Blood Glacier (The Station) (2014)

Stop me if these elements seem similar: 1 x isolated, ice-bound research station, 1 x drunken, non-nonsense blue-collar worker (with a beard) and lots of weird, mutant creatures made from bits of other creatures that shape-shift and gleefully murder scientists in the dead of night…

Welcome to Blood Glacier A.K.A. The Station A.K.A. Germany’s answer to The Thing. If you’ve not seen John Carpenter’s The Thing then GO AND WATCH IT.

Now, you fool.

It is perhaps disingenuous to suggest Blood Glacier is massive rip-off of The Thing, but it is clearly heavily influenced by that classic 80’s Sci-Fi horror film. Luckily – and surprisingly – Blood Glacier is very much its own film, and very much an enjoyable one.

In a remote research station in the German Alps, three scientists and a ‘caretaker’ work on a project to monitor the ever-damaging effects of global warming on the Alps’ glaciers and snows.

When one of the sub-station monitoring devices stops working, they head up the mountains to check on the situation… and discover a RED GLACIER. What?! Yep. Taking samples, they also discover a fucked-up fox that looks in seriously need of a vet (or a bullet).

The sample reveals the ice contains single-cell organisms…which is a Nobel-prize winning find! With a Ministerial visit impending, the scientists decide to hide this discovery until they’ve left…

…but the discovery doesn’t want to be left alone! Unfortunately for mankind this single-cell organism is a catalyst for change, and change (like climate change! See a theme here yet?) is a dangerous and unpredictable thing.

Suddenly the team find themselves under siege from insane mutant-beasties, which are hell-bent on infecting or killing everything in sight!

Bloody Glacier is thankfully very inventive and hardly uses CGI, introducing deranged beasts ranging from giant woodlice, insect foxes and a giant mental ibex… which is certainly unique and genuinely a bit horrible. The SFX work here is quality work and really well done, especially the ‘extraction’ scene, which will have even the most gore-proud horror fan squirming.

The character-work is also decent. Our hero MacReady (sorry, I meant Janek! Played by Gerhard Liebmann) is a likeable, gruff, no-bullshit guy. Perhaps the most enjoyable character is the German Minister (played wonderfully by Brigitte Kren), who is hard-as-nails and utters some crazy lines (like “Stop eating that banana when you’re crying!”). This could’ve been a generic, officious character, but thankfully screenwriter Benjamin Hessler knows what he’s doing here.

The major quibbles with Blood Glacier is the familiarity of the situation and the last five minutes or so, which are baffling and – frankly – unbelievably ridiculous. There are also a few character ‘choices’ that seem incredibly bizarre, which spoils the flow.

Despite clearly being heavily influenced by The Thing, Blood Glacier is certainly its own film and has some solid acting, excellent SFX work and a wisp-thin but fast-paced plot. Definitely worth a watch.

Rating: ★★★★★★★☆☆☆

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