. The horror is particularly gory, and alarmingly frequent, especially in the early stages. The make-up and effects (by Oscar winner Ed French) are also quite decent, but in between these moments are the same stretched-out chase scenes and clunky dialogue seen in a thousand films of its ilk. Soper is equally terrible as Todd as he is as Terry, but special mention must go to Lasser (who actually had a half-decent career), whose frankly bizarre performance is so awful that it may cause your ears to bleed. A true Thanksgiving turkey.

    Rating: 1/5

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