24th Nov2015

‘Blood Rage’ Blu-ray Review (Arrow Video)

by Paul Metcalf

Stars: Louise Lasser, Mark Soper, Marianne Kanter, Julie Gordon, Jayne Bentzen, James Farrell, Ed French, William Fuller, Gerry Lou, Chad Montgomery, Ted Raimi, Lisa Randall | Written by Bruce Rubin | Directed by John Grissmer

blood-rage

Twins Todd and Terry appear at first to be just two sweet boys, until one day one of them decides to take an axe to the face of a drive-in patron. When Todd is blamed for it and institutionalised, Terry gets to live a normal life. As the two reach childhood though the truth comes out as to who was to blame, though his mother (Louise Lasser) refuses to accept the truth.

The 80s are often looked back at nostalgically when it comes to horror, especially for slasher movies. Many imitated the success of films like Halloween, Friday the 13th and A Nightmare on Elm Street, but failed to find the same success. Blood Rage is one that could be written off as just another clone, but the film has a strange charm that manages to make it stand out.

Blood Rage has not only suffered at the hands of the censors over the years, it has also gone through a few name changes, one of them being Nightmare at Shadow Woods which is the more censored version of the film. Arrow Video have included both versions, as well as a composite cut of the two, which includes added footage that Nightmare at Shadow Woods includes in place of the gore. The truth is Blood Rage in its original uncut form is the best version of the film.

Blood Rage borrows a lot from Halloween, but adds the evil twin twist in there for equal measure. Like a lot of slashers of the same era, the best way to enjoy the film is to not overthink the story but just enjoy the craziness – and the gore effects! Ed French’s special makeup effects are impressively gory which undoubtedly adds to the fun. The fact that Nightmare at Shadow Woods removes all the best gore takes away one of the things that makes the film a success…

It is fair to say that the film is trying to add comedy to the horror, but the unintentional side of the comedy works even better. The acting ranges from good (Louise Lasser) to very poor, but thankfully most of the actors do a good enough job to make the film work as it needs to. A film like Blood Rage doesn’t need the best acting, it just needs a performance that is believable and keeps the pace going. Thankfully, this is what we get. Add in some memorable lines like “That’s not cranberry sauce” and this is a cult horror that manages to stick in your memory.

Arrow Video have put together an impressive package for Blood Rage, including the three versions of the film, plenty of interviews and documentaries and a brand new commentary track with the producer and director. The fact they’ve even got an interview with Ted Raimi about his little part at the beginning of the film as a condom seller shows just how much work they’ve gone through to put the release together, which is very impressive.

Blood Rage doesn’t rank up there with the best horrors to come out of the Eighties, but it has a certain charm. The very definition of a cult classic, hopefully this release will get it the attention that it deserves and lead to some other lesser known horrors of the same quality getting the same treatment. Horror films don’t need to be top quality to be fun, and Blood Rage definitely fits into the fun category of odd little slasher. If you are a fan of cult horror this is well worth adding to your collection.

**** 4/5

Blood Rage is available on dual format DVD and Blu-ray now from Arrow Video.

Review originally posted on PissedOffGeek
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