I never need an excuse to crack out the horror, obviously but this world is a trash fire and the only feasible release I can see right now is of the unhinged variety.
Thankfully, we didn’t have to look too far for our next dose of the deranged, although sadly it wasn’t Jill’s first or even second choice. Apparently, even in the year 2022, the UK is still behind the US in terms of some film releases.
But we move. Whether we like it or not, we have to move.
BLOOD RAGE (1987)
This Thanksgiving, “It’s not cranberry sauce.”
A boy kills a man and accuses his twin brother of the murder, and the innocent brother ends up institutionalized, while his psychotic twin goes free. 10 years later, the innocent twin escapes, which triggers his brother into killing again.
Genre: Horror ∙ IMDB user rating: 5.8
My score: 4/5 ∙ Runtime: 82 mins
Todd and Terry are identical twin angels who’ve never done anything wrong in their lives ever. Probably. One crazy night in 1974, while their mum makes out with a prospective suitor at the drive-in, the twins sneak away from their designated spot because – boys will be boys – right?
Seemingly triggered by ma’s loose knickered ways, Terry brutally attacks a randy teenager enjoying relations with his date in the back of their car. Before the authorities arrive – or mum has even noticed they’ve slipped away – Terry plants the murder weapon (an axe) on Todd and smears him with fresh blood. Traumatised by what’s just happened before his eyes, poor Todd fails to deny his involvement and is whipped away to an asylum for the next decade.
Fast forward to 1984, and we’re about to celebrate Thanksgiving. Mum Maddy (Lasser) has some contact with her institutionalised son, who’s started to remember the events of that night thanks to his psychiatrist, Dr Berman (Marianne Kanter) but still thinks of him as and treats him like a little boy. Meanwhile, she lives with Terry at their secluded but plush apartment block, Shadow Woods.
At Thanksgiving dinner, Terry’s blood-thirsty cravings resurface when Maddy announces she’s just got engaged to her new boyfriend Brad (William Fuller). At the same time, she receives a call from Dr Berman who confirms that Todd has escaped from the hospital and may be headed their way…
So begins a fight to death as Terry slaughters everyone he knows while Todd tries to stop him. Nobody’s safe, including Terry’s prissy but sweet girlfriend Karen, all their friends – and plucky Dr Berman herself.
Will the innocent brother finally get the chance to share his truth? What’s Terry’s fucking deal? And more importantly, why do I feel so very irritated by Maddy’s wishy washy demeanor?
This – IMHO – is *chef’s kiss*. I’m very into its entire aesthetic. While it might not quite have the strong narrative of its contemporaries – and sometimes feels a bit goofy tonally – I’m surprised it isn’t mentioned more often alongside the heavy hitters.
Although, apart from the beginning and the ending, there isn’t much new ground here. The kills are by the number and the acting is pretty shoddy across the board. And, as mentioned above, Maddy drives me absolutely nuts.
In fact, I blame Maddy for everything and am dying to know more about her history with the twins. Like, a slutty mother can’t be the only reason Terry’s so into killing. He seems awfully comfortable with it.
Despite the above, I appreciate the practical/make-up effects. The opener is great – and the ending is so upsetting and bleak. Which I think is why this film will stick in my mind a little longer than most.