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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Blood Rage aka 'Nightmare at Shadow Woods' aka "Slasher" [Blu-ray]

 

(John Grissmer, 1987)

 

Re-Released January 2017

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Film Limited Partnership

Video: Arrow Video

 

Disc:

Region: FREE (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)

Home Video Runtime: 1:22:19.416

Theatrical Runtime: 1:19:27.208

Composite Cut Runtime: 1:25:08.041

Blu-ray One size: 32,132,522,026 bytes

Blu-ray 2 Size: 44,340,353,469 bytes

Home Video Feature Size: 21,657,765,888 bytes

Theatrical Feature Size: 19,806,978,048 bytes

Composite Cut Feature Size: 21,242,199,744 bytes

Video Bitrate: 29.97 Mbps / 29.98 Mbps / 30.00 Mbps

Mbps Chapters: 12 / 12 / 12

Case: Transparent Blu-ray case inside cardboard slipcase

Release date: November 23rd, 2015 / December 15th, 2015

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.78:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

Home Video:

LPCM Audio English 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit
Commentary:

LPCM Audio English 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit

Theatrical and Composite Cut:

LPCM Audio English 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit

 

Subtitles:

English (SDH), none

 

Extras:

3-DISC DIRECTOR-APPROVED LIMITED EDITION CONTENTS

Three versions of the film Blood Rage, the original home video version, Nightmare at Shadow Woods, the theatrical re-cut, and an alternate composite cut combining footage from both versions
Original Stereo 2.0 sound (Uncompressed PCM on the Blu-ray)
Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Marc Schoenbach
Fully-illustrated collector s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Joseph A. Ziemba, author of BLEEDING SKULL! A 1980s Trash-Horror Odyssey

BLU-RAY DISC 1 & DVD - BLOOD RAGE

Brand new 2K restoration of the hard home video version, transferred from the camera negative and featuring the original title card Slasher
Audio commentary with director John Grissmer
Both Sides of the Camera an interview with producer/actress Marianne Kanter (9:58)
Double Jeopardy an interview with actor Mark Soper (11:01)
Jeez, Louise! an interview with actress Louise Lasser (10:21)
Man Behind the Mayhem an interview with special make-up effects creator Ed French (12:48)
Three Minutes with Ted Raimi an interview with actor Ted Raimi (3:18)
Return to Shadow Woods featurette revisiting the original locations in Jacksonville, Florida (5:36)
VHS Alternate opening titles (5:01)

Behind the Scenes gallery - motion still gallery featuring rare behind-the-scenes make-up photos (4:31)

BLU-RAY DISC 2 - NIGHTMARE AT SHADOW WOODS [LIMITED EDITION EXCLUSIVE]
Nightmare at Shadow Woods the re-edited 1987 theatrical cut featuring footage not seen in the Blood Rage home video version
Alternate composite cut of the feature combining footage from the home video and theatrical versions
Never-before-seen outtakes (26:39 - no audio)

 

Bitrate:

Blood Rage  (Home Video version - Slasher title card)

 

 

Nightmare at Shadow Woods (theatrical cut)

 

 

Alternate composite cut

 

 

Description: What do you get if you combine Thanksgiving, American TV star Louise Lasser (Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman), killer 80s synths and some of the most gruesome special effects in all of slasher history courtesy of Ed (Terminator 2) French. Why, it s Blood Rage of course!

Twins Todd and Terry seem like sweet boys that is, until one of them takes an axe to face of a fellow patron at the local drive-in. Todd is blamed for the bloody crime and institutionalised, whilst twin brother Terry goes free. Ten years later and, as the family gathers around the table for a Thanksgiving meal, the news comes in that Todd has escaped. But has the real killer in fact been in their midst all along? One thing s for sure, there will be blood and rage!

Shot in 1983 but not released until 1987, Blood Rage (re-cut and shown in theatres as Nightmare at Shadow Woods) is a gloriously gruesome slice of 80s slasher heaven now lovingly restored (in 3 versions no less!) from original vault elements for its first ever official home video release.

 

 

 

The Film:

The highlight of this sometimes humorous horror film is the performance of Louise Lasser. Maddy (Lasser) is the mother of ten-year-old twins Todd and Terry (Mark Soper). Terry sneaks out of the car at a drive-in movie and slashes the throat of an innocent victim. The evil twin blames it on his innocent brother Todd, who is sent off to a mental institution. Ten years later, Maddy is about to get married again and plans to make the announcement of Thanksgiving Day. She receives a phone call saying that Todd has escaped, and the thrilled Terry begins to make secret plans to begin another killing spree.

Excerpt from MRQE located HERE

 

Variously known as Blood Rage (home video version), Slasher (original title card), and Nightmare at Shadow Woods (theatrical cut), this ropey hack-‘em-up took four years to get a US release after having been filmed in 1983. It was hardly worth the wait but there’s some fun to be had in its maniac twins setup.

To be fair, only one of the twins is actually maniacal. When they were kids, Terry butchered a mid-coitus stranger and blamed it on Todd. 10 years later, Todd escapes from his psychiatric unit, apparently on the rampage. But in reality it’s just Terry again, all grown up and getting jealous and enraged about his mom’s engagement. Someone is slaughtering folks in the neighbourhood, and now Terry has the perfect alibi.

Harking from a time when the mentally ill were definitely perpetrators rather than victims, here we have one of those slasher pictures where people are too busy going off into the woods alone to call the police and let them know a murderer is on the rampage.

Excerpt from RockNReelReviews located HERE

 

Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

This is the another Arrow Blu-ray release that is being simultaneously released in both region 'A' (US) and 'B' (UK). It is the exact same package on both sides of the pond beyond minor cosmetic differences on the disc labels and sleeve to do with differing copyright info and barcodes, and the US release doesn't have BBFC logos.

NOTE: We call this region FREE . although technically it is region 'A' + 'B'. I've yet to see a region 'C'-locked Blu-ray so most will also consider this region FREE.

 

Blood Rage joins an all-encompassing double Blu-ray, single DVD, package from Arrow.  We get three version of this eighties, horror, slasher flic. Disc one is a brand new 2K restoration of the hard home video version, transferred from the camera negative, director-approved and featuring the original title card Slasher (see above.) The second Blu-ray has Nightmare at Shadow Woods the re-edited 1987 theatrical cut featuring footage not seen in the Blood Rage home video version. Blood Rage was re-edited and released theatrically in 1987 as Nightmare at Shadow Woods. The Arrow presentation of this cut comprises the newly restored Blood Rage footage combined with unique footage transferred from the best available 35mm print element. Because of the significant variations between the two elements used, the differences remain noticeable. All three are in 1080P and aside from some acceptable variations - have the same bitrates and look very similar with plenty of appealing grain. I've only produced captures of the restored Home Video version - and it looks surprisingly good. This Blu-rays are in the 1.78:1 aspect ratio and the image quality is far in advance of what any fan of the film(s) could have hoped for.

 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

All three version use a linear PCM 2.0 channel at 1536 kbps (16-bit). They sound about as you might anticipate and a generally accurate representation of the original film production. Not dynamic - but serviceable - clear dialogue with no, definitive, effect separation. The score is by Richard Einhorn (Carl Th. Dreyer’s The Passion of Joan of Arc, Joseph Zito's The Prowler, Eyes of a Stranger, Shock Waves). It's flat without significant depth for the effects but seems true to source and sounds generally tense and suspenseful - as well as consistent. There are optional English (SDH) subtitles (see sample above) for all three versions and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A' and 'B'-locked.

 

Extras :

Arrow, unafraid of going overboard - stack the supplements - probably beyond what the film deserves. Firstly a revealing audio commentary with director John Grissmer. I found him interesting and worth the time and it sparked some appreciation that didn't exist before. There are 5 interviews; Both Sides of the Camera spends 10-minutes with producer/actress Marianne Kanter, Double Jeopardy is an 11-minute interview with actor Mark Soper reflecting back almost 30-years. Jeez, Louise! shows us actress Louise Lasser with a revealing 10-minutes. Man Behind the Mayhem gives us more than dozen minutes with very civilized special make-up effects creator Ed French and we also get Three Minutes with actor Ted Raimi. Also in the first Blu-ray is Return to Shadow Woods - a 6-minute featurette revisiting the original locations in Jacksonville, Florida plus there is some horrid footage of the VHS Alternate opening titles and a behind-the-scenes gallery.

 
Blu-ray disc 2 has Nightmare at Shadow Woods the re-edited 1987 theatrical cut featuring footage not seen in the Blood Rage home video version as well as a separate transfer of the alternate composite cut of the feature combining footage from the home video and theatrical versions - the only additional extra is 27 minutes of never-before-seen outtakes with no audio. The package has a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Marc Schoenbach plus a fully-illustrated collector s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Joseph A. Ziemba, author of BLEEDING SKULL! A 1980s Trash-Horror Odyssey as well as a DVD of Blood Rage.

 

 

Blu-ray 2

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
While Blood Rage is not my cup-of-tea - I can see the appeal. And you have to marvel at Arrow's incredibly complete package. The film definitely has some kitsch charisma and nostalgia value.  The Arrow Blu-ray provides a very authentic and worthy a/v presentation with plenty of supplements, and alternate version, to investigate. For fans of this genre - it really doesn't get any better. An 80's, quintessential, slasher horror - twins, gore and decapitated co-eds. At times, so in-your-face, its almost amusing. A late Friday night classic. 

Gary Tooze

December 2nd, 2015

 

Re-Released January 2017


 

About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 5000 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.

Gary's Home Theatre:

60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
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Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

APC AV 1.5 kVA H Type Power Conditioner 120V

Gary W. Tooze

 

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