Review: Blood Creek (18) / Directed by: Joel Schumacher / Written by: David Kajganich / Starring: Henry Cavill, Dominic Purcell, Emma Booth
Joel Schumacher actually made some pretty decent movies at the start of his career. The Lost Boys is still great and so is Falling Down. Somewhere around the time he turned Batman into the camp crusader with his late 90’s versions of the comic book he became a hated hack the way that people now talk about Brett Ratner. Schumacher redeemed himself somewhat with Tigerland and Phone Booth giving Colin Farrell the early career boost that had him so hyped up early on. Now it seems as he approaches 75 years old he is content to just sit back and cash the cheques. Blood Creek (aka Town Creek) has limped out on to DVD a year after it did the same stateside and with good reason because the film is a mess.
We start off in the 1930’s and a small farm run by a German immigrant family. One day a member of Hitler’s SS Richard Wirth (Michael Fassbender) visits the Wollner family as he is one of the members tasked by Hitler with locating some sacred stones that will give the owner immortality. Once such stone lies at the base of the family barn and Wirth proves its power by reviving a dead bird for the daughter. Flash forward to modern day and we meet troubled paramedic Evan Marshall (new Superman Henry Cavill) who is overworked and constantly looking after his terminally ill father. His brother Victor (Dominic Purcell) has disappeared after returning home from the war in Iraq and Evan spends a good deal of his time taking care of his kids who miss their father. One night a bearded and long haired Victor returns ranting and raving and asking Evan to get their rifles and follow him to somewhere in the countryside. The two of them go to the Wollner farmhouse and set about killing the family who do not seem to have aged and also don’t seem to die. Evan is understandably reluctant believing Victor has possibly flipped. Evan gets to know the daughter Liese (Emma Booth) and learns that the families life has been prolonged by the sacred stone in their basement. They have been keeping prisoners to farm blood from and feed to Wirth who is locked in their basement and has become something more than human. Eventually Wirth escapes from his prison and leads a siege on the farmhouse using other people whom he turns into zombies that do his bidding and also zombie horses, yes zombie horses.
Not quite sure what happened here but this has all the hallmarks of a creatively compromised project. Joel Schumacher and writer David Kajganich had a falling out about Schumacher’s proposed changes to the screenplay. Turns out Schumacher won and the man who brought us Batman and Robin re-wrote parts of the script himself and man does it show. This is really incoherent and doesn’t make a hell of a lot of sense. Large chunks of exposition are often shouted or communicated mid battle scene. The plot also doesn’t add up, for instance why are the Wollner family farming blood for someone they keep locked up anyway? And also if what the family did to Victor was so bad that he is prepared to slaughter them in the middle of the night why is he so quick to join with them when Wirth gets loose. These plot holes are not well thought through or explained and it seems like Schumacher thinks that by showing us enough gore we will just forget about it.
Michael Fassbender seems like he is slumming it here and gets the best from the scenes he is in but really feels wasted when we know he is capable of so much more. Henry Cavill is worryingly wooden despite being very pretty and Dominic Purcell seems to think that by shouting his dialogue all the time it’s the same as giving a performance. Emma Booth seems to be the token exposition girl and doesn’t seem to have any other purpose beyond that. Even the usually great Shea Wigham, who is fast becoming the supporting actor du jour for low budget films, doesn’t get anything to do apart from be a victim.
Apart from these things working against the film, Fassbender’s make up is suitably gross and there are some cool scenes with a zombie horse going nuts as big chunks are blown out of it with a rifle. That is all that I can say is good about this mess though. For a better film with gore and an assault on a country stronghold then seek out Feast or Tales from the Crypt: Demon Knight. Both have ten times the charm of this drivel.
'Blood Creek' is out now on DVD/Blu-Ray