Reel Advice from the Video Store Guy

Blood Creek

By Steve Anderson
September 1st, 2012

Blood CreekBlood Creek
***
DVD
Directed by Joel Schumacher
Written by Dave Kajganich
Starring Dominic Purcell, Henry Cavill, Joy McBrinn
R
90 mins
2011

Normally the words "direct to video" and "Joel Schumacher" go together like, say, "infant" and "master electrician". The two terms are simply not often seen in each other's company. And while Blood Creek did make it to a few theaters, the release was slim enough to make it fodder for our purposes. And man, is that a slice of good news, because Blood Creek was some fine stuff indeed.

Blood Creek takes us to somewhere around Pennsylvania, where a German family has just received the opportunity to host a visiting German scholar. And this all sounds great until you consider that it's just before the Second World War, and the letter telling the family about the opportunity is from none other than one Heinrich Himmler. That's right, folks, this particular exchange program has Thule Society written all over it in big, scary letters. See, the farm in question has what's called a "rune stone" on it, and that may well give Hitler's armies the weird occultic power they need to take over the world. But meanwhile, on the Pennsylvania farm, our visiting scholar has wound up neck deep in the occultic powers, and he's got some strange ones of his own. He's reanimating the dead, for starters. And that's going to make things very tough on our farm family indeed.

It's very rare to see a World War 2 movie going on outside of Europe, and it's only stranger when you consider that this is a horror movie besides. Still, in an environment where all too often movies are greenlit on the strength of their resemblance to familiar titles that did well, it's exciting to see a sweet shot of unique slip into our video diet.

Thankfully, Blood Creek is not just unique, either; it's also a pretty entertaining little affair. While it's clear on the surface what's going on, it will take a little looking around to finally get the full extent of what's going on, but you'll have a pretty easy time keeping up. And the payoff is surprising indeed; this is actually some really good--and considering the almost cartoonishly science-fiction nature of the end days of World War 2--the bizarre weaponry the Nazis kept trying to bring out, the Thule Society's stranger elements--it makes a horrible kind of sense that Hitler might well have been looking for a way to create the bad guy in this movie on a massive scale.

The ending is sharp, clear and clever, with just enough unresolved punch for a sequel.

The special features include an array of audio options, as well as English and Spanish subtitles and a director's commentary track.

All in all, Blood Creek will do a surprisingly good--and surprisingly plausible--job of putting on a decent and somewhat scary show. Sure, it's kind of a niche thing, but still, for World War II buffs looking for a good show, or those who want to see what a fairly big name can do with fairly little in the way of resources, well, Blood Creek is your opportunity.

Want to receive an expanded version of Reel Advice as an E-Newsletter?? Email to thevideostoreguy@columnist.com with "The Advisor" in the subject line.  Steve Andersen, much to his own chagrin, is a five-plus year veteran of the direct to video market. He has spent an alarming amount of time in video stores and seeks to provide the public with advance information on all the video releases that they may never have heard of...whether they want to hear of them or not. Steve appears in one way or another weekly, biweekly, or monthly on such fine entertainment-related ezines as Film Threat, Dream Forge, Reel Horror, Acid Logic, Chaotic Culture Magazine, Malicious Bitch webzine, and many others. Readers, agents, or editors can email Steve at thevideostoreguy@columnist.com




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