Monday, January 30, 2012

Blood Diamonds: Death Walks on High Heels (1971)

Death Walks on High Heels (La morte cammina con i tacchi alti) (1971)
Rating: **1/2
Starring: Frank Wolff, Nieves Navarro, Simón Andreu

A train roaring through the night and a man with a gun; these are the first two things we see in this "giallo" as a balaclava helmet-clad assassin with piercing blue eyes suddenly arrives and knifes the gun man's neck. Cut to Paris; Nicole, a dancer, is being interviewed with her boyfriend, Michelle, by the Chief Commissioner about the murdered man, which turns out to be an international jewel thief AND Nicole’s father. The Commissioner is hoping Ms. Nicole would cooperate but she, in turn, shows little concern over her father's demise nor does she care about some stolen diamonds.

However, it’s not long before someone begins threatening her, voice-box disguising their voice and attacking her one night as the same blue-eyed prowler breaks into her apartment, razor pressed against her. Surviving the attack, Nicole opted to stay with Michelle for comfort, but after finding blue contacts in his medicine cupboard, she fears he might be the killer. She runs to Dr Matthews, a man she befriended during one gig as an exotic dancer and urges him to take her to England to escape her assailant. The pair wastes no time enjoying their time there and Matthews finds his friend an isolated seaside cottage to relax in. Until, that is, the figure in the black balaclava somehow followed them there and the prowler's running out of patience.

While the title is eargasm for my craving for a good giallo title, Death Walks on High Heels is hardly one. It's a "giallo-hybrid" of sorts, mixing hard-boiled heist thrillers with the sensitivity of a fancied murder-mystery. As any giallo title out there would, the film took its time leading us from one red herring to another and provide enough plot twists to leave any suspicions astray. It's pretty flair, but by the time the attacker finds their way to England, the film slows down and slugs its way further to more twists, a direction that got me disappointed considering how much an attention-grabber the first half was.

It's not all that bad, however; the production looks well-handled and the story still brought some spark of cleverness in its mystery. The convoluted narrative is reasonably gripping despite being uber slow and offers a number of plot twists along the way to keep any giallo enthusiasts happy. Perhaps it's just my taste since I do like my giallo to be more murder mystery and less jewel heist, so I couldn't say the plotting's horrible as I do understand that not all gialli would be following the kill counting formula as religiously as most slasher titles would anyways.

Not the best giallo I know, but at least I'm glad that I get to see it.

1 male knifed in the neck
1 female found drowned
1 female knifed to death
1 male shot
Total: 4

Oh before I forget...

Dear SOPA...


Sunday, January 29, 2012

Slasher masks of the week vol 13

Five slasher masks, randomly chosen, falls under my verdict, every week. 

here's this week's meat:

Fear of Clowns (2004)- The face paint had a nice and original design, though I don't understand the need to go topless. Too bad the flick kinda sucked...

SAW (series)- Whoever is behind the mask, Pigface is an unnerving character who acts like Jigsaw's accomplice/apprentice. The original take had maggots, but I guess a long-haired pig mask works too

Cherry Falls (2000)- Our killer wears its hair down to disguise themselves, cool, but a little weird. How do they keep their faces hidden like that for long? Either ways, I like it!

Shredder (2003)- My fave snow-bound slasher next to the Fritt Vilt series, Shredder packs a cool looking killer in a ski-suit and goggles. The perfect disguise and it's fitting!

Malevolence (2004)- yeah, I never was that impressed with this. It's too cheap and too unoriginal.

Demented and Dead: Dementia 13 (1963)

Dementia 13 (AKA "The Haunted and the Hunted")(1963)
starring:  William Campbell, Luana Anders and Bart Patton

Gothic undertones and psycho-thriller comes face to face once again in this low-budget flick about a scheming young woman who, after stressing her husband to a heart attack (unknown if intentional or accidental), attempts to have herself written into her rich mother-in-law's will. She pays a visit to her late husband's family castle in Ireland, unknown of the fate of their loved one, but what she didn't expecting was an axe-wielding lunatic who began murderously hack away members of the family, somewhat connected to a tragic accident that befell them some time ago.

Francis Ford Coppola's "true" directorial feature (not counting two nudie flicks he made before), Dementia 13 is intended to be a cheap Psycho-esque thriller, complete with brutal slayings and psychological subtext. The only problem was that the plot had undergone with so many changes during pre-production and the filming was rushed (thus earning it being called a "quickie" movie). To be fair, however, the horror scenes are decent, if not a tad unoriginal and outdated; the murders are shockingly brutal for its time, and the Hitchcockian aspects of the film is played well. Even going as far as killing off the lead early on the story, to move on to a twist in the story wherein the murderer skulks among the family, apparently blaming them of a drowning incident years ago.

With this, the film's take on the broken psyche is just as acceptable in a manner that it is somewhat a classic take on the genre and truly terrifying  for the fact that it had lead to such savage slayings.

 In a way, Dementia 13 is an obscure and overlooked classic, but it's small-budget had fare too obvious at times that it held the whole film back from being anywhere than a watchable indie cult classic.

1 male suffers a heart attack, fell into the lake
1 female hacked to death with axe
1 male decapitated with axe
1 male shot
total: 4

Golden Title: A Bay of Blood (1971)

A Bay of Blood (Reazione a catena) (AKA "Twitch of The Death Nerve") (Italy, 1971)
Starring: Claudine Auger, Luigi Pistilli and Claudio Camaso

On one rainy day, a wheelchair-bound elderly heiress is brutally hanged by her husband in hopes of receiving her whole fortune. No soon after he set up what appears to be a forged suicide note, another assailant springs out of the shadows and murders the man in cold blood. The murdered body of the husband is then dumped, and the elderly woman was left untouched. Plot thickens.

On the following day, we're introduced to real estate agent Frank Ventura and his lover Laura, both have plotted the murder of the heiress and struck a deal with her husband to take possession of the bay. Not knowing that the man they bargained with was murdered, things further complicates when four teenagers breaks into the bay and, after enjoying themselves, gets murdered by the same assailant from before: the countess' illegitimate son, Simon, who now struck a deal with Ventura to sell the land and finished off any known witnesses to his previous crime. But when Simon's half-sister arrives with her husband to claim the land, what will soon drive the story is a literal bloodbath as characters clash for the property and no one is safe or innocent...

A Bay of Blood (1971) is anything but simple; the continuous twists and arrival of one character to another weave a complicated turn for each scenario and murder, but the whole concept is basically a fight for the land which every cast is willing to kill for it due to its momentous amount of value. It's kinda funny, if you look at it in a way, that none of these fellers thought of just talking it over instead of going straight for the knife... or the billhook...or the spear... more to the fact that many of the murders here were later re-used to so many slasher flicks, some more obvious than the last (Fans will recognize the spear-kabob kill and the billhook facial splitting as the same murders to be committed by Jason in his debut feature, Friday the 13th Part 2.

Regarded by many as Mario Bava's feature to start the slasher film industry running, A Bay of Blood (1971) is one step away from his usual giallo build and one foot towards the stalk and slash fare; it is devoid of mystery, but in its place are multiple suspects and an interweaving plot full of twists leading to blood running like water, all for the purpose of thrills rather than solid story or character development. This fact help many to consider Bay as one of the first few films to act as the basis for slasher films, especially if one would point out that teenage victims here were just randomly tossed in to heighten the count, which further staples this gore movie with its surprises and over-the-top violence that even by today's standards is deliciously brutal, a full-on proto-slasher.

Production-wise, Mario Bava delivers a gothic tone to the film, a familiar trait found on most of his works. The old mansion provides enough creaks and dark shadows to hide unforeseen dangers, and too the macabre take on showcasing the corpses with shots of unblinking eyes squirmed with water life. The film boasts a luxurious looking lake and backwoods, which again staples a familiar territory of lone victims being killed off in an uncharted and near abandoned location. The pacing of the story makes a nice flow for a convulsed plotting, taking its time to point out who's behind who and how he or she have been thrown into the fray. Some great gore effects and a fairly tense soundtrack have also authenticated this film's unsettling atmosphere and somewhat morbid humor, slapping us with shocks and unsuspected turns that either tenses the situation or make us laugh at its obscurity. And I meant the latter on this film's somewhat bizarre ending.

A Bay of Blood (1971) is rightful to be called brilliant; a melancholic film that aged well enough for the enjoyment of many horror junkies out there with a decent taste on the aloof yet dark in nature. Not to mention, many of its slasher kin s owe this film as much thanks to starting the genre as they did to Halloween (1978) or Friday the 13th (1980). 

1 wheelchair-bound elderly female hanged from noose
1 male knifed to death
1 female nearly beheaded with billhook
1 male had his face split with billhook
1 male and 1 female skewered together with a spear while in tryst
1 male strangled with telephone wire
1 female decapitated with hatchet
1 female strangled to death
1 male impaled with spear
1 male knifed
1 male and 1 female shot with shotgun
Total: 13

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Penetrating fear: Knife of Ice (1972)

Knife of Ice (Il coltello di ghiaccio) (AKA "Silent Horror") (Spain/Italy, 1972)
Rating: ****
Starring: Carroll Baker, Alan Scott and Ida Galli

From Umberto Lenzi, the director behind sleazy gialli So Sweet... So Perverse (1969) and A Quiet Place to Kill (1970), as well as the gruesome cannibal horror film Cannibal Ferox (1981), comes this surprisingly docile yet fascinating murder mystery.

Stricken mute after a traumatizing incident involving a train wreck that took the lives of her parents years ago, Martha Caldwell is living happily with her uncle in Spain until, that is, her cousin Jenny meets the grisly end of a knife, seemingly at the hands of a skulking Satanist who appears to be assaulting and murdering women for the dark lord. Now Martha finds herself targeted and stalked by this villain, but little does she knows that the serial stalker is the least of her problems...

Intriguing and moderately twisted, Knife of Ice (1972) takes a rather high emphasis on building a mystery and the unforeseen surprises that come along with it, trading away exploitative elements of grandeur murder set-pieces and titillating sleaze for a more grueling, intimidating and focused plot with good execution and a generous amount of collusions as each character is suspected for possibly heinous ulterior motives. The focal point of the mystery may have started with a local hippy who practices Satanism, it eventually unravels into a web of false leads, baseless accusations and even more murders, boiling down to a clever twist in the end that ties all loose ends and reveal a shocking truth about the killings.

While the overall kill count is not exactly big or splashy, which might disappoint some who are looking for a sizable slay-fest, the film showcased a rather classy and artistic look in turn, boasting cinematography that flourishes on effectively striking and inventive visuals. It even has a nice gothic tone during its night scenes, which plays nicely whenever the story tackles its devil worship sub-plot, adding a welcome supernatural taste that not a lot of early giallo titles have. Quite frankly, Knife of Ice (1972) is simply a gorgeous film to look at. 

The actors also put up a fine performance, too, particularly Carroll Baker who plays our mute lead with a wide range of expression and body language, though her best acting chops shine during the many scenes her character is in fear or is frustrated as the crimes begin to circulate her life, evoking much empathy as she is greatly portrayed here to be sweet and likeable. Have all of this running on a decent pace that evens out the plot pretty well and you have a movie that goes through its twists and turns, as well as its brooding conundrum quite smoothly.

Perhaps not the most well known giallo, nor is it the most exploitative, Knife of Ice (1972) is an immediate favorite for me still, a wild card choice outside the usual Argento and Bava titles that pretty much shows that you don't always need gallons of blood or shlocky sleaze for a piece of Italian horror cinema to work. This tame yet engaging a piece of Italian whodunit, as flawed as it may be, is still worth a watch and I welcome any curious cats to try this one out!

1 female knifed
1 female had her throat slashed with knife
1 girl strangled
Total: 3

Torture Porn Slasher In The Woods...Yay?: Carver (2008)

Carver (2008)
Rating: 1/2
Starring: Natasha Charles Parker, Erik Fones and Matt Carmody

A fat guy in a goggled helmet starts torturing and killer campers lost in the woods. That's it.

What more do you want me to say? My thoughts?

Sigh* Okay, listen: with all the gory, nasty, and mind-numbing violence I succumb myself to just to keep this site running and my fandom fat, I might be just getting used to it that I'm desensitized from the "shocking" material in Carver (2008) or, just saying, this movie just sucks.

The gore effects are great even if they are pretty fake looking, I have to hand the film that at least, but elsewhere? It's hardly a step up to whatever horror subgenre this film is trying; as Torture Porn? Much as I enjoy Hostel and SAW films, it's a nasty subgenre to begin with and its pretty tricky to make it entertaining unless, that is, they manage to bring along an engaging story to make it work. This here, however, is just plain exploitation that's torturous for the sake of torture and it's hardly worth it. Yeah it's nasty, but it's really, really empty. As if no real thought came into this film's writing and the guys behind it just wanted to show off some blood and guts spilled onscreen. No surprises, no differences, no plot whatsoever. Just plain, shallow torture porn.

The slasher perspective of this film doesn't shine well either. It's just your standard backwoods stuff, "teen sex equals death combo" and the usual twist ending. Nothing special, nothing big, just plain, plain, plain mediocrity. I mean a fat hillbilly wearing a helmet and goggles as our killer? Come on! I've seen scarier shit from a dancing Iraq Lobster!

He'll be killing our Butter Sauce!
Now that's scary!

None of the cast are also worth rooting for since they're just your bastardized one-dimensional victims with weak characters and script, plainly made just for the killer's picking. I don't really see the whole point of this flick looking at all of this. Yeah, it's backwoods. Yeah, it's torture porn. Two hot deals, back-to-back, yes? WRONG! Do yourself a favor and go outside, find yourself something else to do. Buy a toy train set, eat some burrito, spend time with your girlfriend or your dog, a walk on the beach, anything but watch this film.

And if you will, by any chance, out of curiosity, will watch this piece of watermelon-sized diarrhea, I suggest you go find a timeless classic to watch afterwards. That or go watch some girly cartoons. You might need it.

1 female beheaded with saw
1 male knifed to death
1 male gets a dagger to the gut
1 female gets a saw buried into her face
1 male hooked with crowbar and gets his head sawed off from the mouth
1 female had a nail hammered into her head
1 male gets a pike to the head
1 male pulverized with sledgehammer
1 female suicide, shotgun blast to the head
1 male gets a dagger to the head
1 male nearly beheaded with dagger
Total: 11

Friday, January 27, 2012

No Tooth. No Trade: The Tooth Fairy (2006)

The Tooth Fairy (2006)
starring:  Lochlyn Munro, Chandra West and Steve Bacic

At a first glance, you might say this is a straight rip-off of the underrated Darkness Falls, with a similarly themed villainess exploiting the Tooth Fairy folklore. However, while Darkness Falls is more of a memoir to the monster movies of the before time, The Tooth Fairy is more in touch with its slasher roots;cliches, gore and all.

Some time during the late 40s, a diseased lady, rumored to be a witch, was luring children with promises of trading their last baby tooth for something they desire. She easily demonstrated this for us in the first 5 minute by mercilessly pulling a boy's tooth off the roots and hatchets him to death.

Moving forward to "now", young Pamela Wagner (Nicole Muñoz) and her mum (Chandra West) moves to the same house where "the Tooth Fairy" once dwell in, now dead for some time now and her legend subsided into mere obscurity. Staying with them is Peter Campbell, Mrs. Wagner's boyfriend, played by Lochlyn Munro, who many of you may remember as the ill-fated deputy from Freddy vs Jason)

Snooping around the old garage, Pamela was met by a local girl who quickly became her friend and was warned of the evil spirit haunting her house. Easily enough, Pamela's a wee bit jumpy when a mysterious figure suddenly topples her off her own bike, knocking her last baby tooth. Now with the Tooth Fairy back, she begins to prey on Pamela's loved ones unless she gives up her tooth and fall victim to a seemingly indestructible monster.
Reduced to cheap latex and glue, The Tooth Fairy
had to kill her way to have her presence known.

While entertaining at some point, The Tooth Fairy suffers through low budget and undoubtedly messy plotting; the story is very thin and gaping, failing to answer a lot of questions and leaving them dangerously open like a manhole in a flood. For one, wasn't even fully explained that, if the Witch is only after the children and their tooth, why does she murder people that may or may not even be connected to Pamela? More so the fact that she collects children's teeth, seemingly having no sole purpose but for the sake of just getting them.

In an attempt to heighten the game, the movie even tries to place some fantasy elements to the plot, throwing in rituals that help our leads stop or wound the Witch, which kinda reminds me of those rites used to stop the villain in Warlock (1989), but the execution of these "magic" is very cheap and since the whole plot leans more to slasher trappings, it felt and looked out of place.

Despite this, The Tooth Fairy, for all its cheapness and cliches, still manages to be a decent time-waster; some weird characters were added into the bunch, ranging from two inbred brothers who harasses one of the leads (apparently knows each other from before) to a spiritualist friend who mistaken our Witch with something she calls a "Spirit of Eltrain". Of course, their sole purpose is to heighten the bodycount and to give a laughably cheesy quality to the film.

And speaking of bodycount, the murders are no tame dog either, ranging from a nicely shot woodchipper shredding to a number of decent hatchet murders. Plus, the Tooth Fairy herself, though cheaper looking compared to Darkness Fall's Matilda Dixon, does have her shining glory as a nasty murderess, complete with a well made make-up.
Lack of plot is no problem if you got
the woodchipper running fine.
While sporting a crusty script with questionable lines and plotting that tries too hard, The Tooth Fairy is enjoyable in its sense as a B-flick slasher and nothing more. A bit more fleshing and less cliches might do the trick, but it was Inventive at least, making it worth a rent.

1 boy hacked to death with hatchet
1 male shredded in woodchipper
1 female hacked apart with hatchet
1 female found repeatedly shot on the back with nailgun
1 male castrated with hatchet
1 male hatchet to the back
1 male head chopped off with hatchet
total: 7

Rex Me Not!: Rawhead Rex (1986)

Rawhead Rex (1986)
Rating: *1/2
Starring: David Dukes, Kelly Piper and Niall Toibin

Way before Clive decided to do Hellraiser (1987), he had the Books of Blood, an anthology book series released in volumes with four stories each. Many of them have been adapted for viewing with varying successes, some reaching cult classic status (Lord of Illussions (1995)) or gets TV shortness (The Yattering and Jack was turned into a TV episode of Tales from The Darkside, as well as Body Politics as a segment for the film Quicksilver Highway (1997)); Some, sadly, will always divert into the unholy path of plain suckishness. This movie is one of them...

In Ireland, a farmer unknowingly releases a thousand year old demon known as Rawhead Rex, whose arrival leads to murders, fires and the corruption of a local priest who now sees the thing as his new master. Out to stop the creature is the father of one of the monster's victims, now desperately searching for a way to stop the seemingly indestructible Rex. Add a few magic, some feminist subtext and fancy cartoon lights and you got one of the surprisingly dullest monster flicks I've seen.

I don't know if it's the corny plotting or the lame special effects but, all in all, Rawhead Rex is nowhere near Rexhood. Why? because I've seen it all in Jaws (1975).

Yes, I'm comparing this with Jaws (1975), that scene with the kid getting eaten alive by a monster is enough for me to start comparing this wreck with the classic Summer blockbuster: Rawhead Rex starts with a random creature visiting a small town (or in this case, returns), creature goes wreaking havoc, havoc gone unnoticed or was blamed to something or someone else, a shocking attack happens, further attacks finally got noticed, townies attack back, attack backfires, hero emerges and fights back with the most unusual weapon. All of it in that order.

Just. Like. Jaws (1975).

The only difference I can tell between Rawhead Rex and Jaws is that Rex held back and took considerations regarding budget, which somehow became an excuse why the film couldn't do any better compared to other monster flicks. The plot is as basic as it can get and the director's attempt to try and make it longer by putting a lot of tedious and boring scenes in it didn't exactly help. There were a few cool attacks, like a home invasion scene and a trailer park rampage but, other than that, it's just stale all the way.

Rawhead isn't even scary, folks. In fact, he looks like a puppet version of Ryuk from the anime Death Note, only more muscular, dressed in a suit that would probably make the band Lordi recruit him to play drums. I may have liked it more if they just applied the make-up over the actor's face instead of making him wear a moving latex mask but I'm not gonna take any chances.

...yep...the resemblance is uncanny..

The ending itself, as unusual as it is, gave the film its fantasy tropes wherein an ancient talisman gets used to defeat Rawhead with a special touch: only a woman can handle it. Giving much credit to the "virginal" state of female survivors, the film took a different twist by providing a more magic-based turn on the usual horror trope. It would have been a nice touch for the film if it wasn't for the prolonged and overdone light-show that killed the beast. Talk about padding the runtime...

While I do appreciate the efforts placed into making this film a memorable one, I find it too boring and too cliched to make it anywhere. Uber cheap and really unoriginal, Rawhead Rex may find a better resting spot in a horror purist's arms or some Barker fans. Unless they're, like me, feeling a wee bit critical on these shortcomings...

1 male hit by lightning, killed offscreen
1 male had his face ravaged
1 male had an arm eaten off, killed
1 boy eaten, mostly offscreen
1 male had his neck ravaged open
1 male strangled against trailer
1 male repeatedly crushed against trailer
1 female elevated strangling, thrown against a pole
A number of occupants in a trailer got immolated with a shot gas tank by accident
1 male strangled to death
1 male seen mauled
1 female seen with her arm torn open
1 male found decapitated, head held by monster
1 male topples in his car, crushed
8+ males got burned alive in explosion
1 male ran through fire, burned to death
1 male had his face clawed open, bled to death
1 male had his neck bitten open
Total: 24+

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Mr. Goodnight for The Night: See No Evil (2006)

See No Evil (2006)
Rating: ***
Starring: Glenn Jacobs, Christina Vidal and Michael J. Pagan

While I'm not an overall fan of WWE, I do find it amusing to see these "actors" do their theatricals outside the ring and into the screen. A handful of them have gone to notable success (Dwayne The Rock Johnson and Hulk Hogan did pretty well for themselves), while the rest took their talent to smaller scales of entertainment, such as this killer flick of moderate proportions.

Starring Glenn Thomas Jacobs (AKA "Kane") as serial killer Jacob Goodnight, who years ago had his hideout busted by a couple of cops. Finding the place a littered mess with religious imagery tainted with blood and grit, the two also discovers a blinded girl, eyes torn out from her sockets, before one of them gets hacked to death with an axe by Jacob himself. Shooting the maniac in the head, Frank, the surviving cop, makes it alive with only a missing hand and Jacob was never heard of again...

Moving a four years ahead, Frank is now escorting a group of delinquents, including two potential final girls Kira (Samantha Noble) and Christine (Christina Vidal), to clean and fix a run-down hotel for community service in exchange of reducing their sentences. What they didn't know is that the hotel happens to be the same hiding spot of a more-than-alive Goodnight. Rigging the place with one-way mirrors and trip wires, he systematically hooks, kill and gouge out eyeballs for his collection, while the frightened (well, some are) teens fight for their lives.

See No evil is really no more than simplicity; it's not anything big and it runs a tirade of horror tropes ranging from a predictable paint-by-number storytelling to one-dimensional casts and the usual "twist", WWE Film's first release is all but new. Even Kane's Goodnight character is a little cliched; obviously influenced by Friday the 13th's Jason Voorhees, Jacob's mama-treatment is only a tad more traumatic as his past is haunted by humiliation and torture from a zealous mother, shaping him into "God's hand of judgement". With all of these drawbacks, though, the movie does make up for it with some worthwhile gory murders, torment, a really intimidating villain (despite their shortcomings), a grittingly effective location and pure popcorn cinema traits. 

It's entertaining still, in a very basic and thought-absent way, and it's probably the only thing that actually got it running in the first place. It has a few dull points but its quick pace leaves no dragging moments and the acting and camera work are neat all the way. I can't really say anything more about this film, its practically just an average slasher film. Gory and messy, but still very mediocre. Worthwhile a rent whenever it hits you.

1 male hacked to death with an axe
1 male found with missing eyes
1 female had her head hit within an elevator, eyes gouged
1 male gets a hook to the jaw, eyes gouged
1 male had his eyes gouged
1 male killed, eyes gouged
1 female mauled to death by dogs
1 female force fed with a cellphone, choked
1 male crushed to death with safe
1 female had an eye gouged, presumably killed (flashback)
1 elderly female thrown to spikes, impaled
Total: 11

The Twinning Towers of Cheesa!: Blood Rage (1983)

Blood Rage (1983) (AKA "Nightmare At Shadow Woods")
Rating: ***1/2
Starring: Louise Lasser, Mark Soper and Marianne Kanter

Some time ago in 1974, young blonde twins Todd and Terry sneaks out from their mother's car at a drive-in and wandered around to look for some teens making out just for the kick of it. When they found a couple, Terry suddenly got in touch with his inner psycho as he then starts hacking the teen boy's face with a conveniently found hatchet while his lover ran away for dear life, streakin' nude. Todd is traumatized frozen upon seeing the act and Terry quickly smothered his brother with blood, pinning the blame on him.

Moving ahead to the present, a more grown-up Terry is the apple of his mum's eye, surrounded by friends and living a healthy life; all the while, Todd, still traumatized by the incident, is locked away in an mental asylum where he is still believed to be a demented killer. But this year, at Thanksgiving, Todd finally snaps out of it and makes his escape, trying his best to alarm his loved ones of the real danger Terry is capable of and, apparently, he's willing to do anything to show how evil his brother is. (Perhaps, even murdering?!) 

All the while, Terry isn't coping well with the news that his dear ole' mum is getting hitched again, so ever the secretive psycho that he is, the man starts carving down the dinner guests one by one with a sharp machete. Could both boys have finally lost it? If so, what will become of everybody that Thanksgiving night?

If you look at it at an angle, Blood Rage (1983) could have been an unwatchable mess with its over the top dialogue, lazy scripting and horrible editing, but to see a lady hacked in half with a machete flailing around in an obviously acted scream, or for the movie to toss in a random little girl looking for her dog in the woods just to have her easily warned off by a strange sweaty man who may or may not be killing people, this film may have a lot more going for it entertainment-wise!

There's no doubt that this movie is feisty when it comes to its cheddar and fondue, but what makes it an interesting watch is that it follows a genuinely intriguing plot that often finds the time to take itself seriously, slinging along the way some gory looking kills (looking past the hammy effects, of course!) and a few decently tantalizing T&A scenes. This is also perhaps one of the few slashers to tackle on the evil twin plot with much glee and fun, concluding with a rather unexpectedly downbeat ending that's impressively in contrast to the Blood Rage (1983)'s mostly hammy execution; the fact that Todd and Terry's mum shows more love to Terry than her other son harbors a morality tale of favoritism, one that goes to a downward spiral that ultimately leads to a really grim end.

Greatly underrated, Blood Rage (1983) may look like another low-budget fare with hot cheese in its tone, but thanks to some eerily downbeat plot elements, gory demises in its slaughtering sprees and enough overacting for a good deal of unintentional laughs, the film succeeds to be watchable enough as a late night popcorn viewing and you could say I say I fell in love with this movie right on! If you're anything of a completist like me, it's a definite keeper! What say you?

1 male repeatedly hacked in the face with a hatchet
1 male had a hand lopped off with machete, head split in half
1 male gutted with machete
1 female hacked in half with machete
1 male decapitated offscreen, head found dangling in a noose
1 female killed offcamera, later found with a machete stabbed into her chest
1 male gets a machete hacked into his neck
1 female hacked to death with machete offscreen
1 male gets a grill fork to the neck
1 male shot to death
1 female shot on the head
Total: 11