BLOOD RAGE (1987) Reviews and overview

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Blood Rage is a 1983 [released 1987] American slasher horror film directed by John Grissmer (Scalpel aka False Face, 1976) from a screenplay written by Bruce Rubin [as Richard Lamden].

The movie stars Louise Lasser (Frankenhooker), Mark Soper (Graveyard Shift II), Marianne Kanter (who also produced this and Dark August in 1976), Julie Gordon and special effects makeup artist Ed French (Amityville II: The Possession, Sleepaway Camp, The Stuff).

The soundtrack score was composed by Richard Einhorn (The ProwlerEyes of a Stranger; Don’t Go in the House; Shock Waves).

Although the film was shot in 1983 as Complex and then retitled Slasher, it was given only a limited release theatrically in the United States by the Film Concept Group under the title Nightmare at Shadow Woods in 1987. It was released on VHS by Prism Entertainment the same year under the title Blood Rage and this is the title it is now best known by.

The Nightmare at Shadow Woods version is missing an early scene where Maddy visits Todd at the mental hospital but includes a swimming pool scene not found in the Blood Rage version. The Nightmare at Shadow Woods version had a budget US DVD release in 2004 by Legacy Entertainment.


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On September 29, 2015, Arrow Video released an uncut composite Blu-ray + DVD version with all the footage from both versions. On 23 January 2017, the same release is issued in the UK too.

Brand new 2K restoration of the original hard version, transferred from the camera negative and featuring the original title card Slasher!

Nightmare at Shadow Woods the re-edited, R-rated 1987 theatrical cut featuring footage exclusive to this version

An alternate composite cut of the feature combining all the uncut gore sequences alongside additional footage from the theatrical version [Blu-ray only]

High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentations
Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
Audio commentary with director John Grissmer
Double Jeopardy an interview with actor Mark Soper
Jeez, Louise! an interview with actress Louise Lasser
Both Sides of The Camera an interview with producer/actress Marianne Kanter
Man Behind The Mayhem an interview with special make-up effects creator Ed French
Three Minutes with Ted an interview with actor Ted Raimi
Return to Shadow Woods featurette revisiting the original Jacksonville, Florida locations
Alternate Blood Rage VHS opening titles
Behind-the-scenes make-up effects gallery
Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Marc Schoenbach



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Todd and Terry are twins. They are blonde, cute, bright and identical in every respect, with one exception. One of them is a murderer. This starts one night at a drive-in theatre when a teenager was slaughtered in the back seat of his car while his girlfriend watched. Todd is found guilty of the heinous crime and is locked away in an asylum.


Years passed and Terry lives happily with his mother (Louise Lasser), who smothers him with enough love for two sons. All is fine until Thanksgiving when they receive news that Todd escaped. Terry goes on a killing spree to ensure that Todd goes back to the asylum.

His first kill is his mother’s fiancée, when he chops off his arm with a machete, before stabbing him to death. Meanwhile, Dr Berman and her assistant, Jackie, go out in search of Todd.

Jackie meets a sticky end when he is stabbed by Terry. Dr Berman also suffers the same fate. Whilst in the woods looking for Todd, she comes across Terry, who cuts her in half with the machete, leaving her to die…


“Nearly all of the deaths are inventive and gory thanks to French’s work. It brings this weird balance of realistic carnage to over the top acting and dialogue that somehow works. Though Terry’s affinity for cranberry sauce has become the tagline and mantra of Blood Rage, it can really be summed up with the cheesy, simple line, “The turkey was perfect!” Bloody Disgusting

“This fantastic slasher film impresses with some very ballsy gore; everything from bloody severed heads and split open brains to women chopped in half and guys stabbed in the neck with barbecue prongs.” Strictly Splatter

“The gore, like almost all films from the 80s does look very dated and if you look closely, you can see how they achieved different effects. But there are some inventive kill scenes; the first kill in Blood Rage is a little kid taking an axe to the face of a guy whilst that guy is getting lucky… little cock blocker! The bad acting and crazy music bring the film down a lot…” UK Horror Scene

[Movie]Nightmare at Shadow Woods (1987)_01

“It’s all rather amusing yet somehow cruel at the same time, and it’s this element of mean-spiritedness that runs consistently throughout the film and hurts it to a degree … never quite knowing how to react in certain scenes had me a little alienated and made some of the funny stuff seem almost tacky or inappropriate.” Hysteria Lives!

“The acting was all quite good, and the only terrible acting I can really pinpoint is by Marianne Kanter as Dr Berman, Todd’s doctor. Just look at her acting in her death scene to see what I mean. The rest are all quite good, even if the “mom” character was pretty over the top.” Horror Bid

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Choice dialogue:

“The turkey was perfect!”
“It’s not cranberry sauce!”
“Well, I want you to make love to me.”
“God, that’s horrible! How can they show that on TV?”

Cast and characters:

Louise Lasser … Maddy
Mark Soper … Todd / Terry
Julie Gordon … Karen
Jayne Bentzen … Julie
Marianne Kanter … Dr Berman
James Farrell … Artie (as James Farrel)
Chad Montgomery … Gregg
Lisa Randall … Andrea
William Fuller … Brad
Douglas Weiser … Jackie / Radio Announcer (as Doug Weiser)
Gerry Lou … Beth
Ed French … Bill
Dana Drescher … Little Girl
Brad Leland … Teen Boy at Drive-In (as Brad Williams)
Rebecca Thorp … Teen Girl at Drive-In
Bill Cakmis … Maddy’s Date
Keith Hall … Young Terry
Russell Hall … Young Todd (as Ross Hall)
Lauren Myers … Baby
Amanda Ball … Baby
Ted Raimi … Condom Salesman
Matthew Carlisle … Hospital Attendant
Kevin Williams … Hospital Attendant
Dylan Riggs … Slasher (uncredited)

Filming locations:

Jacksonville, Florida


Blood Rage should not be confused with the 1979 film Bloodrage aka Never Pick Up a Stranger.

Although this isn’t a ‘good’ film in the conventional sense it deserves three stars for its sheer trashy entertainment value.

MOVIES and MANIA rating:

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