There’s precious little we love more here at Castle Blogferatu than a big ol’ steaming hot mess of a movie–plot holes, production woes, tension on set, unruly talent, raging egos–Yes. Please. And high up in the rarefied air of The Holy Mountain Of Awfulness, scattered about the inner confines of the summit temple, rests The Horde Of The Movie Dragon where, with enough courage and luck, one might uncover the finest of the dragon’s treasures, gems like Blood Rage.
Where to begin? How about 38 seconds in, where the opening credits list the movie as Slasher rather than Blood Rage, a minor oversight that I’m sure bodes well as an indicator of what’s in store. There’s also the question of which version of the movie one is in fact watching. There’s the “real” cut which has a considerable amount of gore, but there’s also the Nightmare At Shadow Woods cut (which was also released on cable) that edits out troubling amounts of blood n’ guts. Apparently Arrow Video issued a 3-disc special edition Blu-ray with both versions which is for sure gonna be on this year’s christmas list to
Our story concerns the age-old but nonetheless tried and true evil twin scenario, and boy does the bloodletting take off right outta the gate (he said whilst waving a Spoilers sign). Pre-teens Todd and Terry are at the drive-in with their mom Maddy (Louise Lasser) and her stud muffin. While the lads are asleep in the back, Ma and dudester start to lip-lockin’ and such. Questionable but hey.
Well, as you can imagine, Terry and Todd wake up, so they sneak outta the car and go wandering around. Todd finds a hatchet in the back of a pick-up and grabs it. Terry, who inexplicably now has the hatchet, happens upon a young couple he-n’ & she-n’ in a car. When the guy spots him, Terry whacks him to death. The girl escapes and runs away naked and screaming. Terry hands Todd the hatchet, smears blood on Todd’s cheek, and yells for his mom. And that, boils and ghouls, concludes our first 6 minutes.
Todd of course gets institutionalized, and we jump ahead 10 years to Mom arriving at the, uh, facility to have a chat with Todd’s doctor. Todd, it seems, has come out of his catatonic state and started piecing (heh) together what actually happened at the drive-in (as revealed by nearly 3-minute voice-over that displays all the subtlety of a chimp throwing poo).
By 16 minutes, Todd has escaped and we’re off to the proverbial races. But put that checkbook away there’s more! See, mother dear announces over the currently underway Thanksgiving dinner that she and her fella, Brad, are getting married. This sets Terry off on a killing spree which includes a good deal of people not being able to tell one twin from the other despite their different shirts and radically unlike hair styles.
As killers go, it’s worth nothing the Oedipal nature of Terry’s first two murders. See, he and Todd leave the car after Terry sees his mom with her date and says “back at it again.” Clearly he doesn’t like his mother being with men. He then kills a guy who’s in the middle of having sex. I believe they call that transference, class. The second murder is Brad who has become the new father figure. It’s a Freudian field day. It’s interesting as well that Terry cuts off Brad’s hand then cleaves his head. Familiar? Hush…Hush, Sweet Charlotte? Anyone?
Also if Terry/Todd looks familiar, it’s because Mark Soper was in The World According To Garp a year before Blood Rage was shot. He was the one having an affair with Garp’s wife until she accidentally bit his penis off. That’s right. Accidentally. Go watch the movie. Anyway, the acting in his brief Garp appearances was perfectly fine. Not so in Blood Rage. Ever see one of those guys who takes a chainsaw and carves, like, a bear from a big hunka tree? That bear isn’t as wooden as Soper.
Speaking of wood, there should also be a special Oscar for Most Splinters Removed From Teeth After Gnawing On The Scenery. Hands down, 1987 woulda been Louise Lasser. Good lord n’ butter that woman got lotsa roughage outta this role, not the least of which is a long, excruciating heart-to-heart with a telephone operator. I gotta go back to Agnes Moorehead and Bette Davis in Hush…Hush, Sweet Charlotte for set-chewin’ of such grandeur and majesty.
Along with all these glorious flaws is the classic leave-ya-hangin’ ending that I won’t divulge but which you might be able to sort out on your own either without seeing the movie at all or definitely before you get to the big finish. And now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a Blu-ray to order from Arrow Video.
BODIES- 11 onscreen
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