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The Independent Critic

Louise Lasser, Mark Soper and Marianne Kanter
John Grissmer
Bruce Rubin (as Richard Lamden)
84 Mins.
Arrow Video

 "Blood Rage" Gets Blu-ray Release with Arrow Video 
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It's hard to believe that director John Grissmer's Blood Rage was released in 1987 until you begin watching it and begin hearing those familiar 80's synths and then come face-to-face with former Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman star Louise Lasser along with 80's retro-styled gruesome special effects courtesy of Ed French (Terminator 2). The film was actually shot in 1983 and released in 1987, most definitely an indicator of its comfortable status as a B-movie on the lower end of the B-movie spectrum.

Todd and Terry (both played by Mark Soper (television's Knot's Landing) are seemingly good kids or, at least that's what you think until one of them takes an axe to the face of a fellow patron at the local drive-in theatre. Todd takes the blame for the bloody  crime and is institutionalized, while twin brother Terry goes free. It's 10 years later - the family is gathered around Thanksgiving dinner when the news comes in that Todd has escaped the institution and is headed their way.

But, is it possible that the killer has been in their midst all along?

Blood Rage was also re-cut and released in theaters as Nightmare at Shadow Woods. Surprisingly, until now the film has never had a DVD or Blu-ray release. This collection includes both the Blood Rage and Nightmare at Shadow Woods versions of the film along with additional never before seen footage. At 84 minutes in length, the film is a classic slasher flick with ample doses of gore and the kind of B-movie acting that makes you think to yourself as you're watching the film "This is a B-movie."

For the record, that's a good thing.

While the special  content isn't necessarily as comprehensive as it is in some of the Arrow releases, it's hard to ask for more than getting three different versions of a film along with a fully-illustrated collector's booklet featuring new writing on the film.

Everything that unfolds in Blood Rage is predictable - I'm not the most abstract thinker in the world and I had it all figured out within 5-10 minutes or so. However, that doesn't mean that it's still not an awful lot of fun. I mean, seriously. Who watches slasher flicks for the storyline anyway?

If all you need from your slasher flick is some good old fashioned gore and T&A, there's enough here to please most fans. The video's extras are done about as well as possible for an originally VHS-released film. While I'd put this film on the lower end of Arrow releases, fans of the genre or fans of the film will most likely consider it worth the time.

Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic