Derek Warren

CULT CORNER: Feast your eyes on gory ’80s horror film ‘Blood Rage’ this Thanksgiving

CULT CORNER: Feast your eyes on gory ’80s horror film ‘Blood Rage’ this Thanksgiving
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Holiday-themed horror films are a fun way to immerse yourself into any holiday. Halloween is the standard holiday setting for a horror film, with Christmas being a close second. However, Thanksgiving falls right in between and has long been overlooked as a backdrop for horror mayhem. That ends now with the underrated gem “Blood Rage.”

Originally released in 1987, “Blood Rage” was almost immediately set for relegation to “cult film” status. It was originally shot in 1983 but sat on a shelf until finally being released in a heavily edited version in 1987 under the title “Nightmare at Shadow Woods.” This was the only official version available for decades.

“Blood Rage” follows twin brothers Todd and Terry, both played by actor Mark Soper. As children, Todd is institutionalized after committing a brutal murder while Terry enjoys a relatively normal life. 10 years later, though, on Thanksgiving, Todd escapes and a gory killing spree begins terrorizing the neighborhood.

This is a horror film firmly planted in the slasher camp, but with a slight twist. Gore hounds will surely want to seek this one out. While the “Nightmare at Shadow Woods” version that was previously available has much of the gore edited out, the release under the title “Blood Rage” is fully intact. It is filled with blood and guts from the opening of the film onward.

The setting around the Thanksgiving holiday is also perfect for repeat viewings during this time of year. Horror films are full of memorable quotes that true fans love to drop from time to time, and “Blood Rage” is filled with some great and very funny quotes – by far the best and most repeated is, “It’s not cranberry sauce…”

Is it worth seeing? Any slasher fans or just those who love 1980s horror must see “Blood Rage.” The heavily edited version has been around for some time, and a lot of horror fans saw this version and immediately discounted it as terrible. However, the Blu-ray release from Arrow Video contains the definitive, must-see version of this film. Not only does it include the fully restored, cleaned-up, unedited movie, but also the edited version for comparison, just to see what censors viewed as “disgusting” at that time in film history.

If you want to have a festive, horror-filled Thanksgiving (that’s not your weird uncle’s fault), then “Blood Rage” is perfect holiday viewing with your twisted family!

Each week, Cult Corner shines a light on strange and obscure cult films you’ve never heard of but need to see for yourself… with the lights off and the doors and windows locked.