NIGHTMARE AT SHADOW WOODS (1987)
aka Blood Rage
Article 4574 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by John Grissmer
Featuring Louise Lasser, Mark Soper, Marianne Kanter
What it is: Slasher film
At a drive-in, one of a pair of twins murders a man and frames his shocked brother for the crime. Years later, the innocent brother escapes from the asylum, which prompts the guilty brother to go on a killing spree.
This film was made in 1983 but sat on the shelf for several years before it was released. I’m not surprised; despite the fact that it has a few rather gory murders, the movie is virtually scareless. For some reason, the movie fails to conjure up an iota of suspense during its run. This is especially surprising given its premise; with identical twins running around, one sane and one mad, you’d think the movie could at least gain some mileage by making us wonder which one we’re dealing with. However, you pretty much know which brother you’re dealing with during every moment of the movie, and though some credit is due to actor Mark Soper (who plays both of them) for helping make them distinct, he fails to make the mad brother scary. In fact, there are moments where I feel that he and the movie are playing for laughs, which is an odd sort of vibe in a movie that really has no laughs. The most interesting thing about this movie is the presence of Louise Lasser, who is most famous for starring in that bizarre soap, “Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman”. In the end, I found the movie curious and odd, but not successful.