On December 15th, Arrow Video is bringing the lost slasher, ‘Blood Rage,’ (aka ‘Nightmare At Shadow Woods’), to Blu-Ray/DVD for the first time ever!
The film starts in 1974 at a drive-in where Maddy (Louise Lasser) is on a date, while her young twin sons, Terry and Todd are asleep in the back of the station wagon. When she begins making out with her date, the boys wake up and sneak out of the car for some mischief. Only the type of mischief Terry is thinking of is murder.
They happen upon a car where two people are making love. After what seems like a long time of Terry watching, he chops the man’s face with a hatchet, while the woman runs of naked into the night. Todd can only watch in shock as Terry smears blood on Todd’s face and makes him hold the hatchet. As their Mother and other people run over to investigate, Terry blames Todd without hesitation and cries to his Mother.
Cutting to the present, Todd (Mark Soper) has been in a mental institution for 10 years, while his killer brother, Terry, lives free. Maddy visits Todd and is taken aback when Todd has begun to remember that he didn’t kill that guy 10 years ago. Maddy can’t stand to hear these wild accusations and runs away in tears. That night at Thanksgiving dinner, Maddy announces that she is going to marry her boyfriend, Brad (William Fuller), and Terry doesn’t look pleased, but plays it off. Maddy gets a phone call, and it is the institution saying that Todd is missing. Privately, she asks Terry to keep it a secret, but as soon as he gets back to the table, he blurts out that his crazy brother has escaped and all hell is about to break loose at the Shadow Woods apartment complex.
With recent Arrow Video releases such as, ‘Tenderness of the Wolves,’ ‘The Beast,’ and ‘Immoral Tales,’ being so dark and sexually twisted, ‘Blood Rage’ is the orange sorbet palette cleanser for which viewers have been desperately waiting.
Louise Lasser turns in a frighteningly terrific performance; I just don’t know how else to explain it. Maddy’s love for Terry bordered on obscene and insestuous. For instance, at the end, she is heavily hugging Todd and saying things like, “I don’t want nobody else, just us,” and “You’re the bestest…you’re the bestest.” That doesn’t sound like anything out of context, but seeing it skeeved me out. She was just a little extra close to her kids. Mark Soper’s “Todd” is more believable than his “Terry,” but both are awesome. His “It’s not cranberry sauce,” line is up there with “Garbage Day!” from ‘Silent Night, Deadly Night 2,’ in terms of absurdity and sheer fun, but nowhere near as fun to bring up in random conversations. Also, Ted Raimi makes his acting debut as a condom salesman in the men’s room at the drive-in.
The score is a groovy, synthy, good time, and honestly, what more could you ask from an 80’s slasher score? I’d honestly love to get it on vinyl.
To be perfectly blunt, this Arrow release is fucking incredible! Not only do you get an amazingly clean 2K transfer of the uncut version of ‘Blood Rage,’ but you also get the theatrical version entitled, ‘Nightmare At Shadow Woods,’ which was just a complete hatchet job, pun kind of intended, that basically eliminated the best FX and any logic, if there was any to begin with, but it includes scenes not seen in the uncut version. Then there is a composite cut, which is comprised of scenes from both cuts of the films. I can’t recommend ‘Blood Rage’ highly enough; 80’s slasher fanatics are going to want to jump on this release. So, sit back, relax and get your nostrils ready because, you are about to mainline some primo cheese.
- Brand new 2K restoration of the “hard” home video version, transferred from the camera negative and featuring the original title card Slasher
- Three versions of the film – Blood Rage, the original home video version, Nightmare at Shadow Woods, the theatrical re-cut, and an alternate “composite” cut combining footage from both versions
- Original Stereo 2.0 sound (Uncompressed PCM on the Blu-ray)
- Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
- Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Marc Schoenbach
- Fully-illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Joseph A. Ziemba, author of BLEEDING SKULL! A 1980s Trash-Horror Odyssey
DISC ONE (BLU-RAY)/DISC TWO (DVD):
- BLOOD RAGE: UNRATED CUT
- Double Jeopardy – An interview with actor, Mark Soper.
- Jeez, Louise – An interview with with actress, Louise Lasser.
- Both Sides of the Camera – An interview with producer/actress, Marianne Kanter.
- Man Behind the Mayhem – An interview with special make-up FX creator, Ed French.
- Three Minutes with Ted – An interview with actor, Ted Raimi.
- Return to Shadow Woods – Featurette revisiting the original locations in Jacksonville, FL.
- VHS Opening Titles
- Behind the Scenes Gallery
- Audio Commentary with Director John Grissmer and John Daly
DISC THREE (LIMITED EDITION):
- NIGHTMARE AT SHADOW WOODS: R-RATED THEATRICAL CUT
- Composite Cut: An alternate composite cut of the feature combining footage from both the uncut and theatrical versions