Wednesday, December 23, 2015
Blu-ray Review: BLOOD RAGE (1987)
Directed by: John Grissmer
Distributed by Arrow Video / MVD Entertainment Group
It looks like I am continuing to find hidden horror gems from the 1980's that I somehow missed. The latest is the amazing Arrow Video release of BLOOD RAGE. This is another film that I have always heard of, but had never seen. After finally getting a chance to see it, I am upset that it took me this long to see it. This is a classic in every sense of the word. For those unfamiliar, here is the basic plot courtesy of the MVD website:
IT'S NOT CRANBERRY SAUCE! What do you get if you combine Thanksgiving, American TV star Louise Lasser (Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman), killer 80s synths and some of the most gruesome special effects in all of slasher history courtesy of Ed (Terminator 2) French. Why, it's Blood Rage of course! Todd and Terry seem like sweet kids - that is, until one of them takes an axe to face of a fellow patron at the local drive-in. Todd is blamed for the bloody crime and institutionalised, whilst twin brother Terry goes free. Ten years later and, as the family gathers around the table for a Thanksgiving meal, the news comes in that Todd has escaped - and he's heading their way. But has the killer twin in fact been in their midst all along? One thing's for sure, there WILL be blood... Filmed in 1983 at the tail-end of the slasher golden era but not released until 1987, Blood Rage (also re-cut and released to theatres as Nightmare at Shadow Woods) has been lovingly restored from the original vault materials for its first ever appearance on Blu-ray and DVD. Happy Thankskilling!
"This Thanksgiving, it's not cranberry sauce"! Ha! What a great tagline, and yes, an actual line from the film. I have a feeling a lot of people might have missed seeing this one, and hopefully with this new release that can be corrected. This is definitely a film that any horror fan needs to see. The story is very interesting with the twin aspect, as no one knows for sure who they are dealing with once the commotion starts. The acting is pretty good, although pretty cheesy at some points. Also, there is no getting around this film being from the 1980's with the clothes and big hair! That is part of the film's character, though.
There were tons of slasher films that came out in the 1980's, but what sets this one apart from all the others is the amazing effects and gore. The effects were done by genre vet Ed French and they are truly amazing. You gotta love practical effects, and BLOOD RAGE is full of them, including a severed hand, severed head, split open head, and a completely chopped up person! The gore is over the top in this film and while most slashers cut away when they go in for the kill, this one does not.
This film instantly goes on my top horror films of all time. I can't say enough good things about BLOOD RAGE. Get yourself a copy of this film asap! You will not be disappointed.
BLOOD RAGE is available now on Arrow Video in a awesome 3-disc set and contains the following special features:
3-DISC DIRECTOR-APPROVED LIMITED EDITION CONTENTS
- Three versions of the film – Blood Rage, the original home video version, Nightmare at Shadow Woods, the theatrical re-cut, and an alternate “composite” cut combining footage from both versions
- Original Stereo 2.0 sound (Uncompressed PCM on the Blu-ray)
- Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
- Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Marc Schoenbach
- Fully-illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Joseph A. Ziemba, author of BLEEDING SKULL! A 1980s Trash-Horror Odyssey
BLU-RAY DISC 1 & DVD – BLOOD RAGE
- Brand new 2K restoration of the “hard” home video version, transferred from the camera negative and featuring the original title card Slasher
- Audio commentary with director John Grissmer
- Both Sides of the Camera – an interview with producer/actress Marianne Kanter
- Double Jeopardy – an interview with actor Mark Soper
- Jeez, Louise! – an interview with actress Louise Lasser
- Man Behind the Mayhem – an interview with special make-up effects creator Ed French
- Three Minutes with Ted Raimi – an interview with actor Ted Raimi
- Return to Shadow Woods – featurette revisiting the original locations in Jacksonville, Florida
- Alternate opening titles
- Motion still gallery featuring rare behind-the-scenes make-up photos
BLU-RAY DISC 2 – NIGHTMARE AT SHADOW WOODS [LIMITED EDITION EXCLUSIVE]
- Nightmare at Shadow Woods – the re-edited 1987 theatrical cut featuring footage not seen in the Blood Rage home video version
- Alternate composite cut of the feature combining footage from the home video and theatrical versions
- Never-before-seen outtakes
CLICK HERE to watch the trailer
CLICK HERE to purchase the BD/DVD combo pack