Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Blood Tracks (1985)

"From the makers of A Nightmare on Elm Street" said the advertising material belong to Blood Tracks when it was sold in Cannes in the middle of the eighties! This came from the fact that it was distributed by New Line Cinema, who also distributed Mats Helges earlier hit movie The Ninja Mission and with the money from that one produced the first movie with legendary horror icon Freddy Krueger. But Blood Tracks is very far from the glitter and glam of Hollywood. Shot in the south of Sweden and a few scenes in Funäsdalen, this is a small but interesting piece of trash from the annals of Swedish trash cinema.

Easy Action arrives to a small village up in the mountains. They're gonna shoot a new music video there, as publicity for their new upcoming hit album! The director quickly finds an abandoned factory and the team decides to do some location scouting there. But an avalanche stops them from going back to civilisation and soon they're hunted by a murderous inbred tribe of crazies, the left-over's from a family that fled up there after a murder and never looked back! Now they want to protect what's theirs and they're very, very bloodthirsty!

Blood Tracks is basically a Swedish version of The Hills Have Eyes, but with more snow and more gore. I've seen this many times on tape and I never seen it as bloody and graphic as this version. Legendary for being hard to find in a complete version, this DVD from CMV Laservision could be the longest ever. It's far from perfect, but the full frame presentation is decent, but has a few cropping issues that blocks out nudity (not all, just one scene - I think the rest is complete). The Japanese version has always been considered the longest and a few alternative scenes, just based on the cropping, is included on this DVD and sourced from the Japanese tape. But the rest, yeah dammit, this could the best most uncut version so far.

The added gore really boosts the entertainment value of the movie. Mats Helge uses buckets of blood for a graphic impaling, stabbings, a burning, a ripped out eye and other nasty surprises. We're not talking Tom Savini quality here, but still - it's not bad at all. The most infamous scene, mostly because it's been cut everywhere, is when a woman is ripped apart (just like in Ruggero Deodato's Cut and Run and Fulci's Conquest). In every version I've seen you just see blood on her face and then cut to another character watching, but here you actually see her get ripped apart. The effect is primitive, but it's there and it's bloody. Other effects is also more visible, for example the cut of arm and another shot of a woman laying on the ground with a pipe through her chest.

Blood Tracks is very cheesy, cheap and silly, but finally it lives up to it's promise as a real, bloody and nasty slasher. I'm not saying it's a masterpiece, because it's not - Mats Helge was most of his career a very incompetent storyteller - but this ranks as his best together with The Ninja Mission.

The German (or Austrian?) DVD is released under the name Shocking Heavy Metal and it's a must for collectors of Swedish cult and gory slashers!

And because I'm so nice I'm sharing the uncut body ripping-scene (in German language, by mistake) with you, enjoy! I see now that she's not getting ripped apart, she's cut in two pieces by the rope!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

hoppas på en fin utgåva på studio s nästa år... har inte orkat mig igenom den i vhs-format även om jag haft den ett bra tag