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Blood Creek dvd reviews and spoilers

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Post by Admin on Thu Oct 14, 2010 1:32 am

When you rule the blood, death is no longer the end.

I must confess, I haven't paid a whole lot of attention to Joel Schumacher's directing career since he nearly derailed the Batman franchise for good with the abysmal Batman & Robin (a film that, to this day, I've never seen more than a few minutes of). I knew it was still going on, certainly, and he's tackled a number of films in a variety of genres (he even put his stamp on The Phantom of the Opera), but I haven't felt compelled to see a single one of them. This is why I was surprised to discover that he had directed last year's Nazi occult horror film Blood Creek, which makes that his second film in a row (after The Number 23) with a hokey supernatural hook. Kinda makes you wonder whether this is really the career trajectory he's striving for. Somehow I doubt it.

Anyway, Blood Creek was written by Dave Kajganich (who also co-scripted Schumacher's forthcoming Trespass, which has nothing to do with the 1992 Walter Hill film of the same name) and stars Dominic Purcell and Henry Cavill as brothers -- one an Iraq war veteran, the other a paramedic -- who have to face down an evil Nazi occultist (is there any other kind?) played by Inglourious Basterds's Michael Fassbender (who sounds a lot like Ahnold when he talks), who's been kept at bay on a West Virginia farm since the United States entered World War II. The film starts off well enough, with a sepia-toned prologue that introduces Fassbender's character and the corrupting influence he brings to an otherwise upstanding farm family, but then it jumps straight to present day and rushes headlong into the brothers' mission without stopping to explain why they're going on it. Then comes all the business about Nordic runestones and blood sacrifices and lunar eclipses and so forth, and a pretty exposition-delivery device in the form of farmer's daughter Emma Booth (who gets to deliver the deathless line "It's begun" after something begins).

Ironically, the film only really comes alive when Fassbender starts raising freshly killed people and animals to act as his proxies. Sadly, these scenes also occasion some of the worst digital effects I've seen in recent years, so this is definitely a case of you win some, you lose some. And in the end, Blood Creek winds up with more in the loss column than the win column. Better luck next time, Joel.

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Post by Admin on Mon Nov 08, 2010 11:13 pm

Blood Creek – 2010 American Horror DVD Release

Nov 7, 2010 Hari Navarro
Blood Creek, 2010 Horror Movie - Free Use Rationale © Lions Gate

Even a incoherently mumbling Nazi flesh sucker cannot save Joel Schumacher's straight to DVD horror misfire.

Joel Schumacher has at times impressed with his smaller films. Those that he seemingly slots casually into his schedule between his somewhat overblown and over financed Hollywood resume (Batman Forever, The Number 23). Films such as Tigerland and Phonebooth showcased an eye for suspense, both emotional and situational that pointed to a director of a more independent and gritty nature. So it with this in mind, and with far less trepidation than was actually required, that I sat down to watch the latest of Mr. Schumacher’s smallish offerings.

Nice Premise – Terrible Execution (Spoilers Ahead)

The warning signs were already blaring for poor old Blood Creek. The multiple title changes (Town Creek), reported steaming animosity between screenwriter and director and the final nail – a dreaded straight to DVD release. But the prospect of seeing a supernatural Nazi yarn interpreted by the same guy that gave us the excellent Falling Down (1993) was just to much to resist.

If I had to single just one out then I think the most annoying aspect of this near totally missable misadventure is its didactic narrative style. Its a lecture that begins within an opening credit segment replete with overlaid join-the-dots mini back-story. Though with Dominic Purcell’s distinctive growl at play this lazy device is in fact almost passable. We are instructed that Adolf Hitler in the years just prior to his ascent into total madness; also had a hobby. He was drawn to collecting icons of the occult. All powerful knickknacks with which he could further facilitate his dreams of world domination. In Blood Creeks case said objects are ancient Nordic runestones. Esoterically inscribed chunks of rock that supposedly spelt out the road map to… drumroll… immortality!
Intriguing Opening that Leads to Nowhere

So the scene is set and we begin in a black and white soaked 1936. The expatriate Wollner family receives a request. A Germany emissary of the now fledgling Nazi party requires room and board. But it turns out that Herr Wirth (Michael Fassbender) when he finally arrives proves to be far from the perfect guest. Jump forward in time and we land in 2007 and into the life of paramedic Evan Marshall (Henry Cavill). His brother Victor (Dominic Purcell) having returned from Iraq has disappeared leaving it to Evan to hold his families straining bonds in place.

The plotline here is punctuated by various characters as they pause to explain what is actually happening on screen. No matter how manic the action they pull up a chair and spell out the proceedings. This is especially obvious when Marshall and a newly rediscovered Victor burst back into the Wollner compound and confront its family. Liese Wollner (Emma Booth) chops and changes gear as she alternates between mild mannered storyteller, knife welding crazy woman and finally fellow victim. She fleshes out the story as if she were reading a voiceover, leaving little to be uncovered as the film begrudgingly stutters forward.
Transparent Narrative Depletes all Tension

The horror aspects of the script seem a hybrid of passable gore and substandard Harry Potteresque CGI. There is decided unevenness here that suggests that Blood Creek is far from sure as to what it actually is. Images of poor collected souls strung up like grotesque scarecrows compete with B-grade zombies as they claw-punch their way through shoddy balsa wood doorways. On the one hand it leans toward splatter laced horror before settling in as an underdeveloped tangle of ideas and wasted potential.

The storyline is frustratingly linear. From point A we sail in a direct line to point Z. At point F a mother and her two children stand nailing a missing person flier to a tree. This no happenstance but yet another blatantly telegraphed future plot point. These instances relegate the audience to dunce level never for a moment bestowing material with which independent conclusions can arrived at.
Blood Creek – Cast

It must have seemed that casting German-born actor Michael Fassbender (Inglourious Basterds) as the nutty Nazi was a masterstroke. But here his many talents are all but totally submerged beneath a thick layering of latex and bad scriptwriting. He is reduced to shaking his fist at the night whist all the while uttering musings of utter nonsense beneath his breath. There is no construction of character nor of motive, no mention of his Nazi mindset save for a faded poster of his ex boss and a hastily hung swastika emblazoned flag. All the better for Mr. Fassbender that here he is rendered mostly unrecognizable. Mack truck chested Dominic Purcell again does a fine impersonation of Dominic Purcell. He broods and he rasps but is given nothing to even attempt to impress with.

There is some debate as to the appropriateness of using Nazism and all the bitter imagery that it conjures to backbone horror films such as Blood Creek. Horror a particular genre that often straddles this wavering line. Cinematic psychopaths and killers no matter what their heritage will always find bitter resonance with real life victims. But it was in the reflection of true terror that classic and affecting horror once found its hook. It proved that reality is forever more brutal than fiction. As such there really is something to be said for plumbing the depths of true evil, but unfortunately Blood Creek never even came close. 1.5/5
Blood Creek

Richard Wirth: ‘Did you know... our Viking ancestors discovered this land? Columbus was, of course, a fraud’

* Director: Joel Schumacher (Tigerland)
* Starring: Dominic Purcell, Henry Cavill, Michael Fassbender, Emma Booth, Rainer Winkelvoss, Shea Whigham
* Alternate title: Town Creek
* DVD Release Date: January 19, 2010
* 90 minutes
* United States

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Post by Admin on Thu Nov 11, 2010 7:35 pm

Blood Creek (2009)
– November 11, 2010Posted in: Film, Main, Media, Movie Reviews

How does one recommend a film like Blood Creek? With lots and lots of caveats.

For one thing, it was directed by Joel Schumacher. That’s enough to cause most moviegoers to bypass the flick. For another, it was not supported by Lionsgate who chose to release the film in only a handful of small theaters around the country to fulfill the release obligation. Essentially, it was a straight-to-DVD release for a once-loved Hollywood director.

What else? The story is a bit muddy. In the present day, two brothers fight a creepy-cool, 1930′s Nazi occult emissary named Wirth who has found a key to immortality on farmland in Maryland. That part is clear. The family living on that farm in 1936 have not aged and are now slaves to Wirth, feeding him the people that they capture for him. Also clear. The older brother (played by “Prison Break’s Dominic Purcell) Victor was kidnapped after returning from the Iraq War as a War Hero, and kept as blood-food for Wirth for 2 years. I think. That part is less clear. Vic’s younger brother Evan (Henry Cavill) is an EMT who chose to stay home and take care of their father instead of go off to war. Both brothers think the other made the wrong choice. The father idolizes Victor, making the rivalry sting even more after the War Hero brother disappears.

What does any of the sibling rivalry and dad have to do with the story? Absolutely nothing. After a cool black & white opening introduces Wirth and the German-immigrant Wollner family – the movie comes to a screeching, boring halt when Evan has feelings about things. It’s pointless nonsense that makes the 2nd 20 minutes crawl by. The rivalry never comes back up again, nor does their father. So fast forward past this drivel… because…

After that, it gets kinda cool!
The Wollner Family protects themselves with Runes

Victor wakes Evan up in the middle of the night – a long-haired, dirty mess – asking him to come with him and not ask any questions. They load up a bunch of weapons, and head out to the Wollner farm where Victor has escaped and intends on revenge. This is where Blood Creek starts to get fun. Through a series of events, the duo unwittingly frees Wirth and all manner of insanity starts. Why? Through his blood diet and communing with the magical runestone (left by Vikings… don’t ask… ), Wirth has the power to resurrect the dead, and he’s not limited to people.

There’s a ghoul horse. A GHOUL HORSE!!!! Wirth kills and resurrects a black horse and has it attack the brothers and the remaining Wollners inside the house in a fantastically frenzied scene that ends with ghoul horse on FIRE. I was yelling through the house OMG OMG OMG ZOMBIE HORSE…ON FIRE!!!!!! Stuff like that makes me giddy. I can’t help it. There’s also a ghoul/zombie dog and plenty of human subjects, too. Including one poor slob who’s saved by the brothers, only to become a ghoul after all (somehow he keeps part of his humanity and later on, gets upsets that Evan won’t kill him. Don’t ask.)

The real star of the show is Wirth. Played by Michael Fassbender (300, Eden Lake, Inglorious Basterds), under a lot of makeup and prosthetics for much of the film, Wirth is a fascinating horror character. In a better movie, he probably would have been a big deal. You would expect to see Wirth costumes at horror conventions. When initially introduced, he is creepy-sexy-cool. For a Nazi anyway. Later, he’s hidden behind a weird mask (or burned skin, it’s not explained) – but as he feeds and the film’s climax approaches, Wirth’s gives himself a 3rd eye (!) which unleashes his full potential and his rune-ridden “skin” starts to peel away into ashes.

This whole sequence is cool as hell, i must admit. If the ghoul-horse didn’t interest you, this whole deal just might. It’s definitely worth a rental for! The story is wrapped up well enough, and there’s even one halfway decent emotional moment for one of the main characters. Of course there’s the requisite sequel-hint, but that’ll never happen.

It’s silly and doesn’t make a lot of sense, but my final word? If you can get past the extraneous sibling-rivalry garbage early on, and forgive the plot holes – this is a fine rental and at least you can’t say you’ve never seen a zombie horse on fire before!

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Post by Admin on Tue Nov 16, 2010 10:08 pm

Blood Creek (2009)
Posted on November 15, 2010 by joem18b

I wanted sleazy slasher horror – something to have fun reviewing – so I plucked Blood Creek (2009) off the shelf. Cover photo features a bald guy with a scarred, swastika-embossed noggin, in a leather jacket. Only four reviews on MRQE, including those from FulVue Drive-in, Bloody-Disgusting and Buried. Promising. But uh oh. Original title: Town Creek. Not promising. And Michael Fassbender is the Nazi. Double up-oh. I should have checked the box more carefully. The man is a star. This is not good; not a sign of sleaze. On the other hand, Kevin Costner made The New Daughter (2009), and that thing was execrable (a word that would knock me out of the spelling bee). Don’t give up on the sleaze. Hmm. A cast comprised of Aussies and Brits and Germans? The budget to fly them all to West Virginia, where the movie is set, would be… oops, my mistake. Filmed in Romania. Director is Joel Shumacher, who has made, well, lots of stuff. Real movies. Two Batmans. Falling Down (1993). Tigerland (2000). Phone Booth (2002). The man is 71. Going senile? Or have I stumbled upon a real actual movie here by accident? Chances of sleazy horror? Going down!

So let’s see. Classy prolog in black and white. Fassbender in 1938 shows up on a West Virginia farm wearing that cool ankle-length Nazi black leather coat. Did he get to keep it? Must ask him next time I run into him. Here in Blood Creek, he’s a Nazi seeking a mystic Nordic runestone, a la the bad guys in Indiana Jones.

Cut to the present, in color. After one or two minutes of plot, we’re into the folks-in-a-farmhouse-with-an-angry-Nazi-zombie-outside movie. That horror-movie score with bass stringed instruments commences, a low ominous drone presaging trouble; it continues throughout the picture. The Nazi now is wearing a leather mask, never explained, and has suffered 70 years of wear and tear, and I immediately asked myself whether that was really Fassbender under there? Perhaps he flew to Romania, had a walk-on at the beginning, and then flew home again. My question was answered after a while when he peeled off the mask, as well as a layer of skin or two underneath, and it was still him – or at least I think it was him.

First sign that we’re dealing with schlock here: guy creeping up on farmhouse armed with a shotgun. Attacked by a doberman (naturally. Nazi dog.) Dog bites him. Guy’s brother knifes the dog. Guy with the dog bite whips out a syringe with a big “RABIES VACCINE” label on the side. Injects himself with its contents in his abdomen. Then continues on. That’s good preparedness! I always try to carry a syringe like that when I jog but sometimes I just substitute an energy bar.

Second sign that we’re dealing with schlock: the problem of proportionality. Guy kills a couple of zombies in gorefest fashion, taking a few dings on his head and body to wear through the rest of the movie, and then, as he lies gasping and attempts to gather his wits, his brother says, “The old lady is having trouble breathing.”

“Is there any aspirin in the house?” the gasping hero asks. He doesn’t know the old lady from Adam. In fact, he’s got her tied up as a zombie sympathizer.


“Ok, then I’ll run out into the yard risking death, to retrieve my EMT bag.”

Once the plot has been explained to us by the characters, we get the rules that allow the action to play out:

“He can’t come into the house because I used his runestone to something something something.”


“He needs blood, plenty of it, but not his own – that would be poison to him. Once his third eye develops and he crosses over, nothing can stop him, not even the runes.”

“How do you stop him from crossing over? There has to be a way.”

“There is. Maybe. But somebody will have to go outside.”

Yes, go outside because when Fassbender came over from Berlin, he brought his ancestors’ magic bones with him to wear as a sort of suit of armor, currently hanging in the barn like a… a… mobile… and if the good guy can grab the bones and put them on, Fassbender can’t hurt his own magic bones…

The one thing I want from a sleazy movie is to see something new, something that I haven’t seen before. Not too much to ask, is it? Like that horror flick where the woman says, “Come around anytime. My back door is always open.” Like that. Blood Creek delivers, twice. Number one new thing is, Fassbender can kill a horse and then bring it back to zombie life (oh, by the way, he’s not a zombie but I don’t have the energy to explain what he is. Suffice it to say that he’s a Nazi, still kicking after all these years. Is this what Hannah Arendt was referring to when she mentioned the banality of evil?). Fassbender can’t enter the farmhouse, of course, I forget why, but he can send in a horse. A nice thoroughbred there; I hope they don’t harness that beauty to a plow. Now, though, it’s rampaging through the kitchen, getting shot a zillion times, mane on CGI fire, so forth. That, I haven’t seen before. It was kind of funny but kind of cool. Number two new thing I’ll get to later.

The film zipped by in less than 90 minutes. Well paced. After the credits and prolog, it felt like an episode of some kooky western. Perhaps Schumacher had a couple of weeks on his hands, a desire to see Romania, and his grandson’s script from film school (actually, David Kajganich takes the blame for the story. He was born in Ohio but that’s no excuse.). In the heat of the moment, as the movie flies by, Australian accents made an appearance or two. The action edits are of the I-can’t-tell-what’s-going-on-here variety, followed by blood spurts. No nudity, but in a moment of extreme crisis, the female lead uses a forefinger to tuck a lock of hair behind her ear; got to look good! (It’s Emma Booth.) Hard to identify who’s who among the male protagonists; in particular, who’s still alive and who’s dead now as they tussle with whatever farm implements they can lay their hands on. One of the guy characters is an Iraq war veteran; can’t remember if that helps him to survive or not. Schumacher’s one chance to save this thing: a commentary. But, no commentary. Sad

Things I missed by not paying attention:

- How did the good guy get the bad guy’s blood in him, so that when the bad guy tries to feast on him, the bad guy gets poisoned?

- How did this family live for 70 years in the closeknit hill country of West Virginia without aging, and avoid notice, meanwhilst harvesting derelicts and locals as needed for blood?

- How did ancient mystical Norse Nazi runestones get scattered all over the state?

But of course, the movie makes no sense.

Things I did learn even without paying attention:

- If you’re German immigrant farmers and you find a giant ancient Nordic runestone out in the field, you don’t contact a museum. You use the stone as part of the wall when you put in your root cellar.

- If you’re developing a third eye, you need to take a hammer and a metal punch and conk a hole in your forehead skullbone for the eye to see out of. This scene is probably not at the top of Fassbender’s resume.

I was reminded by a podcast to rewatch The Devil’s Rejects (2005). Blood Creek in comparison is a lesser rivulet. The finale of Blood Creek sets up a sequel. Fassbender, do this again and you’re dead to me.

Filed under: B Movie / Exploitation/ Horror

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Post by Admin on Sun Nov 28, 2010 11:35 pm

Blood Creek(2009)

by DWEG on Nov.28, 2010, under REVIEWS

Here is where I get on my soap box, with as many bad horror films we get released every year it always bothers me to see a decent film just dumped on dvd. Blood Creek is one of those films, it’s not great but it deserved a better fate than what it got. Director Joel Schumacher might be the king of hit and miss, here he hits. He has done genre before and here he nails the tone and pace that the film needed. At the core the film is very simple, a man escapes being held prisoner and goes to his brother for help, they go back to get revenge. Can’t get more simple, but had the occult and Nazis then the story gets a little more complicated and interesting. I’m not a huge Dominic Purcell fan but here he is pretty good, he is a physical presence. Henry Cavill doesn’t really do much, he reacts more than acts. Now Michael Fassbender is billed third in this film but he is only in it for one scene. The film does move pretty fast and at 90 minutes it is a very crisp film. The funny thing is the film turns more into an action movie than horror but you do have possessed dead horses and people so it is a horror film. I recommend Blood Creek, I liked it and it is more than worth the rental.

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