DVD Review: Blood Glacier (2013, Dir, Marvin Kren)

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I heard about this Austrian flick last year when it was called, The Station. Saw the trailer and thought, ‘yup, I’ll need to see this at some point.’  That point has now arrived. In the US it became Blood Glacier for it’s home video release and it’s a commendable cautionary eco-horror tale that homages John Carpenter’s The Thing (1982).

It takes place in the German Alps as this station on the mountain, inhabited by a general technician, his dog and three climatologists, who are studying the effects of global warming on the local glaciers, is attacked by a pissed off Mother Nature.

The eco-horror is already in full swing as the movie begins as they all discover a glacier tinted red with what is later determined to be some kind of new microorganism. Hell, even before the actual discover we see hints of strange fauna lurking around.

Our hero here is the technician; Janek (Gerhard Liebmann) is his name, and it’s his dog, Tinnie, that gets “infected” first, snooping around in a cave and finding a raccoon that’s has something weird about to burst from it’s stomach. This thing attacks the dog and infects it. Basically, this microorganism gets inside you and takes your DNA and fuses it with whatever else you’ve got inside you, creating a new organism that bursts out and runs amok. For example, they discover a massive wood louse, about the size of a facehugger, and tests reveal it’s also part fox. The fox had eaten a wood louse and this new organism fused the fox and louse DNA together to make this new “thing.”

Others are set too arrive at this station in a day or two, and the plan by the scientists is to keep this discovery to themselves, so they can get all the credit for its discovery. Thank God, Janek, has some scruples, and a reason to fear for among those coming to join them is his ex, Tanja (Edita Malovcic).

Tanja is our heroine.

As the movie progresses the scientists, and visitors, are besieged by mutant animals all showing off crazy insectile traits. The humans infected (there are a couple along the way) get either stung or bitten, and at the site of the wound is where these new mutants gestate and hatch.

For the most part all the mutants are practical effects. The only CG I saw was a mutant mosquito, a swarm of flies and a vulture/wasp when it flies around. When it attacked people it was an in camera effect. Most of these mutants, though, are hard to really get a look at for when they attack they are shrouded in shadow and beset by frenetic camera movements, probably so the effect doesn’t show through too much and spoil the illusion.

I was a tad disappointed in this movie; I was expecting something more monstrous in the creature department since it went out of it’s way to remind me of Carpenter’s Thing remake.

On August 26th MPI releases it stateside in DVD form only.

The anamorphic widescreen 2.35:1 transfer is perfect and the audio options you get give you the ability to watch it dubbed in English (5.1) or in German (5,1), with accompanying English, English SDH and Spanish subtitles.

The only extra included is the movie’s trailer.

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