Saturday 22 December 2007

Blood Rage (1987) John Grissmer

Oh my goodness Blood Rage was bad, and I don't just mean bad I mean really truly beyond all reason bad. This now occupies the dubious position of 'Worst Film of the 1980s' in my ratings and it may just stay there for a long while. Everything about it is bad: the direction, the writing, the dialogue, the acting, the concept, you name it. And for a film in which almost all the female characters get naked to be this bad is almost unheard of. The best part of it is a short appearance by Ted Raimi as a condom salesman and it's over in about five seconds. He's outcredited by a baby.

The lead character Maddy is a mother of twins and we start the film with her cuddling and kissing with her boyfriend in a car parked at the drive through. The twins wake up and sneak out of the car but one of them, Terry, is rather unhappy about what his mum is getting up to, so kills a rutting couple in another car with an axe and blames his brother Todd. Yes, the axe is just hanging around somewhere. No, his brother doesn't say anything to contradict Terry's statement. No, nobody notices that Terry is covered in blood and Todd just has some on his cheek. It's all taken as read and off Todd goes to the looney bin.

Ten years later and Maddy announces that she's going to get married again. Terry isn't happy and is able to hack and slash his way through it given the convenient coincidence of Todd escaping from the asylum. Coincidences are everywhere in this movie and the lead character seems to be one of them. Maddy is played by Louise Lasser of Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman and I'm not convinced that she really knew there was a film being made.

It's like she sleepwalked through it and spoke a few words here and there. She looks stunningly awful, like one of those billboards warning against meth addiction, and she acts as if she was drugged out on something. She only seems to be in the film for about ten minutes, has very little interaction with anyone and doesn't seem to be on the same conversations even when she is. Worst of all there are a bunch of small scenes of Maddy walking around a corner, Maddy leaning against a wall looking zoned, Maddy answering the phone, Maddy doing nothing whatsoever. It's all very confusing.

The rest of the cast are mostly young actors and while they're not quite as bad as Lasser they're really not good. Mark Soper is the Todd/Terry double act and while he's not too bad as Todd he's awful as Terry. He struts around like he's the best thing since sliced bread but can't do anything. When a gorgeous young slut half strips and wants him he can't reciprocate and has to watch TV, yet when he's alone with his girlfriend he attempts to rape her and fails at that too. He's like the guy who can do anything who can't do anything and how much sense does that make? His dialogue is truly scary, as he keeps repeating lines like 'That's not cranberry sauce' as if practicing them. Was I watching a film or a rehearsal tape?

Some of the girls look great naked, even though the scenes are as gratuitous as they get. There's not even any attempt to explain why this point of the film suddenly needed a shower scene, for instance. It's just one scene of something else, a little bit of a naked girl in a shower and then off to something else entirely unrelated. Ted Raimi was funny for the five seconds he was in the movie. Other than that the only humour was in trying to work out exactly how inept the filmmakers were.

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