Who knew? Mary Hartman is the Queen of Thanksgiving Terror!
Veteran comic actress Louise Lasser may be best known for her iconic run on the late night television soap opera spoof Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman, but she has also brought her unique set of skills to such terror gems as (charming 1973 television effort) Isn’t It Shocking?, (the classic) Frankenhooker, and David DeCoteau’s Wolves of Wall Street. 1987’s fairly obscure slasher Blood Rage found her supplying generous helpings of holiday terror, though.
Portraying Maddy, the breathlessly passionate mother of twin boys, Lasser resonates with plenty of grounded, hysterical gravitas here. After one of the boys is sent away, as a child, for a brutal murder, Maddy devotes her life to the raising of her other son.
One Thanksgiving Day, though, Maddy’s world is chopped and sliced apart. Her bad seed escapes from the mental institution and, maintaining that the other brother is responsible for the previous carnage, heads towards home to clear his name. Soon, the turkey is not the only thing being carved and effects artist Ed French (Creepshow 2, Tales from the Darkside) is soon having a ball delivering the chunky goods as characters are chopped in half and hands are disengaged from flailing bodies.
Obviously produced on the cheap, but fast paced and gore stained, Blood Rage, ultimately, rises above the ordinary simply due to Lasser’s presence. She is the film’s emotionally rampaging heart, delivering a justified sense of denial and shimmering fragility. Her Maddy provides the reality in extremely outrageous and gruesomely unreal circumstances.
Until the next time – SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!