This Thanksgiving, after you have had your fill of turkey and stuffing, the whole family can gather into the living room and give thanks that you are about to watch the 1987 Thanksgiving Day slasher film ‘Blood Rage’ and determine once and for all if its cranberry sauce.
‘Blood Rage’ tells the story of Todd and his identical twin brother Terry, who murders a teenager with a hatchet while attending a drive-in movie theatre one night.
After killing the teen, Terry blames the murder on his brother, who has gone catatonic.
The best part about this whole situation is that Terry blatantly puts the hatchet and rubs the blood on his brother to make him look guilty in front of a crowd of onlookers, and not a single person questions that Todd is the killer.
We then cut to ten years later, where Terry has finally started to remember the events of that night.
Terry and Todd’s mother, Maddy, then comes to visit him at the asylum, where he was sent after being blamed for the murder, to bring him some Thanksgiving pumpkin pie.
Here we got an Oscar-worthy scene of Todd crushing the pie and throwing it against the wall in a fit of rage. (Mark Sober should have won the golden statue for this thrilling performance)
Did you know?
The Movie was initially filmed in 1983 under the title ‘Complex’. It was later retitle to ‘Slasher’, before being theatrically released in 1987 as ‘Blood Rage’. A couple of months later, The title would change again two ‘Nightmare at Shadowoods’. When the film was finally released on video, it was re-titled once again as ‘Blood Rage’.
– Horror Facts
After visiting her son on Thanksgiving Day, Maddy returns home to have dinner with a now-adult Terry, some of her neighbors, and her fiancé Brad who runs the apartment complex they live in.
Upon announcing that she and Brad plan to wed, she receives a phone call that Todd has managed to escape the asylum and could be heading their way.
Enraged by his mother’s announced nuptials and using his brother’s escape to cover his tracks, Terry begins to go on a murderous rampage.
This is where ‘Blood Rage’ starts to hint that Terry and his mother have a very co-dependent relationship with each other and that his killing is a direct result of him potentially losing his mother to Brad.
So, of course, the first stop along his way is to murder Brad (Makes perfect sense when you feel that mean old Brad was about to steal your mommy away from you). Terry then turns his attention to his brother’s therapist and a hospital orderly who have come looking for the escaped Todd.
Meanwhile, Todd arrives at the Shadow Woods apartment complex intent on proving his innocence to his mother. At this point, if you are asking yourself how I can tell them apart, the answer is quite simple- they style their hair differently. (Again, Mark Sober was snubbed by the Oscars for this brilliant acting choice.)
After learning that his brother has arrived, Terry ramps up his murder spree by killing his neighbors and friends, all while blaming the murders on his brother. In true slasher movie fashion, not a single character makes an educated decision, including playing tennis at night and then deciding to have sex on a diving board while a killer is on the loose. Terry’s girlfriend Karen eventually discovers the truth about Terry, as he targets her as his next victim.
Maddy, who has been drinking herself into a stupor the entire movie eventually finds a bloody t-shirt belonging to Terry in the garbage and contacts the police.
This character feels like she’s in an entirely different movie. She spends the majority of time on screen frantically cleaning, drinking, and hysterically trying to reach Brad on the phone for over half an hour, despite the fact his office is literally in the same apartment complex where she is. The highlight of her performance had to be her sitting on the kitchen floor shoveling green beans into her mouth with her hands.
Terry eventually finds Karen, but before he can kill her Todd arrives to confront his brother. The two brothers soon engage in a let us call it a fight in the complex’s swimming pool.
Maddy eventually arrives and shoots Terry, killing him. You then discover that she thought she had killed Todd, not Terry. After learning that she killed the wrong son she then turns the gun on herself.
Police sirens are heard in the distance, while Todd’s fate is left unknown.
If you are a fan of cheesy 80’s slasher movies, then ‘Blood Rage’ is going to check every box for you.
Sure, the acting in this film is bad (Let us be honest, are you even watching this movie for the acting), and the story is complete nonsense, but it’s during the murders where ‘Blood Rage’ excels as a slasher film.
From seeing someone get their hand cut off with a machete, to the Doctor being cut in half, ‘Blood Rage’ delivers on the practical effects. Just don’t pay close attention to the fact that you can see the actors breathing when they cut back to them.
This Thanksgiving, don’t sit around and watch ‘Planes, Trains and Automobiles’ for the 100th time, instead do yourself a favor and watch ‘Blood Rage’ where you can determine for yourself that it’s not cranberry sauce.
‘Blood Rage’ stars Louise Lasser as Maddy Simmons, Mark Soper as Terry and Todd Simmons, Julie Gordon as Karen, James Farrell as Artie, Chad Montgomery as Gregg, Lisa Randall as Andrea, Marianne Kanter as Dr. Berman, William Fuller as Brad, Jayne Bentzen as Julie, Ed French as Bill, and Douglas Weiser as Jackie.
Fun Facts About ‘Blood Rage’
- The film was shot in 1983 under the title ‘Complex’ before being renamed multiple times. It was finally released in 1987 as ‘Blood Rage’.
- Actor Mark Soper plays both twin brothers Todd and Terry, using different hairstyles to distinguish between the two characters.
- Many of the film’s murder scenes utilized practical effects, including someone getting their hand cut off and a doctor being cut in half.
- Louise Lasser, who plays the twins’ mother Maddy, was known for her role as Mary Hartman in the 1970s sitcom Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman.
- The film’s setting of Shadow Woods is actually an apartment complex in Davie, Florida called Crystal Lake Apartments.
- Blood Rage had a very small theatrical release, making only $72,000 at the box office. It later developed a cult following after being released on VHS.
- Director John Grissmer would go on to direct the 1989 horror sequel Hellgate, starring Cindy Maranne and Ron Palillo.
- The film’s score was composed by Richard Einhorn, who also did the music for horror films like Shock Waves (1977) and Don’t Go in the House (1980).
For a more modern Thanksgiving horror check out Roth’s new thanksgiving movie.