Saturday, July 5, 2014

Blood Glacier

Blutgletcher; horror/ science-fiction, Austria, 2013; D: Marvin Kren, S: Gerhard Liebmann, Edita Malovcic, Hille Beseler, Brigitte Kren, Peter Knaack

Janek is a peculiar scientist who voluntarily prolonged his stay in a secluded meteorological station in the Austrian Alps for five years. The other three scientists cannot understand that. One day, they discovers a glacier spilling blood, and are shocked to find it causes mutations of local fauna, such as mutated foxes and a giant insect. Soon, the station is under siege by a giant ram, and complicating matters is the fact that a Minister, Mrs Bodicek, came there to visit it with her associates. Among the visitors is also Tanja, Janek's former fling. Managing to kill off the mutants, the crew is saved by a helicopter, but Tanja takes a mutated human baby with them, that awakened her maternal instinct.

Finding a science-fiction film outside the English language sphere of cinema is always refreshing, and congruently Martin Kren's "Blood Glacier", which paraphrases and restructures Carpenter's horror classic "The Thing", caused a solid hype not only in Austria, its country of origin. However, if "The Thing" was just a simple horror then anyone could have replicated it, since Carpenter's film was not just bare suspense but also a sly commentary - the invisible enemy can show up in anyone subtly - whereas "Blood Glacier" never tries to set a more ambitious grasp, not even in its half-hearted ecological subtext. Even though it starts out fine and unusual - with the unsightly scientist Janek exiting the frosty station in the Alps in his underwear - it fairly quickly becomes obvious that "Glacier" only goes for banal scares of its audience, until it degenerates from the typical "B.S.V.D." cliches of cheap horrors: suspense from "boo" scenes; suspense from splatter violence and suspense from disgust. A more elevated example of fine suspense is rarely found. The disgusting creatures - a mutated ram and a mutated insect - create a lot of suspense, but little style. A small saving grace is the middle aged actress Brigitte Kren, whose character of Minister Mrs Bodicek is refreshingly comical and daft, with such delicious scenes as her shouting at a scientist for eating a banana while their station is attacked by mutants or using a drill to fight off a giant mutant ram!


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