Blood Rage!
by: Dr. Boogie

Twins. One of them is always bound to be evil, right?

You put them in a horror movie and it becomes a guessing game as one twin does all the killing while the other tries to clear his/her name. And at the end of the movie, maybe there's a mix-up and you're not sure which one is the good one and which the bad one. But, what if there was never any doubt about which twin was evil?

Blood Rage, aka Slasher, aka Nightmare at Shadow Woods (yes, it has that many titles), is a movie that does away with all that and tells you right at the beginning of the movie that there's a good twin and bad one - and there's no confusion at all about who's who, except amongst the dense-ass meat sacks who get stabbed. In this movie, you know who the killer is, you know when he's going to start killing again, and any confusion about identity is quickly solved lest it get in the way of all the gore. You come in for kills, you get some kills. Kills, and synth music. Glorious synth music. At times so loud that it doesn't so much drown out the tension as douse it and stir the ashes to prevent it from ever reigniting.

So what do you think; does all that sound like a "twinning" combination? Are you ready for some "twin-sanity"? Then let's work ourselves into a Blood Rage!

I mean, Slasher! I guess that's the title what we're going with today.

We open on a man buying popcorn at a drive-in movie theater. He gets his popcorn and heads to the bathroom to eat it in private. While there, he decides to make another purchase:

Now here's the kicker: this guy has nothing to do with the movie. And neither does the loose condom salesman. These guys will not be appearing anywhere else in the movie, and this scene serves no purpose except to get Ted Raimi in the movie. And it's the opening scene! What a misdirect!

After a little montage of more utterly irrelevant people making out in their cars, we meet a main character: Maddy Simmons is out on a date with a guy. Single mothers have it tough, especially when they have to bring their children with them when they go to make out. God bless this guy for trying, though. He eventually distracts her long enough for the boys to sneak out and cause mischief. Oh I wonder what those little scamps are getting up to...

Ah, that old childhood favorite: stealing a carpenter's hatchet.

Terry, the one fascinated by that hatchet, has some peculiar interests. Stealing edged weapons is one, and another is spying on people as they have sex.

Terry is spotted right away and gets yelled at for peeping. That doesn't discourage him, though. It starts to get pretty awkward, him leering at the couple while the young man yells at him to leave. Thank goodness Terry knows how to cut the tension.

Those kids and their pranks. Boys will be boys, I guess.

The screaming draws a crowd. Terry, thinking on his feet, smears some blood on his brother Todd and puts the hatchet in his hand. When Maddy arrives, he tells her that Todd killed that teenager. No one in the crowd has any objections to this, despite watching Terry as he tries to frame his brother.

And it turns out the courts didn't think anything of it either. What's weird about ignoring a boy drenched in bloody in favor of convicting his brother who has a bloody handprint on his face and bloody finger smears on his shirt? Not a thing.

Todd is committed and we come back ten years later to see how things have developed.

Maddy comes to visit Todd. Not to apologize to standing by while he was wrongfully convicted, but hey, parenthood is hard. She may not be a perfect mother, but she always remembers to bring him a slice of pie.

This visit isn't going as well as it could be.

Present for the pie-throwing is Todd's therapist. She is the only person who actually believes Terry was the killer. She narrates about how she'll need to be careful about capturing Terry. I'm not sure what she's planning, but I know it involves not calling the cops, or doing much of anything else.

Meanwhile, life is going pretty good for Terry. Everybody loves him, and nobody ever mentions the mysterious circumstances that led to his brother being imprisoned for murder. Neither does anyone give him any grief for having no emotions other than anger.

I'll give actor Mark Soper the benefit of a doubt by saying that was a choice on his part to make Terry seem psychotic and not just bad acting. All the other actors, though...

Later on Terry and his mom are celebrating Thanksgiving with their friends. Maddy has a surprise announcement: she and her fiance brad are getting married. Everyone is so thrilled. Well, almost everyone.

Nobody reads into anything in this movie. Not a single thing.

Maddy leaves to take a phone call and then calls Terry in to give him some bad news: Todd has just escaped from the mental asylum. She asks Terry not to let the other guests know for fear of ruining their nice Thanksgiving dinner.

Terry is a master of discretion.

The rest of the Thanksgiving dinner goes off without a hitch. Nobody is all that concerned about Terry's allegedly murderous brother going AWOL. Are Terry and his mom friends with a bunch of self-involved louts, or is this just the power of tryptophan?

Post dinner, Terry takes to glowering at the closeness between his mom and Brad. Brad, for his part, does what he can to assure Maddy that Todd is bound to get captured. I assume he'll get busted for knocking over a 7/11 after the real robber puts a gun in his hand and smears slushie on his face.

The doorbell rings and Terry answers it.

He is immediately jumped by a man with a tranquilizer gun. It's Todd's therapist along with her trigger-happy assistant Jackie. She explains that they're hunting Todd down, as if an incompetent Dr. Loomis reproduced asexually and tried to catch Michael Myers by waving a gun at Laurie Strode.

The therapist explains that they've tracked Todd to the area. With a deranged maniac on the loose, they do what any of us would in a similar situation: split up and wander around the apartment grounds.

The therapist decides that Jackie is a little too anxious to use that gun. She disarms him and wanders into the woods while Jackie goes to search around the apartments. Maddy hides at him and Brad heads back to his office to have a beer and do... something. Terry decides to follow Brad.

There's a knock on Brad's sliding door and this is what he turns around to see. You know what he says?

"Look what the cat brought in."

What's the best case scenario when someone creeps up behind you with a machete? Maybe he thought Terry was going to say that this is one weapon Todd won't get his hands on. Speaking of hands...

I guess Terry is a Coors man?

Things start moving fast after Terry stumps Brad. He meets up with Jackie to check on the status of the search. Not well, because it turns out the only thing Jackie likes more than being armed is being high.

I thought pot was supposed to make you paranoid, but Jackie doesn't think it weird that Terry is holding one arm behind his back and sharing the doobage with his off hand.

Jackie is a classic horror character: he gets picked to help with a sensitive job despite being woefully unqualified, he gets high while on the job, and best of all he blurts out that Todd's therapist doesn't think Todd actually killed anyone. To the person that said therapist suspects of doing the killing!

I wonder how surprised Jackie was over the outcome. I'd like to think there was a moment of clarity where everything he ever did wrong, from stealing cookies as a kid to screwing around while a psycho killer is lurking about. Short of that, I wonder if he thought maybe the guy who stabbed him was Todd the whole time.

Meanwhile, Maddy is polishing off leftovers.

Thus begins a long sequence of checking in on Maddy not doing anything in particular. Think of these scenes as a sort of cinematic digestif, calming you down after the excitement of a murder with the mundanity of household chores.

Back with our killer, the therapist's early statement about how she can take care of herself turns out to be a complete load. If she's as good at therapy as she is at tracking fugitives, then she must be hurting for patients.

She should run a special rate for new clients: Your first visit is...


Ha ha... ah, doctor humor.

Two things with this picture: First, Todd is finally on the scene. Second, congrats to the prop department for making the worst apartment sign I've ever seen. Is this an apartment complex or a haunted hayride?

You know what? It actually makes sense: Brad was supposed to be the manager of the apartments. A sign like that means he was shit at his job. Jackie was an awful tracker, and the therapist totally botched her opportunity to help Todd and hinder Terry.

It's another classic horror movie trope: everyone is terrible. Nobody can do anything right! Nobody except Terry.

Back in Maddytown, she's trying to ring up Brad. I don't even mind that you can see Brad moving, it's still a great shot.

Terry goes home to change out of his blood-soaked shirt. How he avoided his mom seeing him we will never know.

He licks the blood off his shirt and says, "It's not cranberry sauce."

Then he slowly looks up as it hits him: that's my new catch phrase!

Forget witnessing the birth of a serial killer, we're seeing the birth of a franchise!

There's still plenty more of Blood Rage to see!
Click here to continue onward to page 2!


Reader Comments

Click here to return to the Features homepage