Monday, 16 June 2014

Blood Glacier (aka The Station) (2013)

Blood Glacier (aka The Station) (2013)
Director: Marvin Kren
Starring: Gerhard Liebmann, Edita Malovcic, and Brigitte Kren
Running Time: 98 min

I love getting movies that I've never heard of, especially with a title like BLOOD GLACIER, you can only imagine what kind of schlock I was expecting.  This looked like something the Asylum had passed on and to tell you the truth, I was a little nervous.  However, when I looked into it,  I found that this film was from Austria, a country where some decent violent films have emerged & the director, Marvin Kren has had some success with an earlier film, so warily I began my trek into the BLOOD GLACIER!

  Janek is a technician at a station in the Swiss Alps for a team of three scientists studying the effects of global warning in that area.  He has worked in isolation for the past 5 years and has developed a disdain for the  revolving scientific team and a bit of a drinking problem.  The only thing he really loves is his dog, Tinni.  This day, the team is getting ready for a visit from Minister Bodiceck, who arrives the next day and they want to make sure everything is perfect for her arrival.  So while their cleaning up, Janek, Tinni and one of the scientist go out for an excursion, on which they discover the BLOOD GLACIER! Dun Dun Duuuun!  Janek and the scientist are astounded by this discovery and immediately start taking samples of the glacier.  Tinni does some investigating of her own and wanders into a cave that has been exposed by the melting ice.  Inside the cave, she discovers a twisted creature, that appears to be pregnant and it starts to hiss at her.  While Janek and the scientist are getting their samples, they hear Tinni yelping in the cave.  Janek rushes to help her, cutting himself in the process and getting her out of the cave in time.  Luckily, the scientist has finished collecting samples for now and they head back to camp with Tinni licking Janek's' bloody hand.
  Back at camp, they discover that the samples from the BLOOD GLACIER contain a mutating hybrid gene that is transferred through blood.  The scientists are thrilled but Janek suggests that they contact the Ministers team about the rabid fox that attacked Tinni and postpone the visit.  The team disagrees and gives Janek some morphine for his injuries and to shut him up.  Take your medicine boozy.  That night, Janek is awakened by a noise in the camp and goes to see what it is.  He is attacked by a giant mutated beatle/fox monster!  It scurries away and Janek goes to warn the others.  The others believe him because of the sample they found in the glacier but still don't want to cancel the Ministers' visit, so they say that they'll talk about it in the morning.
  The morning arrives, Janek sneaks off and calls the Ministers team to warn them and discovers that his ex-girlfriend Tanja, a former scientist there at the station is working with the Minister and will be on this tour.  He lies and tells her that there is a rabid fox up here and if they decide to come that they should get here as soon as possible.  Tanja tells the Minister and her entourage about the rabid fox, but they decide to go anyway.  On the way, they are attack by terrifying hybrid creatures!  And they're not the only ones, Janek and the team are also having similar troubles with twisted monsters attacking there station!  Can these people escape the evil Alps or will these hybrid feast on their flesh and create a new species that will take over the world?!?!

 I was really surprised at how enjoyable this movie was.  There are a lot of elements from John Carpenters' The Thing and Ridley Scotts' Alien in this, which doesn't detour from the experience as much as it enhances it.  There's lots of films that give nods to people, look at Taratino's Kill Bill, so why not Carpenter or Scott? Also, there is enough of an original story here that makes the whole film really work.
  Speaking of which, the idea that global warming, or whatever it is that is melting the ice and snow everywhere, has unlocked this hybrid gene that has been locked away in the ice is really fascinating.  It's something that I don't think people have really thought about before but after this film, there will be a mess of scripts in the next couple of years with similar ideas. 
  Also, I love creature movies and dug these mutated hybrid monsters that they created.  This film was probably done on a smaller budget than say Godzilla, but I think their team really pulled through and created some creepy looking monsters.  Even the idea of what these monsters would look like once the creatures bonded with humans had shivers sent up my spine because there could have been some seriously fucked up things.

  With that said, it brings up one of the issues with the film, which is that they may have played it a little too safe with their monster creations.  Still very good and scary but these are mutating hybrids so I expect some crazy shit.  I'd be wincing at times and have to force myself to see what was going to come out of the human characters and then I'd be like, oh, that's not so bad.  I wished they would have pushed the envelope a little further and just made these creatures more disgusting.  This is a perfect premise for this kind of thing and since you've opened the door, why not let your evil, twisted, sick little imagination run rampant.
  Another issue I had was that a random girl character shows up out of nowhere in the middle of the film.  Presumably she's a hiker but it's really quite out of nowhere and it's annoying because we have no connection to this character earlier in the film.  The cast already has more than enough people in it to axe off and it would be more compelling if one of these characters get killed/mutated/burned/whatever.  I found it unnecessary and pointless to bring someone else in and then do nothing that relevant with them.

However, these are small points that doesn't detract much from what is essential, a good horror film and a fun creature feature.  I think if they had a larger budget and worked on some more twisted and intense creatures, this could be a pretty killer franchise.  So before the ocean's rise and you're looking for a gene splicer to save your family, check out BLOOD GLACIER, it's a chilling story that will melt your mind into oblivion!

Watch Blood Glacier in select theaters in Canada June 19!

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