Blood Rage is a one of the hidden gems from Arrow Video that I picked up at this year’s festive sale. Gore fiends and low-budget cult collectors from back in the day know all about this film. Some, however, need some education.
Blood Rage was shot in Jacksonville, Florida in the early eighties and released in 1987. Directed by John Grissmer and starring Louise Lasser and Mark Soper, this was a film that seemed like it would get some play at the time. It was small, but known. It had multiple re-cuts, and even a television release. The two stars weren’t A-listers by any means, but still known enough to help the film avoid the “underground” label. When it comes to future contributions to horror history, this movie also introduced the world to Ted Raimi and makeup artist Ed French.
So if you’re into slashers, you need to get into this one. It opens with a brutal murder, pulled off by a child and his brother. In typical horror fashion, we then move a set number of years into the future to see how the little guys turned out. Well…it didn’t turn out very well. One brother appeared permanently damaged, while the other had to deal with meantal institutions. Again, of course, they both make their way into society and create enough of their own individual forms of havoc.
Eventually, their crazy mother, a love interest, and multiple murders all come together in an extremely brutal blood bath. While the final climactic scenes are physically and mentally disturbing, there also manages to be tons of crazy ass kills throughout. This film was shot mostly in apartments complexes, public swimming pools, and nature trails. As far as low-budget film goes, the sets are about as “minimalistic” as possible. Thanks to a little bit of money and prioritizing gore effects over things like props and costumes, this film easily became one of the goriest films ever. The early talents of Ed French, one of the most famous effects guys of all time, didn’t hurt either.
As far as Arrow Video goes, this one easily climbed my list into the top of the releases that I own. I cannot believe that I waited so long to buy it. I think I waited because the release price seemed too high, and I eventually forgot about it. It was the perfect thing to come along in this year’s Arrow Festive sale. There are a few other gory gems that I’m going to talk about in future posts as well. For the collector’s on a budget, this means that there will be some great gore films going for very fair prices now that they are considered “old” releases.