Ratings Key

= Excellent. The best the genre has to offer.
1/2 = Very Good. Perhaps not "perfect," but undoubtedly a must-see.
★★★ = Good. Accomplishes what it sets out to do and does it well.
★★1/2 = Fair. Clearly flawed and nothing spectacular, but competently made. OK entertainment.
★★ = Mediocre. Either highly uneven or by-the-numbers and uninspired.
1/2 = Bad. Very little to recommend.
= Very Bad. An absolute chore to sit through.
NO STARS! = Abysmal. Unwatchable dreck that isn't even bad-movie amusing.
SBIG = So Bad It's Good. Technically awful movies with massive entertainment value.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Bleeders (1997)

... aka: Descendant, The
... aka: Hemoglobin

Directed by:
Peter Svatek

Don't know if anyone remembers the original VHS box for this or not, but it had a packet of fake blood taped to the front and you could squish it with your fingers. You gotta miss that kind of showmanship now that VHS has become obsolete! Well anyway, back to the film...

A pale, terminally ill man (Roy Dupuis) arrives on a secluded Canadian island with his blonde nurse wife (Kristin Lehman) to trace his family lineage in hopes of finding a cure for his "degenerative congenital blood disease." Turns out he's actually a descendant of the incestuous Van Daam clan, whose keeping-it-in-the-family lifestyle has resulted in little, legless, rubbery, bright-light-hating monsters who lurk beneath dark catacombs and emerge with claw hammers to nosh the blood of townspeople. First off, you might expect better coming a from a film scripted by Dan O'Bannon (Alien) and Ronald Shusett (Total Recall), but there are several glaring plot holes and the premise, despite perverse sexual elements, is overly familiar. Though he receives top billing, Rutger Hauer is also wasted yet again as a boozy doctor. However, this isn't a complete washout and that's largely due to very good performances from Dupuis and Lehman, who make you believe in their characters and their plight, even though this thing is downright stupid much of the time. Watch for them in other things, but this Canadian horror flick - which seems partially influenced by the Lovecraft story "The Lurking Fear" - will be best remembered by me for that nifty box.


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