Night #12: Blood Rage (1987)

BloodRage

Directed By: John Grissmer

Well, it’s not cranberry sauce!”

I wanted something that I hadn’t seen or heard about for a Friday night, and when I run across something with this title I can’t belp but think 1) I’m in and 2) It would be better with an exclamation at the end. How do you make Blood Rage better? You call it Blood Rage!

We’re in a very suspiciously 80’s-looking 1974 (It’s certainly not as late as the release would suggest being as this was made back in 1983) when twin brothers Todd and Terry are asleep in the back of their mother’s car while she’s making out. Seemingly not being able to be detected despite being about a foot apart, the boys slip out. Terry finds an axe lying around and when he spots a cavorting couple going at it he buries it in the guy’s face.

Terry, being an ingenious little shit, smothers his brother in blood (Who’s now catanoic after witnessing what happened), puts the axe in his hand and places the blame on him. That’s seemingly all it takes for everyone to believe the story and we jump ahead ten years. Todd has begun to wake up under the care of his psychatrist (Who we’re introduced to through some incredibly awkward voiceover that never surfaces again) and remembers what really happened that night.

Back home, Todd and Terry’s mother is just announced an engagement to her new beau – something Terry doesn’t seem to like – when they get the news Todd has escaped. It doesn’t take long for Terry to get back into his old ways and start off on a killing spree. A very gory, mental killing spree.

If nothing else, fans of gore should be all over this one as people are cut up in various ways. But that’s not all there is. The movie has a weird, askew way about it like the way the mother sends Terry out to confront his brother but still tells him to wear a sweater because it’s cold out (the blue one). It’s also the literal manifestation of that rule about sex equalling death. If you even think about having sex in the vicinity of Terry he will put a shank in you.

It’s also oddly paced. We get introduced to a cast of characters who are offed pretty soon after (Including the psychiatrist, who amusingly is split right in half) before the movie bides its time and goes in for another round of killing. We also have to keep Todd and Terry apart as long as possible given that actor Mark Soper plays them both and I can’t imagine they had the budget or know how to make this in an Adaptation-style (Though there’s an idea).

I can’t say there’s any real scares to be had given that most scenes are just of Terry staring ominously at people before he decides to kill them (You also get a sense for why this was called Slasher in some countries) and I think the reputation for being one of the ‘fun’ slashers mainly comes from those opening thirty minutes. It’s strange to see something like this that’s so front-loaded with the fun stuff, although there is some enjoyment in watching the increasingly deranged Terry – he even stops to take a piss, which I don’t remember Jason Vorhees doing – as he stalks our final girl.

It all ends with a surprisingly downbeat and melodramatic ending that doesn’t seem of a piece with what came before it. Tone is one of the bigger issues this movie has in general though, with it flitting between camp and being mean-spirited which are two things that don’t really go together. If it had perhaps settled on one of them – ideally camp – then we would have a classic slasher on our hands, as it is though it’s only something for afficianados who idiots who set themselves challenges every October to watch.

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