There are a lot of things in Blood Glacier, including the eponymous ice mass, an unsettling crimson giant unfrozen by global warming and oozing with disaster. Sure enough, things get weird around the Alps campsite housing a team of Austrian researchers and a boozy loudmouth technician named Janek (Gerhard Liebmann). The thing that’s so problematic with the film is the inevitable parallels it draws to The Thing (1982) and the ensuing expectations to match up, which it doesn’t.
Yet I can’t help but wonder if I would had Blood Glacier kept its original title, The Station, so as to let Big Red remain a surprise. I imagine some will take pleasure in the somewhat creepy animal monsters dreamt up by Austrian director Marvin Kren and screenwriter Benjamin Hessler. We never get too close a look at them, of course, but considering the film’s small budget, they provide a couple of scares, some of the slow-burn variety like when a poor pet gets infected.
The cast of characters here is relatively larger than its cinematic predecessors, with a team lead by an assertive government minister making a publicity visit to the station as well as a screaming young blond who comes running to them out of nowhere, pursued by a flying beastie. The route they go down is a rough and tumble ride with plenty of action moments, gory bits and a couple of laughs as well.
The film’s ending is boggling and might earn it some cult credentials down the road merely for its inanity. Blood Glacier might not feel like such a burnout if it were a bit shorter and of course scarier, but it will provide creature comforts to those seeking them.