Blood Rage (1987) Content Warning: Bad Language, Bloody Violence, Gore, Nudity
Blood Rage (1987)
Directed by John Grissmer
Starring Louise Lasser, Mark Soper, Julie Gordon, Jayne Bentzen
As kids, Todd is institutionalized for a murder whilst his twin goes free. 10 years later, on Thanksgiving, Todd escapes and a killing spree begins in his neighborhood.
IMDb Rating: 5.9
Blood Rage, Or Why I Get Banned from Picking Movies
My girlfriend and I have a semi-regular Saturday movie night. A few weeks ago, I made a bad pick. Consequently, I lost my picking privileges for a while. I’ve managed to lose them again after choosing this one.
I don’t know what I was expecting really. After The Initiation was pleasantly surprising, I opted for another 80s slasher. And boy, does this film want you to know it was made in the 1980s. From the soundtrack to the style, to the fashion. Everything screams the 80s. Even the opening, which takes place in a drive-in theatre and features a cameo by Ted Raimi as the local condom dealer, possesses that particular 80s style – albeit set in the 70s.
The Drive-In, Where Everyone Goes to Get Laid
Maddy (Louise Lasser) is macking with her boyfriend, while her young sons, Todd and Terry, are snoozing in the back. As things heat up, Todd and Terry wake up and decide to go for a little stroll. Terry acquires an axe, happens upon a couple dry humping and brutally murders the male participant. Being a devious little shit, Terry smears some blood on Todd, hands him the axe and blames him.
Undoubtedly the victim of a lazy police investigation, Todd is sent to a mental institution, and Terry gets to live a normal life. We rejoin the family ten years later. Todd (Mark Soper), who apparently entered a catatonic state having witnessed his brother’s axe-murdering antics, is starting to remember he didn’t kill anyone. Of course, his visiting mother refuses to believe that, leading to a vicious pumpkin-pie squashing.
Suppressed Blood Rage
Terry (also Mark Soper), meanwhile, has managed to suppress his murderous urges. Instead, he’s just grown up to be a twat. Whether it’s openly flirting with the neighbour in front of his girlfriend, or ignoring his mother’s pleas not to ruin Thanksgiving by letting everyone know Todd has managed to escape, Terry sets himself to twat-factor five.
With Todd on the loose, Terry decides it’s time for a killing spree. Figuring out his motivations is hard. There seems to be something of an Oedipal complex, but he also appears just to dislike other people getting randy. The biggest question is where does Terry buy his shirts? He seems to have acquired an exceptional selection of spree-killer edition polo shirts. Despite cutting people in half, lopping hands off and shoving a machete through someone’s stomach, he only actually gets blood on him when it’s required for the plot. Interesting.
Is This a Joke?
Blood Rage is one of those films where you can’t work out whether it’s intended as a comedy, parody, or whether someone seriously thought this all worked. The dialogue is fucking atrocious. People behave in a less rational manner than most slasher films. Mark Soper is so wooden you could be forgiven for looking for the strings. None of the characters are worth giving a shit about. And the mother? Fuck me if she’s not really annoying. There’s an overdone scene of her crying into a phone, badgering an operator because she can’t get hold of her latest boyfriend. At this point, you start to understand why Terry wants everyone dead.
Everything plays out as expected. A series of brutal slayings, Todd rocking up occasionally to try and convince people he’s not a murderer but being damn creepy while he’s doing it. We get to the final girl stage, the chase ensues and everything wraps up predictably. Even the last little shock is telegraphed all the way from 1987.
You’ve got to be a slasher movie completionist to want to check out Blood Rage. Some of the special effects are quite good. It’s a very grizzly film in places. I can also give the film some props for getting straight to it. Unlike a lot of slasher movies, Blood Rage does away with the overdone intro and bounces along from kill to kill. However, the piss-poor writing, nonsensical narrative and exaggerated characters are too much. It’s not even “so-bad-it’s-good”. Blood Rage is just bad.