BLOOD VESSEL (2019) [Grimmfest 2019 Review]

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blood vessel film poster

BLOOD VESSEL (2019)

Somewhere in the Atlantic during the year 1945, survivors of a hospital ship blown up by the Wehrmacht are aboard a life raft adrift at sea. With their rations depleted and facing probable death from starvation, the survivors are overjoyed when they encounter a passing ship, even if it is flying the Nazi flag. With no-one around, they climb aboard to find the ship deserted except for one little girl. As the survivors explore the ship, they start to realise that maybe their fortunes may not have changed for the better after all…

It’s been years since we’ve had a ghost ship style film and finally we’ve been rewarded in the form of this corker of an Australian effort, BLOOD VESSEL.

The Nazis obsession with the occult, artwork and treasures makes for plenty of material for horror film makers to get their teeth into. We had Outpost with the undead soldiers, Eli Dorsey’s B-movie tongue-in-cheek actioner Devils of War and the sci-fi craziness that is Nazis at the Center of the Earth. Now we have something that blends Nazis with ghost ships with a delicious twist… but to say anymore would be ruining it!

A fantastic cast create the lineup of an international bunch of survivors: Captain Malone (Robert Taylor); English nurse, Ms Prescott (Alyssa Sutherland); American cook, Jackson (Christopher Kirby), and his boss, New York chef, Bigelow (Mark Diaco); Australian POW, Sinclair (Nathan Phillips); Russian sniper, Teplov (Alex Cooke); and injured, snooty English gent, Faraday (John Lloyd Fillingham), who seems to know more than he’s letting on, convinced he’s worth more than the rest of the survivors put together. This unruly bunch, often prone to arguments, are forced to work together as they find themselves aboard the enemy’s ship. However, wandering around the cabins below deck, they discover that the ship is devoid of life… well, almost.

The film is as much a character driven film as it is a horror one and the interactions between the survivors will have you soon picking your favourites between them all. Cook and former mechanic Jackson stands out as being the most level-headed of them all, but even he can be pushed to his limits when his cocky boss Bigelow tries to get his own way. With the survivors jostling for some sort of order within the group, it isn’t long before a leader emerges in the ranks but even that can’t stop blind curiosity and trust getting the better of them as their once joyous rescue begins to turn sour.

BLOOD VESSEL is one of those films that is full of surprises complimented by some terrific FX work that really puts you on edge as you attempt to make sense of their discovery. Combine this with the claustrophobic setting of an old ship, with its cramped cabins and corridors, one that is seemingly sailing unmanned across the Atlantic, is sure enough to put the heebie jeebies up you. To say any more would ruin the surprise and I highly suggest that you avoid the trailer like the plague as I feel it spoils the plot somewhat. Like many films, this is one you’ll benefit to going in blind.

A creepy, chilling supernatural horror, BLOOD VESSEL will leave you gripping to the edge of your seat.

Rating: ★★★★☆

Bat
About Bat 7708 Articles
I love prosthetic effects, stop-motion animation and gore, but most of all I love a good story! I adore B-movies and exploitation films in many of their guises and also have a soft spot for creature features. I review a wide range of media including movies, TV series, books and videogames. I'm a massive fan of author Hunter S. Thompson and I enjoy various genre of videogames with Kingdom Hearts and Harvest Moon two of my all time favs. Currently playing: GTA Online & Mortal Kombat 11

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