Blood Creek

They'll get screwed over by Reader's Digest too

 

It’s a historical fact: Nazis are the world’s worst house guests.  If you don’t believe me, just ask Poland.  The Nazis came to visit in 1939, and in spite of Poland dropping subtle hints such as yawning or repeatedly saying things like “Oh my, would you look at the time” or “It’s been really great seeing you, but I have to be up early tomorrow” the Nazis stayed until 1945.  Rudeness!  If murder, destruction, and genocide weren’t t enough– the Nazis also made a big mess in the bathroom!

While the Nazis are terrible guests, they make excellent movie villains, which brings us to Blood Creek.  Ancient magic rune stones, sinister occult happenings and a creepy Nazi house guest all come together in this overlooked cautionary tale directed by Joel Schumacher.

 

In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue – it’s true.  What is only slightly less well known is that about 500 years before that there were Norse voyages of discovery sent to the New World.  In Blood Creek, we are told that Scandinavian explorers made it as far inland as West Virginia and southern Ohio, bringing their magic rune stones with them.  I used to live in that part of the country.  I have no problem imagining that an evil occult force would roost there, after all, Billy Ray Cyrus was born in that region.  I do have a hard time imagining Vikings hauling a bunch of two ton stones along with their boats over the Appalachian Mountains.    Maybe they really were “supermen.”

The Nazis find out about these stones and figure their Germanic Viking ancestors were on to something big.  Not shy about  allocating resources to explore any spooky silliness in their relentless thirst for power, and still smarting over losing the Ark of the Covenant to Indiana Jones, the Nazis send out expert Richard Wirth (Michael Fassbender), to stay with the Wollner’s on their farm in West Virginia, where one of these stones is located.  Wirth is more than your typical creepy Hollywood Nazi bad guy. He’s into the occult in a big way.  He has stacks of scary forbidden books and a box with human bones.  He’s also tapped into the mystical powers of the blood.  What does that mean?  It means he needs blood to do mystical Nazi things and this going to be very bad for anyone who crosses his path.

From ominous words of blood to literal jets of crimson, we flash forward to modern day West Virginia.  Paramedic Evan Marshall (Henry Cavill) and his partner are trying to keep a gunshot victim from bleeding out in his own front lawn while a screaming, gun wielding, drug-addled woman staggers about the yard totally oblivious to the police, who have drawn their own guns and are yelling at her to drop her weapon.  Evan, is completely focused on the wounded man, ignoring the very real possibilities that Meth-head Sue might blast a hole in his skull and use it as a place to put her stash.  He’s got nerve.

In short order we learn that Evan’s older brother, Victor Marshall, is a war hero.  Shortly after his return from Iraq, he went missing while on a fishing trip with Evan.   It’s been two years since Victor disappeared and Evan has stepped up to help take care of his two nephews.  Evan also takes care of his senile and invalid father, which is made even less fun as Old Marshall blames Evan for Victor’s disappearance and he spares not a moment of the day from shoveling piles of wrath at his remaining son.    Evan takes it all in stride, perhaps as penance for the sin of being the one who lived?  Evan is clearly defined as brave and selfless.  There is a little interesting contrast that comes into play.

After returning home from a long day, Evan finds his brother Victor alive and sitting in his little trailer.  All is not yet well.  Victor needs Evan to return with him to Town Creek and help him stop the evil that held him captive for the last two years.  Supernatural Nazi horror fun ensues.

What can I say?  For me, any movie that start out with a kooky occult plot by Nazis to win the war, build a super weapon or bring Hitler back from the grave instantly gets a point in its favor.  Maybe it’s because, unlike any other war, World War II was the most clear cut historical battle against evil and it was fought on an epic scale — the whole world.  I think that because of this, there is a multiplier effect.  A villain is twice as evil if he or she is a Nazi on top being whatever else he or she is.   That’s why in Star Wars  Storm troopers are called “storm troopers” rather than just “troopers” and Darth Vader is made to look like a SS soldier wearing a gas mask.   Lucas was not so subtly painting the Empire as Nazis.  It worked in Star Wars and it works in Blood Creek.

There isn’t too much to say about the acting. Michael Fassbender is deliciously evil as Nazi academic turned Nazi monster.  Henry Cavill and Dominic Purcell fit into their respective hero roles neatly.   I found the story and characters to be compelling.  As in any good story the outcome should result in the characters developing from the experience and that happens here.

There are even a couple of scenes that were surprising and uniquely horrible in a good way.  I’d be less vague but I don’t want to spoil the surprise.  In short, there are no boring parts.  Whatever Joel Schumacher’s past sins are as a director, he comes through with a winner here.

The visual effects went way beyond my expectations, which I admit were pretty much nil considering that this film had no marketing or support of any kind for distribution.  There was absolutely no word of mouth buzz among the internet fanboys.  Blood Creek was ninja-like, moving silently and unseen into DVD obscurity.  Sigh.   Blood Creek is much too good a movie to meet that kind fate.

Blood Creek is also known as Town Creek.

Starring:

Michael Fassbender
Henry Cavill
Dominic Purcell
Emma Booth

Screenplay:
David Kajganich

Director:
Joel Schumacher

Three out of five Vincents

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.