Those fine re-releasers of forgotten films Arrow Video are releasing 80’s retro slasher Blood Rage, also known as Nightmare at Shadow Woods, in a brand-new 2k restoration.
This new release sees three versions of the film: the theatrical re-cut, original home video version and an alternate ‘composite’ cut combining footage from both versions.
Identical twins Todd and Terry, Mark Soper (Phenomenon, Swordfish) playing both roles, are wholesome boys, that is until one of them takes an axe to someone’s face at a drive-in. Todd is blamed for the crime and institutionalised whilst Terry goes free. Ten years pass and as Thanksgiving comes around, Todd escapes from his institute to come home. But questions begin to be raised, who was the real killer after all?
The films was shot in 1983 but not released until 1987. It’s a classic slasher piece of work with 80’s synth work abound, American TV star Louise Lasser (Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman) and some pretty fantastically gruesome special effects courtesy of Ed French (Terminator 2).
The body-count slowly racks up, as does Lasser’s alcohol intake, as Terry wonders round looking menacing with a dramatic synth bassline in the background. Meanwhile more and more people get set-up to get slashed as blood flows and body-parts fly. In fact the dismembered body parts look better than the fake props in the movie.
Blood Rage is a cheesy 80’s slasher flick but if you’re going to pick one, you could do a lot worse. Ed French has a lot of fun with this, and it seems writer Bruce Rubin does too. You even get some classic 80’s retro video gaming shown for true nostalgia.