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Blood Glacier – 6

Director – Marvin Kren

Cast – Gerhard Liebmann, Edita Malovcic, Brigitte Kren, Hille Beseler, Peter Knaack, Felix Romer, Wolfgang Pampel, Murathan Muslu, Michael Fuith, Adina Vetter

Release Year – 2014

Reviewed by John of the Dead

While screening Beneath at the Texas Frightmare Weekend convention in Dallas, TX we were played a trailer for Blood Glacier, and I immediately knew that I had to give this flick a watch. As someone with a background in biology and environmental science, I was pleased to see a modern horror film tackling the climate change subject and using it to give us what appeared to be creature horror – one of my favorite sub-genres. While I went into this experience with caution after recent IFC Midnight films not living up to my expectations, I did desire for this Austrian film from the guys behind Rammbock to give me the kick in the face I was looking for. Blood Glacier gets a lot of things right as far as the horror goes, but overall it lacks the punch it should have delivered.

While researching climate change in the Austrian Alps a team of scientists discover a large glacier that appears to be oozing blood, and horrendously affecting the local wildlife.

I dislike politics, especially in propaganda form, and I was glad to see that Blood Glacier was not so much that type of film. Sure climate change is a political subject, but it is also a subject rarely seen in the genre, so I really appreciate seeing it put to good use. On top of that, horror has always consisted of an unstoppable force as the antagonist, and the most unstoppable force on our cute little planet is none other than Mother Nature. With basically the flip of a switch our species could be wiped out quicker than the dinosaurs, showing the brute power nature has over us and just how weak we really are. The story from Rammbock writer Benjamin Hessler does not focus on whether or not climate change is a threat to our survival in the way that we see our political parties put it, focusing on the effect of greenhouse gases and the byproducts of our wasteful habits. Instead, the horror derives from what the melting of glaciers will do to the local wildlife, and the results are insane.

The film begins already set in the Austrian Alps, and the first wave of researchers is already encamped. It does not take long before they come across the blood glacier, thanks much to the investigative skills of their beloved pet dog. We see our first glimpse of the horror early on in the form of a mutated mammal, but our bumbling scientists blinded by their agenda to prove climate change brush it off as no big deal. As more scientists arrive those who know that something is going wrong are keep it hush hush until the data collection is over, as they know the expedition would be called off at the first sign of danger. This proves to be a costly mistake, and soon enough the attacks begin. We witness both land and air attacks from mutated animals native to the area, and these attacks bring good horror to the screen. We watch as our protagonists have their faces eaten and their sternums impaled. The film’s setting adds to the paranoia given they have no means of transportation and must wait for a rescue team to extract them, and the dwellings they have eventually cave in to the onslaught of mutant wildlife. With numerous kills, crazy creatures, and a nowhere to run scenario, the horror was pretty enjoyable and only left me wanting more. Sadly, everything else surrounding the horror was only mediocre at best. The dialogue was poor, especially from the older woman portrayed by the director’s own mother, and the character play as well as character development paled in comparison to even the cheesiest of 80s slasher films. Is this a really big deal? Not so much to be honest, but when the horror is the only positive the film has to offer then basically every scene without horror will leave you unsatisfied.

Director Marvin Kren did a pretty good job executing the elements that matter most. To start, the creatures in the film were downright awesome and used their unique features to exact brutality on our scientists. The creatures came to us mostly via live action effects, which included several close up scenes that kept the tension high thanks to the practical effects used. We do see a bit of CGI, but naturally those scenes involved the airborne antagonists that could only be brought to us with computer-generated graphics. There is also a fair amount of gore in the film, and that was thankfully delivered via live action effects, which included some very hard to watch surgical scenes that did not shy away from the good stuff. Kren makes this a visually appealing piece as well, but I often feel that way about any horror film set in the snow. I really cannot judge the acting performances because the version available on iTunes is an English-dubbed version, but I’d highly recommend you watch the subtitled copy because this English dub is pretty atrocious.

Overall, Blood Glacier has some damn good horror that should probably be seen by those who enjoy creature features. The film overall has its faults and is far from an experience I would recommend to non-genre fans, but if you enjoy creature flicks and want to see a film somewhat similar to The Thing, this may be good enough for you.

Rating: 6/10

…Additional Stills…

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