Bloodrage (Joseph Zito, 1979)

posted in: Duane, Jocelyn, Joint Review, Review | 0
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A teenage nut-job finally gets the courage to go to the local whorehouse but realizes he likes killing women more than fucking them.  He travels to sleazy 70’s NYC to satiate his new found appetite.  Mix one part Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer with one part Taxi Driver, shake vigorously and garnish with filth.
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Jocelyn:  I have been wanting to watch this for some time and I’m really glad we could finally make it happen. While this flick is by no means original, it’s gritty and grimy and shows NYC the way it was meant to be seen, as a disgusting pit where some of the worst pieces of human garbage coalesce.
The acting isn’t phenomenal, but it has a layer of dirt and an air of schizophrenia  that somehow validates it while serving to buffer the low budget.  Competently directed by Joe Zito (Friday the 13th Part IV, Missing in Action, The Prowler) who only 4 years prior had made his directorial debut with Abduction; the very mysterious exploiter based on the book “Black Abductor” which reads as a blueprint for the Patty Hearst kidnapping one  year prior to the act.
Bloodrage6Ok, so let’s get this plot straightened out! A small town cop is in love with some backwoods whore who has dreams of big-city cock-action.  He jets for some booze before one last roll in the proverbial hay and when he returns she’s nowhere to be found. Thinking that she finally left he takes a leave of absence to go find the only crotch in 4 counties that makes his pecker sing. Along the way he meets many colorful characters and runs into our killer who’s from the same small town and has recently relocated after spazzing over killing the aforementioned slut. Excitement, murder, dirty 70s feet and bush abound!
Bloodrage7Duane: Yeah I’d never heard of it before, thanks for digging it up. I was pleasantly surprised with this one as well. I mean you can’t really go wrong with a story about a misguided youth butchering whores, can you? I enjoyed how it starts out in a rural setting and the first killing is accidental, but serves as a backdrop to the kid’s fractured mind as he moves to the big city and shit gets real. Try as he might to fit in, he’s surrounded by whores and degenerates (there’s some nice tongue in cheek social commentary here) and simply can’t abide by their lechery. As mentioned the acting isn’t anything to write home about, but the film makes up for that with its awesome settings. From the (surely) roach-infested tenement buildings, to the seedy titty bar to the trash-strewn streets; everything just exudes filth. A note about the whores: ladies, if you’re going to dress provocatively, please don’t be ugly. I really hate being disappointed. One of those bitches had some nice shoes in the titty bar, but judging from the quality of the women in this (read: nasty) I’m kind of glad we didn’t see her from the waist up. Incidentally, every single female in this movie was either a hooker or a drug pusher or both. Is this some sort of thinly-veiled misogyny on Zito’s part? I smell mommy issues.
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The only thing I would really change about this (other than getting some decent cheesecake to ogle) would be the manner in which the whores die. While the killer’s MO was violent and hands-on, there was very little gravy to it all. A little more focus on the graphic nature of the crimes would have been welcome. I also learned that it’s best to keep your strength up before heading to the strip club by having a nice steaming bowl of soup. Who says film can’t be educational?
J:  Not I!  There’s even a surprise guest appearance by none other than Lawrence Tierney! You couldn’t mistake that voice if you were bleeding from the ears underwater! What a treat! The rest of the cast is chock full o’ nobody (save for a roughly 5 second cameo by Irwin Keyes as a hallway pimp) but it flows brilliantly and something about this film just *works* despite its flaws. 
Spoiler!!!
J/D: While offering no deep insight into the psychology of the depraved indifference our killer feels towards women (or his lack of respect for any life form) if you’re looking for a scummy rarity to help booze away those late night hours alone, just you and your dick pressed tight into some pants, give this dirty little number a try. You’re a fucking pig; go ahead, embrace it.
Official COSDS Nunspank Rating:
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Jocelyn lives on 35 acres of woodland in an undisclosed Appalachian location. When not boozing it up or fighting the power she's tending her organic garden or collecting punk/soundtrack albums. Her best friends walk on 4 legs. She does not own a cell phone.

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