Blood Rage (Nightmare at Shadow Woods/Slasher, 1984)

UK Arrow Video 2017 Blu-ray and DVD combo 2 disc edition



Text below written 2019-11-23



An entertaining Slasher made solely trying to make some bucks ripping off the famous entries to the genre, as Friday the 13th
and Halloween. The somewhat bumptious and unlikeable director gives no love to the genre in the audio commentary and he
underscores that he just was the hired man to do the job. The Arrow Video moderator guy gets no help at all either in trying to
liven up the stiff and boring audio commentary, and when he tries to he's immediately met by some smug remark by Grissmer.
But, hey, maybe that's just the way he is and not everyone can be a funny guy, and he has a short film CV and IMDB shows
that the films he was involved with as a director or producer all were genre films, horror or thriller, so he must have been a fan.

That the film was purely a commercial project, a "job", for most of the involved shows as the direction is flat and unsuspenseful,
the acting flat and uninspired too (with some exceptions) and the dialogue atrocious.

BUT .... 2 persons involved did have some ambition with this film - 1. Special effects man Ed French and 2. actress Louise Lasser

Turnable sleeve with pic of Mark Soper

Ed French and Louise Lasser

And they're the reason this film is entertaining to watch. Ed French really wanted to make some impact and gave it a 100% to, with a
meager budget create effective and gruesome Gore, and he certainly succeeds very well, mostly, with this task, and today he's in
Hollywood as a probably very well payed special effects man. He made his own film and ignored the probably bored attitude from the
rest of the team (with the exception of Louise Lasser).

Louise Lasser, the only known name in this production, the actress gives an over the top standout performance as the Mom. She
acts in a Method Acting way and it looks like she thought she was acting in a John Cassavetes film, The Gena Rowlands of The
Slasher. It's delightfully out of synch with the poor acting and direction of the rest of the movie. She's great and brings stuff to a B
horror slasher i've never ever seen before. As the hysterical mom with a compulsive need to vacuum-clean, to clean the oven and
to stuff herself with food from the refrigerator whenever she gets nervous.
She also made her "own film" and probably ignored or didn't even note the lukeworm uninterested attitude from the rest of the crew
(with the exception of Ed French).

This film has a slow pace and is unsuspenseful all through due to the flat direction and acting, BUT what it certainly has is a lot of
killings. Rivers of blood and gore en masse and Louise Lasser as the hysterical mom. So, entertaining it was for a genre fan.
The film also has an appropriate synth-score soundtrack almost of the Claudio Simonetti style .

The film starts in 1974 with a murder at a Drive In cinema. Two twin boys, Terry and Todd, jumps out of their mother's car, grabs an
axe and chops a guy having sex with his girlfriend. Terry is the killer but he blames Todd, and Todd is the one who's locked into a
Mental Hospital for 10 years. In 1984 Todd escapes and for some unknown reason Terry suddenly starts on a killing spree with his
machete. One after another they go and the Body Count in this film is unbelievable as almost everyone dies, but, the Final Girl maybe.

The Blu-ray presents the film in a widescreen 1.85:1 with an english audio 2.0 stero with english subtitles. BR region ALL and DVD
region free. Extras: Audio commentary with director John Grissmer, Double Jeopardy: interview with actor Mark Soper (11 minutes),
Jeez, Louise!: interview with actress Louise Lasser (10 minutes), Both Sides of the Camera: interview with producer and actress
Marianne Kanter (9 minutes), Man Behind the Mayhem: interview with special effects man Ed French (also playing Brad in the film)
12 minutes, interview with actor Ted Raimi, Return to Shadow Woods featurette revisiting the original locations in Jacksonville,
Florida, VHS Opening titles, Behind the Scenes Gallery

 

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