Ok so Bloodrage (1979) had a very big impact on me when I first saw it. I was prob about 11 or 12 and when my sister and I would spend the weekend at our cool grandmother’s house she would always let us pick out whatever movies we wanted and then leave us alone with them and go spend the evening ordering things out of a catalogue. I don’t really remember what my sister would pick – but I usually picked a horror movie – and this was one of them. The main things that stuck in my head were the apartments in the movie and the whole 42nd Street atmosphere. And those images have swam around in my head for decades – leading to a near obsession with SRO hotels, NYC and sleazy 42nd street (oh and windows!!!).
But there was also some issues surrounding seeing the movie again that just made it all incredibly mysterious and alluring to me throughout my teens and 20s. I remember years later – when I was in high school – I really wanted to see it again and asked for it in every video store I went to but no one had even heard of it. Then one day I just happened to be in the neighborhood of my grandmother’s old house and went into the video store we rented it from and thought “this is where I got it – they HAVE to at least know about it!” I looked around and didn’t see it on the shelf so I asked for it at the counter and the dude looked at me like I was crazy – which made me want to see it like a thousand times more!!! Like it was some secret movie that no one knew about or would talk about! I think I half heartedly looked for it for the next decade or so -and then about 10 years later in the mid 90s I came across a copy of the VHS at Movie Madness in Portland while I was visiting my mom. I told her about how I had seen it when I was 11 or 12 and how excited I was to find it again and she sat down with me and watched it and about halfway through asked – with a bewildered look on her face “how old were you when you saw this???” And if you’ve checked it out since I uploaded it on youtube you’ll understand why. It’s full of hookers and sex and naked dancing ladies and killing hookers.
I did eventually live in an SRO hotel (just a room with a single bed and small fridge and TV where the bathroom and kitchen were out in the hall) and – big surprise – it was just like living anywhere else. It was even a house arrest hotel with petty thugs roaming the halls – and all I really wound up doing every night after a hard day of being a fry cook in a diner was watching 7th Heaven on crappy cable. I also eventually lived in NYC for a few years – but it was well after the sleazy 42nd street times. It was fun but nothing I’d ever want to do again. But I do still have mild obsessions with those things and sleazy 42nd street in general! It was seared into my brain by Bloodrage!!
And eventually I found a copy of the VHS on ebay and finally got it transferred to DVD so I could actually watch it again and then I forwarded the VHS on to the only person I know who both has a working VHS player and would appreciate the movie as the bizarro classic I think it is – Uncle Lancifer.
It’s actually still really hard to find too! It never shows up on youtube. So I’m proud to be the purveyor of filth and sleaze that is Bloodrage for anyone who’s interested.