Available from Anchor Bay today is this German horror film that is a bit of an ecological monster menace combined, loosely with the solitude and physical effects of John Carpenter’s The Thing.
In the Austrian Alps, a secluded team is researching the ecological impact of global warming and documenting the recession of the glaciers that used to cover the area. Janek (Gerhard Liebmann) is the camp’s tech guy, accompanied everywhere by his loyal dog Tinni, one of the last reminders he has of a relationship with Tanja (Edita Malovcic), who is coming to the location even now, accompanied by Minister Bodicek (Brigitte Kren), for an inspection.
Before they arrive however, Janek and some members of the team have discovered an odd, melting glacier (which looks great in close-up, but you can tell in the wide shots that the blood effect was put in during post). It’s red, organic, and it is effecting changes on the immediate environment, especially the life forms.
It seems mutations are springing up everywhere, and it doesn’t take much to become infected or be a carrier. The creations become stranger, and more frightening, from monstrous bugs to strange hybrid fox creatures. Some of the creature effects are a little dubious, but to the director’s credit, he keeps the camera moving, so you can’t always make tons of things out. The makeup work on the actors when some of them become infected, however, is top notch!
The performances are all strong by the actors, and Liebmann turns in an enjoyable performance, especially when he’s looking down the barrel of his gun at the dog he has loved for so long, and who is now, undoubtedly, infected.
The film starts out very strong, but towards the final act, all personal interactions are set aside as people just attempt to survive, which is kind of sad, because there are really some nice character dynamics at work, especially the history between Janek and Tanja, one of the character arcs that does survive to the end of the film.
Which brings me to the other problem I have, the end of the film. I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but honestly what are these two thinking getting onto the helicopter at the end of the film, no matter what happens, everything is going to be quarantined, and probably destroyed for safety sake.
It didn’t feel quite as isolated as I would have liked, but you definitely feel some seclusion, and the idea is actually well executed, and it’s always interesting for a North American audience to go in and see how different parts of the world take on the horror genre. It allows us to shake up our own interpretations of the genre.
Overall, this one was an interesting watch, I’m just sorry it was given such a poor name, with a name like Blood Glacier, it just feels like another entry in those poor Mega-Octopus versus Super-Barracuda type films, and this is a much stronger entry in the horror genre than those will ever be.
But don’t take my word for it, check it out yourself, it’s available from Anchor Bay today!