Shaun vs. Blood Rage aka Nightmare at Shadow Woods (1987)

blood1Directed by John Grissmer

Starring Louise Lasser, Mark Soper and Marianne Kanter

A pair of twin brothers sneak out of their mother’s car while she’s making out to run around the drive-in but since one of them has to be the evil twin, he grabs a hatchet and takes it to the face of movie goer though his brother is the one sent away to a sanitarium for the deed.  Ten years later, the other brother escapes the institution on Thanksgiving but has the real killer been free all along?

It’s not cranberry sauce.

Twins Terry and Todd (Mark Soper as both) are sleeping in the backseat of their mother’s (Lasser) car at the drive-in while the random dude up front with her wants to score.  They sneak out of the car and walk around the place until they come upon a couple of naked teens doing it in the backseat.  One of the boys picks up a machete and hacks him in the face a bunch of times while the other one watches.  When it comes time to point fingers at who had done this, Todd is punished severely by not having supper.  For ten years.  In a nuthouse.


It’s a game called “Take the Blame” and you won!

Fast forward ten years, Todd’s oddball mother, Maddy, comes to visit when told he’s finally come out of his catatonic state and claims that he hasn’t done anything.  Even his doctor sort of believes him but Maddy is convinced that the good son lives at home with her and leaves Todd to rot while Terry continues to live the good life with a loving mother and plenty of friends.  At least until Todd breaks out of the sanitarium and makes a bee line back home while Terry’s friends start dropping like flies as the night goes on.


Coming out near the end of the slasher craze, Blood Rage (or Nightmare at Shadow Woods as it was called when released on video) may not deliver much in the storytelling department as the killer is more obvious then I may have let on in my summary, but it’s enough to move the film along just to deliver the gory goods, because that’s the type of film this is.  The film lives up to its title by providing some over the top kills that were probably testing the limits of the ratings board at the time.  The killers’ weapon du jour is a simple machete but he knows how to swing it.  Body parts go flying, someone gets bifurcated, there’s lots of stabbing, and one guy gets a splitting headache if you catch my drift.



What Blood Rage lacks, it more than makes up for in trashy, bloody fun.  The story may be silly (par for the course at the time,) the acting is pretty average, the soundtrack is old school synthesizer fare (which I like!) and hey, it’s pretty bloody!  It’s a fun 85 minutes that shows you what the 80s style of slashers were trying to push at the time because that’s what sold back then, more or less.


Story: 4 – Pretty basic good/bad twin story that didn’t have much effort put into it as much as the effects.  It’s alright but there’s a lack of tension at times due to the identity of the killer being very obvious.

Blood: 9 – For the time, I’m amazed most of these effects made it through the editing process.

Nudity: 5 – There’s a couple of brief sex scenes with a bit of skin shown.

Overall: 6 – Far from the perfect package, the movie delivers what it wants to and it’s still a great example of what an 80s slasher flick is supposed to be.


-Filmed in 1983, it wasn’t released until 1987.

-Look for a Ted Raimi cameo early on in the film as a condom salesman.

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