By: Addison Wylie
Right off the bat, Blood Glacier sells itself short by the title. It’s a title that sounds as if its pandering towards the crowds who giddily eat up ratty battle schlock that stick an experiment gone wrong against a super-sized version of Earth’s deadliest fish.
Blood Glacier goes by another title, The Station. It’s a title that’s not so much bad as it is vague. If I had to pick between the two though, The Station would match the quality of Marvin Kren’s film. That’s because Blood Glacier isn’t – in fact – a crummy movie to be laughed at. It’s actually an enjoyable lil’ mutant movie.
Benjamin Hessler’s script starts the story off rather quickly. He gives his audience brief but acceptable introductions to the team of committed scientists stowed away in the Australian Alps before the team leader’s pet dog Tinnie is heard yelping inside a dark cave and suffering from a bloody wound.
The group frequently deals with their leader, Janek, with utmost hesitancy. Janek (played by Gerhard Liebmann) has been working in the Alps for a very long time, and isn’t afraid to crack open alcohol and experiment with morphine while on the job. He doesn’t let it get in the way of results – he can still understand his colleagues. But, his inebriated view is established clearly by Kren using soft focuses that fade off the screen.
Kren also acknowledges his bare, wintry setting and finds a way to emphasize the vacancy while making the possibility of random attacks fathomably visceral. Night scenes are especially atmospheric as Janek or other members of the crew investigate, expecting the worst but hoping they don’t face it.
Liebmann is intense, and he does a tremendous job at conveying his belligerency while taking the reigns of his character’s work. As the situations get more dreadful, he gradually snaps out of his aloofness and takes on more of a coherent hero role.
Jenek’s relationship with a former scientist/romantic fling isn’t delved into fully, but the information we’ve been given is enough. It’s also helpful to find out more about their close relationship through Blood Glacier’s series of events. When Janek and his ex are forced to give up on something they both love deeply, the loss brings them closer together. It’s a forceful moment without spoon-feeding movie goers. However, I wouldn’t have minded if Hessler’s screenplay explained where those random, buxom women running out from the hills materialized from.
Blood Glacier is still a corny endeavour. The creatures are slimy and grotesque, but blatantly computer generated. The filmmaker also owes Ridley Scott props for scare tactic inspiration. It’s not entirely original seeing the scientists cut open a strange specimen on an operating table or watching a “thing” latch onto someone’s face like a facehugger out of Alien, but it’s still entertaining.
A special effect that’s been worked on with such might is the discolouring of the glacier to fill it with punched-up red. However, we can always make out the seams around the snow-capped cliff. It looks like something that’s been rushed in Photoshop with no texture added.
However, the reason why Blood Glacier is able to win as offhandedly as it does is because it has reasonable sights set and it nearly meets every one of them. It doesn’t aim to reinvent the wheel of movies featuring killers hidden in the hills, but that’s ok because of other strengths.
The film fills its gore quota quite nicely too. A stomach-turning extraction is bound to snag those gorehounds searching for that “one special recommendation”.
Right now, Blood Glacier is the horror film you want to see with your friends – you’ll have a good time. While the film may have shot itself in the cinematic foot with that weak title, there’s more than enough here to give you and your buddies favourable – and scary – satisfaction.