I just love it when the movie title is this straight to the point. The title Blood Glacier tells us two very important things. And no, they’re not that there will be blood and there will be glaciers. The first one is that this is a clear rip-off of John Carpenter’s classic The Thing. And the second one that this is a shameless B horror movie without any further aspirations. Instead of Antarctica, we will be visiting the snowy and hostile environment of the European Alps. There were a lot of opportunities to make this movie original and engaging. However, the crew opted for a safe path and created just a decent horror for the fans of the genre.
The elements of loneliness, snow, and strange creatures are all here, but the rest is pretty wobbly. The characters were a bit underdeveloped with the exception of Janek, who is relatable enough. And I also have to mention Brigitte Kren as Minister Bodicek who kicked ass. Again, the initial building blocks of the cult classic are all there. The gritty and bleak environment along with scientists who seem like real people, worn out by harsh conditions and the nature of their jobs. Everybody smokes here and all we need is a bottle of nice Austrian brandy to top things off. The action gets progressively more gruesome and innovative so just stick with it. The best scenes are towards the end.
Janek, a researcher who just arrived at the Austrian Alps to study global warming, along with other researchers stumbles onto a strange glacier. It’s covered in some sort of red substance which seems to have an effect on the local flora and fauna. Another group of researchers is dispatched to the glacier in order to help Janek and the rest of the team. And among them is Janek’s old flame, Tanja…
I know, all this sounds like some cheap sci-fi channel crap, but it’s not. We have an opportunity to see things from a different, European angle and to enjoy those beautiful, prolonged shots of snowy nothingness. Add to this the supernatural and mysterious element and you got yourself a nice solid movie. Makeup and practical special effects are also great (the movie even won an award for it).
When it comes to CGI, its use was minimal. It worked pretty well with smaller elements but when it came to bigger setups it looked pretty bad. The thing that bothers me most about it is the missed chance to elaborate on the whole global warming thing. I think that this would strengthen the story and along with better character development would make this into a cult movie.
In the end, Blood Glacier won’t blow you away but it will definitely keep you engaged for ninety minutes. Plus, you will learn what’s the appropriate time for eating bananas. If you want to continue in the same fashion perhaps check out The Thing prequel from 2011. Not to mention the original that’s always worth watching. Also, Marvin Kren’s debut Rammbock about a zombie apocalypse hitting Berlin could also be interesting. Enjoy.
Director: Marvin Kren
Writer: Benjamin Hessler, Marvin Kren, Claudia Kolland
Cast: Gerhard Liebmann, Edita Malovcic, Santos, Brigitte Kren, Michael Fuith, Murathan Muslu
Fun Facts: Austrian Film Award for Best Makeup Best Makeup at Viennale