Thursday, August 11, 2011
Directed by Peter Svatek
Roy Dupius - John Strauss
Kristin Lehman - Kathleen Strauss
Rutger Hauer - Dr. Marlowe
A man travels to an island with his wife in search of his relatives, but what he finds may be more than what he wanted to know.
I first heard about this movie when I worked at Blockbuster, when there were actual physical Blockbuster stores at that, and I was giving a screener copy of the movie. To tell the truth, I brought the copy home and threw it in a pile of VHS tapes I got for free and pretty much was never gonna watch. In fact, I never did watch half of those movies in that pile. I kinda wish I did keep the Bleeders screener though, as it had a special box with a blood pack over the front box cover. Well, it was supposed to look like blood, instead it looked like cherry kool-aide. I'm now kinda wishing I kept that VHS tape.
I just have to start with the cast. I was wonderfully surprised by everyone in the movie and the job they managed to pull off. Rutger Hauer gives his usual fine performance, this time as Dr. Marlowe. He could have easily hammed it up and still would have done great in his role, yet instead he plays his character more downtrodden as if there really is a secret he has to hide and that the story he tells about his past is only a half-truth. I swear, the man can play a rock and he would still be great. As for the main character in the movie John Strauss, played by Roy Dupius, I wasn't to happy with him for most of the movie. Yes, he's supposed to be someone who is slowly dying, but that doesn't mean he shouldn't have a personality. Thankfully his personality does come out about halfway through the movie when he goes to his ancestral home for the first time since he was a baby.
One thing I'm still trying to figure out more than anything else is Dan O'Bannon, who wrote the story for Hemoglobin. The man has written some of my favorite horror movies, and with this one he does amazing again. He purposefully slows the pace of the movie down where we have time to meet the characters and know them and their true motivations. This might turn off some people due to that they'll think it's dull and boring, yet it's set up just like a Lovecraft story is. The true danger grows as the story goes on as more of the John Strauss's history comes to light. Another thing that got me about the movie is the subject matter. In most recent movies that deal with inbreeding and incest, the results are always bad, and well, it's the same here. The difference is that the "Family" was content to stay hidden and eat on the bodies laid to rest in the ground. It's when said laid to rest bodies have to be relocated is when the "Family " comes out in search for food since the original food source has been taken away. Well the deformities are pretty bad in itself but it's one of the extra's that caught me off guard. I won't give away what it is, but you'll know it. Yet out of all this, it's what what happens at the end in the tunnels that made me really like this movie, and the sacrifice that Strauss makes to end the killings that made me have empathy for the mutants and felt sad for Strauss himself.
Even though it seems like I love this movie, it does have some major problems. First and foremost is the video quality it was filmed with. Their is a grain that can only come from shooting on substandard cameras at the time, that will always be there no matter how much cleaning of the filmstock is done. Another major problem I had is one spoken line of dialogue toward the end of the movie which just kills all the tension that was built up until then. You'll know it when it is spoken. The only other complaint is that some of the creature effects just look horrendous, while others look amazing. I think it might be how those scenes were shot that affect the outcome in this area. Yet even with all that is wrong with the movie, I still wound up really liking it more and more as it went on. From the isolated scenery of the island it was filmed on to the more fantastical aspects of the story itself, I can easily say this movie has the whole feel of a Lovecraft story which is what I want in a movie inspired by him.
Not really the best death, but after uttering the worst line in the movie and almost ruining the whole movie for me, this one goes to Leni Parker's characters death!
Who says I'm a good doctor?
Based on the H. P. Lovecraft story The Lurking Fear.
Factual errors: In the prologue, the "King of Holland" is mentioned in relation to the year 1652. Holland was part of the Dutch Republic from 1581 through 1795, and had no king.
The Greek print of the movie runs five minutes longer than the American version.