BLOOD RAGE (1987)
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This is an odd and lesser known 80s slasher that tells the story of twin brothers Todd and Terry. It starts in 1974 where the young brothers are at a drive-in with their mother (Louise Lasser) and her boyfriend. Terry and Todd sneak away only to have Terry senselessly murder a patron and then blame it on the catatonic Todd. Todd is institutionalized and only begins to remember that awful night ten years later. Now an adult, Todd (Mark Soper) tells his doctor that Terry (also Mark Soper) is actually the killer and when no one seems to believe him, he escapes on Thanksgiving night to confront his brother. When informed of Todd’s escape, Terry embarks on a bloody killing spree knowing his sibling will be blamed once more and locked away forever.
Written by Bruce Rubin and directed by John Grissmer, this is a strange slasher. We are never given a reason for the murder at the drive-in, nor why Terry is so quick to frame Todd. Once Todd escapes a decade later, the deranged Terry just picks up where he left off and starts to murder not only his own friends, but anyone who might believe Todd. The film does make some good use of the fact that the two are identical twins and they are played by the same actor. The gimmick would have worked better, though, if director Grissmer gave the film a bit more intensity and life. It’s got some atmosphere, but the film is directed very by-the-numbers, is very dreary in tone and the cast, including vet Lasser, are very wooden for the most part…though Soper does do a good job making a noticeable difference in the two brother’s personalities and seems to be having fun with the role. There is some graphic gore and bloodshed in the flick and it has a very bleak ending and one must wonder what the film would had been like, guided by someone more willing to really go for broke with it’s premise. It’s a mediocre film that could have been more of a stand-out in the 80s slasher canon, if only it cranked things up a bit and wasn’t played out quite as somberly.
Blood Rage is a moderately entertaining 80s horror. It has a decent body count, with some very good gore, but never really comes alive with by-the-numbers direction and it’s very somber mood. Actor Mark Soper seems to be having fun playing the brothers, but lead Lasser acts as if she’d rather be somewhere else. There is some fun with hero and villain both being twins, though the script and director could have made even more use of the premise and had a lot more fun with it. A decent enough watch, but could have used a director who really could take the story and milk it for all it’s was worth. Flick was made in 1983, but took four years to finally find distribution. Watch for Ted Raimi in a brief cameo role in the drive-in sequence.
2 and 1/2 serrated machetes.