Thursday, November 26, 2015

Blood Rage (1987) - Blu-ray Review - Arrow Video

Watching Arrow Video's Blu-ray of 'Blood Rage' is like truly seeing the film for the first time.

Blood Rage Blu-ray cover

Released by: Arrow Video
Release Date: November 24, 2015 (US) / November 23, 2015 (UK)
Production Year: 1987
Region Code: ALL 
Running Time: 1:22:19 (Disc 1 feature)
Audio: English LPCM 2.0 Stereo
Video: 1080p (1.85:1 Aspect Ratio) / NTSC (DVD)
Subtitles: English SDH

THE FILM: [ 3.5 / 5 ]

What do you get if you combine Thanksgiving, American TV star Louise Lasser (Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman), killer 80's 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 institutionalized, 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 plenty of blood and rage!

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

For me "Blood Rage" was always a bit of a below average slasher. It was okay but not a film I enjoyed all that much. However, being able to see more of what is happening in the film has given me a renewed interest and fondness for "Blood Rage." 

As far as stand out actors in the film, I think that Mark Soper did a good job playing twins Todd and Terry. He gave a convincing performance making you believe you were watching two different actors. Louise Lasser made you feel for her as she goes from being happy not long after the ten years later part of the film to slowly losing her mind throughout the film after she receives some disturbing news. 

The film does not include to me, memorable characters but rather disposable characters which is typical with many slashers and I'm not really complaining. There are some memorable lines with a couple variations of "it's not cranberry sauce" which I find pretty entertaining. Make-up effects artist Ed French does a great job with the practical effects in "Blood Rage."  

NOTE: The Audio and Video scores and comments below are in reference to the uncut version of the film from Blu-ray Disc One.

AUDIO: [ 4.5 / 5 ]

"Blood Rage" has an English LPCM 2.0 Stereo audio track. The sound quality is excellent overall. The dialogue is clean and crisp. The sound effects are sharp and spot on. The great synth score by Richard Einhorn sounds very lively. The volume level was consistent throughout the film. I did not notice any issues with the audio such as hissing, pops or dropouts. All three versions of the film include optional English SDH subtitles.

VIDEO: [ 4.5 / 5 ]

"Blood Rage" slashes its way on to Blu-ray for the first time thanks to Arrow Video. All three versions of the film are presented in 1080p with a 1.85:1 Aspect Ratio thanks to a brand new 2k restoration from the original camera negative. I did not have any idea what the film looked like on the Blu-ray from Arrow Video prior to watching it today. I am only used to shoddy versions that you may find on Youtube and such. What a delightful surprise this turned out to be. The restoration that Arrow has done has breathed new life in to a once run of the mill slasher. The film itself looks amazing. It is so nice to be able to clearly see the handiwork of Ed French in the terrific death scenes. The colors are bold and look appropriate without being over-saturated. Skin tones look natural and contrast levels look fine. Film grain looks very good throughout and is heavier in some of the darker scenes although it was never to the point of being distracting or detrimental to the experience of watching the film. There is a welcomed amount of detail present in the film and in close up shots, even more fine detail to be found. I really would not have imagined that "Blood Rage" could look this good. If you want a glimpse of how good the film looks now, take a peek at the video at the bottom of the review. One minor glitch in the film and it appears in all three versions is a tiny greenish orb that appears in the upper left area of the screen which you can see around the 59:08 mark in the film when Terry and Artie arrive on the wooden foot bridge. Something funny is shortly after that at approximately 59:49 just behind Terry's back, someone appears to walk into the frame and then backs away when they realize they shouldn't be there. 


Blu-ray Disc One

Audio Commentary - This commentary track is moderated by Ewan Cant from Arrow Video and features John Grissmer, the director of "Blood Rage" and John Dalley, a co-owner of the film. Mr. Cant makes a solid effort to keep the conversation going but unfortunately John Grissmer often gives a brief response which results in a number of quiet lulls in the conversation. Mr. Grissmer does provide some interesting anecdotes regarding the film though concerning the cast and crew. John Dalley doesn't really contribute much to the conversation until just after the 57 minute mark when Ewan Cant asks him about the unauthorized release of the film and subsequent legal matter involving a few websites such as Amazon and Netflix. If you are a fan of the film, you may like this commentary but I don't imagine a casual viewer finding it all that interesting. Even though I didn't find it to be particularly good, I am thankful for its inclusion as I always enjoy hearing from the film makers and/or cast.

Double Jeopardy - An interview with Mark Soper (11:01) -  Mr. Soper talks about how he got his start in acting and also discusses his roles in the film including having a cheat sheet of each characters mannerisms because he would have to quickly change roles.  

Jeez, Louise! - An interview with Louise Lasser (10:21) - Miss Lasser discusses her early acting career including a few Woody Allen films and the tv series "Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman." She too talks about her role in the film as well as the mental state of her character.  

Both Sides of the Camera - An interview with producer/actress Marianne Kanter (9:58) - She talks about the films production and reveals that she appears in the film due to the actress that was originally hired for the part did not show up for work. Miss Kanter also briefly mentions being a producer. She also discusses working with Louise Lasser and how director John Grissmer had at one point quit the film but later came back when Miss Kanter contacted him.  

Man Behind the Mayhem - An interview with special make-up effects creator Ed French (12:48) - Mr. French talks about how after reading an issue of Fangoria and seeing the effects from professionals such as Dick Smith, he became interested in the field and wanted to get in to the make-up effects business. Ed French discusses a few of the effects used in "Blood Rage." He briefly mentions his acting career and how after seeing the dailies for "Blood Rage," he decided that would be his last cameo in a film he was working on. Mr. French touches base on the multiple titles used for the film, cast members Louise Lasser and Mark Soper as well as other films and tv shows he has worked on in his illustrious career.

Three Minutes with Ted - An interview with actor Ted Raimi (3:18) - Ted shares a story about what led to him moving to New York and as he was about to give up on acting and move home, he got the part in "Blood Rage."

Return to Shadow Woods (5:36) - In this featurette, film historian Ed Tucker gives us a look at some of the original shooting locations used for the film in Jacksonville, Florida. Sadly, the drive-in theater used in the opening of the film has since been replaced with a Walmart. 

VHS Opening Titles (5:01) -  We you get to see part of the opening scene with the "Blood Rage" title card. 

Behind the Scenes Gallery (4:31) - A collection of stills from the production.

Blu-ray Disc Two [Limited Edition Exclusive]

Nightmare at Shadow Woods (1:19:27) - The following appears before playing this version of the film. "Blood Rage was re-edited and released theatrically in 1987 as Nightmare as Shadow Woods. Our presentation of this cut is comprised of the newly restored Blood Rage footage combined with unique footage transferred from the best available 35mm print element. Because if the significant variations in quality between the two elements used, the differences remain noticeable." 

Wow. It is easy to see how different this version will be by how gutted the opening scene is in terms of gore. Talk about severely edited. One swing of the axe and the camera cuts away to the woman running away from the car. We do get a glimpse of the mans face after the fact when the murder has been discovered. Next the film skips ahead and we have grown up Terry at the pool with his friends and meet the neighbor with the baby, Julie. Some gore still remains in some of the death scenes but much of it has been removed and there are some sudden cuts to the next scene that makes the film feel very clumsily edited and rather cheap. The audio and video quality was great on this version. The lower quality footage is easy to spot in some cases but it was nowhere near as jarring as some of the edited scenes that removed the violence. A nice addition to this terrific limited edition release by Arrow Video but I doubt I will revisit this version of the film.

Composite Cut (1:25:08) -  Before being able to play this version of the film, this appears on the menu screen. "An alternate composite cut of the feature combing footage from both the uncut and theatrical versions." 

I definitely preferred this version over "Nightmare at Shadow Woods" but I think I would stick to the uncut version on disc one. I really didn't find this or the uncut version to feel all too different. Then again I have spent my Thanksgiving watching "Blood Rage" and its special features all day. So this was my fourth time watching the film today, all three versions once plus disc one version with the commentary track. The added scenes in this version are nice to have but I honestly don't miss them in the uncut version since it's a slightly "leaner' beast of a slasher. 

Outtakes (26:39) - Before the outtakes play this disclaimer appears, "The following outtakes are presented mute as per the source material." We see a couple outtakes that involve Maddy arriving at The Craig Institute, both from her prospective as well as a patient outside the building. Next there are a few scenes involving a few characters in and around the swimming pool including Terry. We then see a couple takes at the tennis court followed by a several shots involving Terry and the couple having sex on the diving board of the pool as seen in the film. Next is a few shots of Terry and Karen followed by shots involving the bodies of the couple from the pool. 

Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Marc Schoenbach.

Fully-illustrated collectors booklet featuring new writing on the film by Joseph A. Ziemba, author of BLEEDING SKULL! A 1980s Trash-Horror Odyssey.


This one can easily be summed up as, if you are a fan of the film at all, you need to get this Blu-ray because you will absolutely love it. If you are a slasher fan, you should order yourself the Blu-ray. It is not as widely known as other 80's slashers, but thanks to Arrow Video and their wonderful job on this new HD remaster, you can now see and appreciate the great kill scenes and gore that appears in the film. Along with the superior audio and video quality of the film, you have a total of three versions of the film to watch in the limited edition version, plus a surplus of features. No brainer. Buy the Blu-ray. The 3-Disc Set also includes a DVD of the uncut version of "Blood Rage."

OVERALL RATING: [ 4.5 / 5 ]


NOTE: The video below contains spoilers for the film. So watch at your own risk.

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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Wild Eye Releasing Unlocks the 'House of Afflictions' for February 2016 DVD Release

Fear The Unknown

House of Afflictions poster

Wild Eye Releasing has opened the doors to the House of Afflictions with a new poster and trailer. The latest supernatural thriller from UK director Anthony M. Winson ("The Witching Hour," "Unholy") follows a crime author mourning the loss of her child as she tries to start life over in a new home. She soon discovers that she is not alone in the house. Is something from her past haunting her, or is it something deep within the house itself that wants to ensure she remain restless forever?

Kate Beckley was once a best selling crime author, but it's been years since her last novel following the disappearance of her daughter, Julia. While attempting to write again in a new home, Kate finds herself haunted by strange visions and paranormal occurrences - which become worse each night. Has Julia returned, or is something more sinister preying on this grieving mother?

The February 23, 2016 DVD release of "House of Afflictions" will exclusively include a number of special features.

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The Terror Continues in SINISTER 2 Arriving on Digital HD on December 22nd and Blu-ray & DVD January 12th


Sinister 2 Blu-ray cover


Universal City, California, November 23, 2015 – Mysterious found footage reveals a series of gruesome murders in Sinister 2, the chilling sequel to the sleeper horror hit available on Digital HD on December 22, 2015, and on Blu-ra, DVD and On Demand on January 12, 2016 from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment. The latest heart-stopping tale from series co-creators and screenwriters C. Robert Cargill & Scott Derrickson (who directed the first installment), producer Jason Blum of Blumhouse (Insidious, The Purge) and director Ciarán Foy (Citadel), Sinister 2 on Blu-ray and DVD is packed with bonus features including filmmaker commentary, a peek behind the camera and deleted scenes that raise the fear factor to unprecedented heights.

In the aftermath of the shocking events of Sinister, a protective mother (Shannyn Sossamon of Wayward Pines) and her nine-year-old twin sons (real-life brothers Robert and Dartanian Sloan) find themselves marked for death in a rural house as the evil spirit of Bughuul continues to spread with frightening intensity.

  • Extended Kill Films 
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Time to Watch Another: Making of Sinister 2 – In this behind-the-scenes featurette, filmmakers discuss how they built the new story upon the first film and brought back “Deputy So & So” to continue the hunt for Bughuul.
  • Feature Commentary with Director Ciarán Foy

Cast: Shannyn Sossamon, Robert Sloan, Dartanian Sloan, James Ransone, Ethan Hawke, Clare Foley, Nicholas King
Directed By: Ciarán Foy
Written By: Scott Derrickson, C. Robert Cargill
Produced By: Jason Blum, Scott Derrickson, Brian Kavanaugh-Jones

For more information visit the following:


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The Last House - DVD Review - Wild Eye Releasing

The ultimate showdown between love and hate

The Last House DVD cover

Released by: Wild Eye Releasing
Release Date: November 24, 2015
Production Year: 2011
Region Code: ALL
Running Time: 1:28:37
Audio: English Dolby Digital 2.0
Video: NTSC Anamorphic Widescreen
Subtitles: None

THE FILM - [ 2.5 / 5 ]:

After his call girl fiancé (Lauren Walsh) is lured and trapped by a satanic trio of escaped mental patients, a young man (Jason Mewes) must rescue her from a posh Hollywood home before their sadistic plans can be realized.

The film was directed by Sean Cain ("Silent Night, Zombie Night") and stars Jason Mewes ("Clerks"), Ezra Buzzington (TV's Crossbones, "The Hills Have Eyes"), Lauren Walsh ("18-Year-Old-Virgin"), and Felissa Rose ("Sleepaway Camp").

I will stay right away that I did not really enjoy this film the first time I watched it. It just seemed like it was missing something or trying to be more intelligent than it really was. A few days later when I sat down to go through the special features, I decided to watch the film again and upon a second viewing I enjoyed the film more than before. If you watch a fair amount of films, you can relate. Sometimes you just aren't in the right frame of mind to watch a particular film, a certain genre or any multitude of reasons. 

Our heroine Love (Lauren Walsh) finds herself trapped on the grounds of a Hollywood mansion. Her captors are led by Hate (Ezra Buzzington) and also include Selma (Monique Parent) and Cleb (Ricardo Gray). The film transitions from present to past many times throughout the film. I would explain more on that but I don't want to give anything away. 

I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the acting in this low budget film. Ezra Buzzington was terrific as our main villain. The creep factor was quite high with his portrayal of Hate. Ricardo Gray as the deviant Cleb was great in his scenes and after watching the film you may not be hungry for melon any time soon. Monique Parent may not have been in many scenes but she certainly gave an entertaining performance. One disappointing thing in regards to the actors was the brief appearance by Felissa Rose. However, as revealed in the commentary track, she was very far along in her pregnancy so that is obviously forgivable. Jason Mewes did an admirable job in his role of Ned. He is of course primarily known as Jay in many films by Kevin Smith. Lauren Walsh did a really good job as Love which was a plus since a lot of the film revolves around her character. 

Monique Parent in The Last House

AUDIO - [ 3 / 5 ]:

"The Last House" features an English Dolby Digital 2.0 audio track. I found the track did a fine job and maintained a balanced level between dialogue, sound effects and score. The dialogue was clean and easy to understand and the sound effects sounded authentic, from cracking skulls right down to the squishy noises of Cleb's melon. 

Jason Mewes in The Last House

VIDEO - [ 4 / 5 ]:

"The Last House" arrives on DVD courtesy of Wild Eye Releasing. The film is presented in NTSC Anamorphic Widescreen. For a low budget independent horror film I thought the video quality was excellent. Colors are vibrant and robust and look particularly great in bright scenes. There is a surprising amount of detail present and even more fine detail present in some close up shots. Black levels looked good and skin tones had a very natural appearance. The picture quality may have been a little too good for the film since when it came to a few practical effect shots near the end of the film, the wounds looked waxy and fake. 

Lauren Walsh in The Last House


Audio Commentary - This track features director Sean Cain and writer-producer Wes Laurie. The first thing of note is a subtitle that appears stating that "The Last House" was originally titled "Breath of Hate" and director Sean Cain refers to the film with the former title. The duo do a nice job on the commentary track keeping the conversation going with only a few brief silent moments, some of which they joke about afterward. They offer numerous behind the scenes tidbits of information involving the cast, characters, scenes and production. This was a fun commentary to listen to and I would those that own the DVD to check it out.

Cinemayhem Director Interview (5:34) - Director Sean Cain and writer-producer Wes Laurie appear at a screening of the film and answer a few questions. Some of the answers consist of things that are talked about during the commentary track. 

Gorezone UK Premiere (10:34) - Hosted by Emily Booth and Christa Campbell interview director Sean Cain and cinematographer Nickolas Rossi.  

Deleted Scenes (3:46) - Two scenes involving Ned and Love that basically revolve around their relationship.

Trailers: Includes trailers for the following films.
  • The Perfect House
  • Scream Park
  • The Horror Network
  • A Plague So Pleasant
  • All American Bully
  • Paranormal Halloween
  • A Darker Fifty Shades
  • Dead Woman's Hollow
  • Hole


A very nice DVD in terms of audio and video that also offers some quality special features including a entertaining commentary track. The film itself will surely find its fans. I found it to be average in quality, which isn't a bad thing considering how many truly bad films are out there in the market. If you wanted to watch the film for Felissa Rose, you'll be disappointed by her brief appearance. Jason Mewes appears in a much larger role if that is your point of interest. Plus you can't forget about the ghosts of course.


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Monday, November 23, 2015

Douglas Rath's Il Sonnambulo - Third and Final Chapter Revealed

Writer/director Douglas Rath's drama-horror hit Il Sonnambulo just unleashed its third and final episode

Il Sonnambulo poster

Here is an update on "Il Sonnambulo" which we previously wrote about here. The series follows provocative 'shock-rocker' photographer Atticus Hurst as he scours the world for his dangerous muse, the serial killing enigma "Il Sonnambulo."

Originally teased by Eli Roth's Crypt TV, "Il Sonnambulo" has attracted a slew of fans across the drama and horror spectrum and traction is already picking up to turn the concept into a full series.

Starring Ross Mullan ('Game of Thrones', 'Doctor Who'), Elizabeth Moynihan ('Vikings') and Dean Christie ('Call The Midwife') the three episodes are airing here:

Il Sonnambulo still

You can also catch the killer here: 
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Sunday, November 22, 2015

Horror Tale Tailypo Earns Emmy Nomination For Director Cameron McCasland

Horror short "Tailypo" earns MidSouth Emmy Nomination

Tailypo poster

Nashville, TN (11.20.2015) Cameron McCasland of Red Headed Revolution was nominated for an Emmy award for his short film Tailypo in the Program Director category at the 30th annual MidSouth Emmy Awards Thursday night at a ceremony held at BMI in Nashville, TN.

McCasland said of the nomination for Tailypo. “I am just so thankful to my cast & crew and the good people at Copper Canyon Ranch who opened their home to us to get this made. I carried this story around for a long time, and its really nice to see it connect with viewers. Thanks to NATAS for being so gracious. We are all over the moon.”

The film premiered online earlier this year and made the jump to the big screen winning awards at The Best Shorts Competition, Imaginarium Film Festival, The IndieFest, as well as screenings at multiple film festivals in The United States, Canada, and Russia.

McCasland's Tailypo is a re-telling of the classic American folk tale, a reclusive man (played by David Chattam) living in a cabin with his hungry hunting dog are stalked by a creature with sharp teeth, claws, and glowing yellow eyes after a blind shotgun blast severs the creatures tail. The hermit begins to question his own sanity as the unseen menace lurking in the shadows of the lonesome woods hauntingly taunts “tailypo, tailypo, give me back my tailypo.” Voiced to eerie perfection by Penny Dreadful herself, Danielle Gelehrter.

The director first heard of the story as a kindergarten student at Edgewood Elementary school in his childhood hometown of Edgewood, Texas. McCasland spoke about its origins, “The campfire tale was a Halloween favorite from two of my teachers, Carolyn Hooks and Darlene McEnturff. Its one of the first things i can remember really creeping me out as a kid. The thing just stuck with me, and It felt really good to get it out of my head and up on the screen.”

This marks the sixth Emmy nomination overall and first in the directors category for McCasland who has previously been given the nod in writing and producing categories for his work on the “Go Green With Dr. Gangrene” series of shorts, and his made for tv movie “The Dreadful Hallowgreen Special”.

You can see the award winning Tailypo as well as other work from Cameron McCasland at the website or find him on twitter @CamMcCasland

The 30th annual MidSouth Emmy awards will be announced Saturday ,February, 27th 2016 during a banquet and live telecast from the Country Music Hall Of Fame & Museum in Nashville, TN. For more information and to see a full list of nominees please visit

Cameron McCasland is an award winning director, writer and film producer. Earlier this year he was awarded “Best Indie Director” at the 2015 Indieville TV awards. The Texas born film maker lives in Nashville, TN with his wife Jamie, and two daughters. For more information please

You can also read our review of "Tailypo."

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'Judas Ghost' Coming to VOD and DVD on December 1st

Be Careful What You Hunt For

Judas Ghost cover

Director Simon Pearce’s gruesome Ghostbusting tale "Judas Ghost" premieres December 1 on VOD and DVD. The cast includes Simon Merrells, Martin Delaney, Lucy Cudden, Alexander Perkins and Grahame Fox.

“One of those rare horror offerings that is as interested in telling a clever, refreshing ghost story as it is offering the best film possible” (Fangoria) Judas Ghost brings to the screen author Simon R.Green’s acclaimed ‘Ghost Finders’ series. In it, a team of professional ghost finders find themselves trapped in an old village hall. The haunting they set out to investigate turns out to be far worse than they anticipated. Who will survive and what will be left of their souls?

Adapted for the screen by Green, Martin Delaney (Zero Dark Thirty), Lucy Cudden (Wounded) and Simon Merrells (The Wolfman) star in what critics say is “chilling” and “entertaining” (Starburst Magazine).

Judas Ghost still

Ghosts exist; whether you choose to believe in them or not. When multiple reports of supernatural occurrences from an old schoolhouse point to a haunting, a team of ghost hunters are dispatched to investigate. But things go from bad to worse when it becomes clear that they are facing something far more sinister than they first anticipated. The school has an evil, dark secret that could strip the souls from their bodies.

Be sure to visit the films official website, Twitter and Facebook page for more information.

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Four Clips Released for Sci-fi Horror Film 'Star Leaf' Coming to DVD on November 24th

Some highs are out of this world

Star Leaf poster

Titan Sky Entertainment have released four new video clips for the indie sci-fi horror film "Star Leaf" which we reviewed here

Director Richard Cranor's Star Leaf premieres on DVD November 24 from MVD Entertainment Group.

Richard Cranor (The Man in the High Castle) and Russell Hodgkinson(The Z Nation) star.


A group of friends set off to find a secret forest of marijuana hidden deep in the Olympic Mountains. Legend has it the plants are of extra-terrestrial origin, and two ex-Marines among the group hope it will cure their PTSD born from hard combat in Afghanistan.

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