Blood Glacier (AKA The Station) (2013)
(15) Running time: 95 minutes
Director: Marvin Kren
Writers: Benjamin Hessler
Cast: Gerhard Liebmann, Edita Malovcic, Brigitte Kren, Hille Beseler
Reviewed by: Matt Wavish
Creature features will forever be popular among horror fans, and especially those using practical effects over CGI will please fans of classic 80’s horror. It comes as no surprise then that director Marvin Kren’s Blood Glacier, about a team of scientists dealing with hybrid monsters in the Alps, has had a few comparisons to The Thing. If you enjoyed John Carpenters classic, then there is a good chance you will find plenty to enjoy here.
A station is set up in the gorgeous setting of The German Alps, where scientists come and go each year to study, while long serving resident Janek (Gerhard Liebmann) and his trusty dog Tinnie have been stationed here for the best part of three years. Janek is a fascinating character: he has a lot of built up anger inside, drinks, but is the best person you want around should a tricky situation arise, and he loves his dog. On the eve of a new group, lead by Ministerin Bodicek (a scene stealing Brigitte Kren), arriving, Janek and the scientists discover a strange red liquid covering a glacier. Upon investigation, Janek’s dog is attacked by some hybrid monster, and a sample of the red blood-like stuff is taken for testing.
One of the scientists discovers that this liquid is allowing bugs and animals to mutate, and become hideous hybrids like a beetle merged with a wolf, a vicious bird with a giant stinger, and some bizarre goat with a spider-like body. Needless to say, the stage is set for a showdown between man and mutation, and to make matters worse, Janek’s ex-girlfriend Tanja (Edita Malovcic) is in the party about to join them.
Blood Glacier begins with some wonderful opening credits that have an old school feel, with classic horror movie music, and sudden bursts of the colour red engulfing the visuals. The cast are all pretty strong, and even though the majority of the scientists are not all that likeable, the relationship between Janek and Tanja is what ties the film together. Most of the other cast are simply bystanders in this hideous mess, with most not having much to say at all. The only other cast member who really stood out is Ministerin Bodicek, a ferocious old lady who takes no crap, deals with trouble head on, and hilariously shouts at a woman for eating a banana while crying.
Janek tries to warn the party not to come, as tensions rise between him and the scientists trying to keep the discovery for themselves, and you could argue that some of the plot devices are a little too unnecessary, but when the action kicks off, the film is a lot of fun. A really creepy scene see’s a sexy blonde arrive on the mountain top chased by a vicious bird with a massive stinger. Kren uses silence, mist and a cast of panic stricken faces to really bring out some strong intensity. Later on we are also blessed with a cool Facehugger like scene involving a beetle the size of a dog, and in all fairness the creature effects are pretty good.
You can tell they are practical, and you can see the restraints involved in making monsters on a budget, but you have to applaud Kren’s willingness to go back to basics. The pacing can be quite stretched at times, and I felt that the film was missing something to truly give it an edge, but Blood Glacier is a lot of fun. My biggest concern was the ending which seemed rather twisted and silly, but all in all, Blood Glacier is a great creature feature for a Friday night.