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BLOOD RAGE (October 30th)


After last night's Ejecta ordeal I wanted something enjoyable and disposable and undemanding. It's been a long tiring week and the thought of sitting through another suckfest was not ideal. This is the penultimate film of the challenge goddamnit! I considered scouring my shelves for a film that I knew I'd be able to put on, sit back and relax to. Cabin in the Woods appealed, Jeepers Creepers never fails to bring me joy – or maybe something a bit meatier like The Exorcist, I film that I love but that I haven't seen for five or six years? Or maybe catch a new release – I'm intrigued by Zemeckis' update of The Witches and there's a movie about a cult (I love cults) called The Other Lamb which is on MUBI and looked quite interesting. Well, I debated those options but instead opted for option number three – look for a trashy looking 80s slasher movie (let's face it, they're all pretty trashy'. However I am really quite shit when it comes to choosing slasher movies. I'm like a kid in a sweet shop and get overawed by the gory retro VHS covers. Edge of the Axe is one that I've had my eye on for a while Doom Asylum has piqued my interest on more than one occasion. However, when I came across a film called Blood Rage (1987), there was no way that I wasn't going to watch it.

The film opens with a single mum getting it on with some dude in the front of her car at a drive-in movie theatre. Whilst their mother is getting hot and heavy in the front, her identical twin sons, Todd and Terry are trying to get some shut eye. Terry wakes up and rues the fact that his mum is 'back at it again' and wakes his brother up and they sneak out of the car. Now for some reason, I'm guessing his mother's promiscuity has finally broken his mind, Terry disturbs a young couple having sex in another car and proceeds to hatchet they guy in the face, killing him DEAD! A horrified Todd stumbles onto the scene and as other bystanders start to gather around, Terry puts the murder weapon into Todd's hand and smears blood all over his face to make it look like he killed the guy. The little shit. We then skip forward ten years (to 1984) where Terry, now about 20, lives happily with his mum in an apartment complex called Shadow Woods. Meanwhile, Todd is languishing in a mental institution where he has been living ever since his brother framed him for murder. However, on Thanksgiving Day, Todd escapes from the institution. And whilst people start searching for him, fearing he may kill again – Terry's murderous instincts are once again awoken and he begins a murderous rampage around the apartment complex...

This is basically everything I wanted it to be. Barmy dialogue, drinking, sex, drugs, mindless violence, tonnes of gore, things that just don't make any sense, characters that feel like you could fit their bio on a post it note. You go into these movies wanting to laugh and be grossed out in equal measure – these films are real guilty pleasures and there's no-one genuinely trying to make out that there is much artistic merit in any of it. They're the horror equivalent of fast food; they're cheap, they're nasty but they're begrudgingly tasty (although McDonalds can go fuck themselves). Although you don't side with the antagonist in these movies as such, you are tuning in predominantly to see a load of vacuous teens get their comeuppance. A slasher movie where one or two people are offed is not what you're after. In Blood Rage, basically every one in the film is killed off and each one is a joy to behold. It's quite a mean spirited film and the killer goes about his task with a real sense of bravura and joy. It's the same actor playing both twins (there are a few scenes where they meet up where this is blindingly obvious!) and although he's clearly not the most talented actor in the world, he actually manages to portray both twins very differently.

You also just have to love films where the killer just has no clear motivation. He just foes around ending people for shits and giggs. I mean, on some level it feels as if Terry has a problem with sexual promiscuity (classic slasher trope) but it's a bit nonsensical. In Friday 13th at least Mrs Vorhees has a decent reason for wanting to punish slutty camp leaders, here Terry is just a bit fed up that he's mum enjoys dating. But he's remained dormant for years after that initial killing and it's only when his brother escapes that he decides to go nutso again. I can't not mention his mum, played by Louise Lasser who, once we've flashed forward ten years is an absolute wreck. She spends the bulk of the movie drinking red wine, hoovering, collapsed on the floor in front of the fridge eating leftovers and yelling at the operator on the phone. It's genius. As are the practical effects by the way. A lot of slashers are fun but can be let down by lame gore effects but in Blood Rage they're bloody brilliant. If you like your slashers loaded with cheese and ultra gory, I highly recommend it.


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