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BLOOD RAGE (NIGHTMARE AT SHADOW WOODS) (director: John Grissmer; screenwriter: Richard Lamden; cinematographer: ; editor: ; music: Richard Einhorn; cast: Louise Lasser (Maddy), Mark Soper (Todd/Terry), Marianne Kanter (Dr. Berman), Julie Gordon (Karen), Jayne Bentzen (Julie), Lisa Randall (Andrea), William Fuller (Brad); Runtime: 87; MPAA Rating: R; producer: Marianne Kanter; Legacy Entertainment; 1987)
Despite an intriguing premise, the pic falters. It seems played only for laughs.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

An almost decent slasher pic–it delivers the gore and gets a zany performance from Louise Lasser– was directed by John Grissmer (“Scalpel”). It was filmed in Jacksonville, Florida, and released fours years after it was made. Richard Lamden is the writer.

In 1974, in Jacksonville, Mark Soper plays both of the adorable identical twin 10-year-old boys. Both Terry and Todd sneak out of mom’s car at a drive-in, while she makes out with her boyfriend in the front seat. When the boys come across a couple making out, Terry uses a hatchet to do a number on the man and then frames his shocked brother Todd for the brutal murder. Thereby Todd is placed under the care of the psychiatrist Dr. Berman (Marianne Kanter) at the asylum, while Terry lives with his mother, Maddy (Louise Lasser).

Ten years later, on Thanksgiving night, the innocent brother has doubts about his guilt and escapes from the asylum. This prompts the real killer to go on a killing spree–even killing mom’s fiance and leaving many locals slashed to death at Shadow Woods, the housing complex where mom lives.

Despite an intriguing premise, the pic falters. It seems played only for laughs. It might work best if viewed as an oddity.


Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”