Saturday, December 19, 2009

Recension: Hemoglobin (1997)

I have a weakness for films set in small towns near water, such as Dagon, Messiah Of Evil and Dead & Buried. Hemoglobin is almost a painfully underrated little Canadian shocker which manage to be truly macabre ... and cozy.

Roy Dupuis plays John Strauss, who with his wife Kathleen (Kristin Lehman) arrives to a small island to see if they can find traces of the rare and unusual blood disease that he suffers from. Once on the island they find a doctor (Rutger Hauer) who sit and drinks in his cottage and feeling sorry that he ended up on this shitty island.

But of course, going there also means unpleasant things, not only alcoholic doctors. Byrde Gordon is a nasty, mean bitch who terrorizes her own family... and everybody else that she sees. She's the owner of the local funeral service, and has mismanaged it so much that the authorities has ordered that the graves should be moved. But many of the coffins are empty, and that's not only the result of Gordon's habit of stealing from the graves. There's something else lurking on the island...

It turns out that 300 years ago a Dutch family of smugglers moved to the island, the Van Daam's. Very rich, but also with a tendency to inbreeding - so one day they got burned to death by the rest of the islanders. But what no one really knew is that during all these years, Van Daam family has mutated, evolved and inbred themselves to a magnificent bunch of grossly deformed, almost legless monsters. Trolls as I call them. Moreover, they're also hermaphrodites, cannibals and living in a sophisticated tunnel system under the island.

And when the corpses is gone from the island they just need fresh meat...

Many people hate this movie, and I really can not understand why. It is certainly not bad. It's is no masterpiece either, but the cozy factor is good, the actors and the script is competent (of course, because Dan O'Bannon was involved in it) and it is still has plenty of blood, gore and nudity to satisfy horror fans. The monsters/trolls are quite unpleasant when they drag themselves around, but still there's some kind of "humanity" over them. Or maybe I'm just reading in to much in the storyline.

The screenplay is written by, among other people, Dan O'Bannon. A screenwriter I love. It's easy to see that he was involved in the story and characters, because there are those little touches that only O'Bannon could come up with. And a movie that dares to kill of some children and mix incest in the storyline is always fun ;)

The violence is quite graphic and effects are well done, so why complain? Come on! Here we have some legless killer trolls eating children! It's a dream come true!


David A. Zuzelo said...

I love Roy Dupuis, he has a very unique look and persona. It kills me every time I see those La Femme Nikita boxsets in the budget dump bins at the wholesale club.

Great film to point out Ninja Ninja!

Weekend Video said...

Run into this one a second ago so this will be fun!

Jocke Andersson said...

Dark Heritage was the movie I was talking about earlier, that was based on the same story