Blood Rage is a 1987 Slasher Movie, which is also known as both Nightmare at Shadow Woods and Complex.
In 1974, while at a Drive-In Theater with his mother Maddy, and his twin brother Todd, a young boy named Terry Simmons brutally murdered a fellow moviegoer, and framed Todd for it. Traumatized by witnessing what his brother had done, Todd fell into a catatonic state, and was placed in a mental institution, while Terry went on to live a normal life with their mother, even getting a girlfriend named Karen. Unfortunately for Terry, a decade after the murder, Todd starts to come out of his shell, and regains the memories of what really happened all those years ago; he subsequently manages to escape the asylum on Thanksgiving. This, coupled with Maddy's intention to marry her boyfriend Brad (who owns the sprawling apartment complex where they live) causes Terry to snap and go on a killing spree.
The film has a bit of a convoluted history. While made in 1983, it was shelved until 1987, when a severely cut version of the film (dubbed Nightmare at Shadow Woods) showed up in a few theaters, while that same year the original uncut version of the film was released on VHS by Prism Entertainment. Some seventeen years later, Nightmare at Shadow Woods was released to DVD by Legacy Entertainment. Arrow Video released the film on Blu-ray in 2015 with both cuts, plus a third version combining all the footage of both cuts.
The film (the Blood Rage version, that is) is also known for being gory as Hell.
This film provides examples of the following tropes:
- An Arm and a Leg: Before slicing his head open, Terry cuts one of Brad's hands off.
- An Axe to Grind: The prologue has a young Terry hack up a moviegoer with an old axe he finds lying around.
- Auto Erotica: It's a horror film that features a Drive-In Theater, it's to be expected.
- Batter Up!: After being told Todd is skulking around, Artie decides to look for him, arming himself with a baseball bat beforehand.
- Bittersweet Ending: Terry is killed, but Maddie chooses to kill herself rather than accept that her "beloved son" was the true murderer.
- Blood Is Squicker in Water: After hacking open Gregg's throat, Terry shoves him into a nearby pool. Terry himself later falls into the same pool after his mother unknowingly shoots him to death.
- Blood Spattered Innocent: Todd in the opening, when Terry smears some of his victim's blood on him.
- Cat Scare: Dr. Berman's assistant, Jackie, steps on one while looking for Todd. Plus there's Andrea and Gregg pranking Karen and Artie by pretending to be dead and the killer, respectively.
- The Cavalry Arrives Late: Police sirens are heard approaching just after Terry and Maddy both die.
- Chase Scene: Terry chases Karen around the apartment complex several times.
- Did I Mention It's Christmas?: It's only mentioned it's Thanksgiving once or twice.
- Don't Go in the Woods: The apartment complex has a nature walk. It gets used.
- Dramatic Drop: Terry, when his mother walks into the pool house after he corners Todd and Karen there.
- Fan Disservice: Andrea and Gregg's sex scene is interrupted when Terry appears and hacks them both up.
- Fanservice: Julie's sexy negligee.
- Fight Scene: A brief one between Todd and Terry, in a pool.
- Flower in Her Hair: Maddy is never seen without at least one. Yeah, it's weird.
- For the Evulz: Most of Terry's victims are completely random, and are killed for no discernible reason.
- Freudian Excuse: Along with Todd escaping the asylum, Maddy announcing she is going to marry Brad also seemingly causes Terry to snap.
- Go Mad from the Revelation: Maddy, after being told it was Terry she shot to death.
- Gory Discretion Shot: Maddy shooting herself in the head; her blood is shown splattering on the floor as the handgun falls from her grasp.
- Groin Attack: Karen briefly escapes Terry by hitting him in the balls with a phone.
- Gross-Up Close-Up: Used for Brad's severed hand and mutilated head, and Terry yanking his machete out of the dead Julie's chest.
- High-Pressure Blood: When Brad gets his hand cut off.
- Horror Doesn't Settle for Simple Tuesday: It's probably the best Thanksgiving horror film out there.
- I Don't Like the Sound of That Place: Shadow Woods Apartments.
- Improvised Weapon: Terry stabs Artie in the throat with a big fork, and as mentioned above, Karen attacks Terry's nuts with a phone.
- Improbable Infant Survival: While he kills her and her boyfriend, Terry leaves Julie's baby alone.
- Irony: Todd tells a little girl there's a bad man on the loose, and to go home and lock the door, and to not let anyone in, no matter what they say. When Karen later comes banging on the door while running from Terry, the girl refuses to let her in.
- When Brad gets his hand cut off, a preacher on the nearby radio says something to the effect of "an eye for an eye, and a hand for a hand".
- Last-Name Basis: Artie almost exclusively refers to Terry as Simmons.
- Madness Mantra: By the end, Todd is reduced to yelling "I'm Todd!" while banging his head against a wall.
- Menacing Stroll: Terry's highest level of speed.
- New-Age Retro Hippie: A horny one appears as a viewer at the drive-in at the start of the film.
- Peek-a-Boo Corpse: While fleeing from Terry, Karen stumbles across several bodies.
- Recut: The extremely cut down Nightmare at Shadow Woods.
- Rule of Three: Terry cracks "It's not cranberry sauce..." in regards to his victims' blood at least three times.
- The Scourge of God: Jackie gets killed shortly after deciding to take a marijuana break.
- Screaming Woman: As Terry approaches her with his machete, Doctor Berman just stands there with her mouth hanging open.
- Shower Scene: Features both a male (Terry, washing blood off) example and a female (Andrea, washing off the makeup she wore to prank Karen and Artie) example.
- Super OCD: Maddy has shades of this, what with her obssessive cleaning and all.
- Take That!: One of the film's taglines is "Not all the evil is on Elm Street..."
- Title In: 1974 - Jacksonville, Florida and Ten Years Later.
- Too Dumb to Live: Julie. After finding her boyfriend's severed head, she, instead of immediately running away with her baby, decides to grab a big coat and struggle to put it on. Also, no one bothers to call the police or hold up somewhere, even though they know there's a potentially dangerous killer lurking about.