Directed by Marvin Kren
Written by Benjamin Hessler
Starring Gerhard Liebmann, Edita Malovcic, Brigitte Kren
Running Time 98 Minutes
This Austrian Film had a limited theatrical release in the US earlier this year, and just recently became available on DVD, Netflix and other formats. I love a good cheesy nature gone wrong flick, or creature feature, you know the kind that they run in marathons on SyFy on the weekends! Yeah I love those (haha), and this one seems to have the ear marks of campy gooey cheesy goodness, so I had to give it a watch!
Set in the Swiss Alps, Blood Glacier is the story of a group of scientists who are researching the effects of climate change in the area. Janek, obviously the loner of the group has done multiple "tours' bewildering his fellow scientists at the camp, seemingly he prefers the isolation of the area with only his dog Tinney for companionship. One morning the scientists venture out to the nearby Glacier to collect data and samples, but this day is things there are very different. The Glacier is covered with a red substance running down its side mixing in with the snow, looking almost like a river of blood... Something is obviously very wrong on, and to make matters worse the team is expecting a VIP guest who is making her way up the Mountain, accompanied by a reporter, and Photo Journalist among others and guided (much to Janeks' surprise by his ex ). The team wants all to proceeed as planned so the media doesn't get wind of their potentially huge discovery, while Janek wants to warn the group... What fate will awaits the hapless travels? Will Janek be able to get to them in time? And what about the research team, have they discovered the answer to ancient mysteries, or have they doomed them all??
Literally within less than 5 minutes you feel the homage to John Carpenter classic film The Thing, the setting immediately feels familiar, and begins with overhead shots panning the landscape below giving the location the sense of being far far removed from any civilization, in fact much more so that the film later shows. The story runs close in many ways as well, small isolated group of scientist set away from the world in a white landscape, with similar angst among the group and even a dog running around camp. The film also has several other moments (and you will immediately know them upon viewing) that reflect that same Carpenter feel, but hell there are a lot worse things you could do than play off Carpenters"The Thing", so I really didn't mind in the least that it felt very familiar. Blood Glacier does have some noticeable differences too, so please don't assume this is just a Carpenter rip off, it finds a way to combine elements while still evolving its own identity.
Unlike some movies in the Nature gone wrong sub genre this one never feels preachy, which is a tendency for films of this type, and that was refreshing. I also really enjoyed the "creature feature" effects it showcases with some really cool special effects, practical effects mind you! They didn't fall back on CGI, they gave the actors and the viewer something concrete to sink their teeth into, offering up some really terrific moments in the film!
Blood Glacier is just all around a good film! My only complaint with it is that the sound wasn't maintained. By that I mean the dialogue seemed very quiet, but the action sequences were ridiculously loud in comparison, but the film is well produced and not at all what I expected. Instead of a cheesy Saturday after noon view I was pleasantly caught up in a polished feature that was well finished, well written and well acted. I would and will most definitely watch this film again!