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'Bleeders' is known as 'Hemoglobin' in the UK which I will proceed to
to this films as.
At the beginning of a film a young couple, Kathleen (played by the gorgeous Kristin Lehmann) and John Strauss (Roy Dupuis) arrive by boat on an island. Shortly after docking John has a kind of seizure and is quickly taken across the island to Dr. Marlowe (the legendary Rutger Hauer). It is here that we learn that John is suffering from some sort of blood disorder and has come to this island in hope of tracing his family and finding a possible cure.
At the same time, while excavating a graveyard to move the bodies due to the highly annoying local business woman using poor quality wood in her coffins it starts to become apparent that there are a number of bodies missing from the coffins.
'Hemoglobin' deals with themes rarely tackled by films in any genre. We have genetic mutations caused by incestuous relationships and also hermaphrodites. Despite only having occasional nudity, there is a strong sexual context to the film, though that seems there more to shock than to titillate.
People tend to slate the acting from this film, but I personally see no problem with it. The problem with the film in my opinion is to do with the extreme lack of useful dialogue and the overall execution of the idea. 'Hemoglobin' is a slow movie, therefore it's quite easy to lose interest, but at the same time when an event happens in the film that is of importance it is quick and often dealt with in a short amount of time. So to fully understand some of what is going on in the movie you really need to pay attention.
The ending was also somewhat of a disappointment and also feeled tacked on. There are so many questions left by the ending that one begins to wonder whether it was worth watching to begin with. Unless perhaps a sequel was planned but due to the negative reactions to the film was scrapped I can't actually see how the ending could have happened the way it did. But despite this there are some rather dramatic parts in the ending, you just need to sift through the rubbish.
The monster costumes are also a bad-point. Some of them look like they were made out of plasticine, and while they are fairly original looking it doesn't detract from the stupidity of how they look and move. But at least they didn't go for CGI, and other than the costumes there are some good make-up effects in 'Hemoglobin' that are actually quite praise worthy.
It's a slow moving movie that many people will find too dull to watch. I personally give it 4/10 and I'd say this film is for serious horror fans who are looking for something different.
An uncredited adaptation of the Lurking Fear, Hemoglobin (as it is
titled in the current US DVD release) stars Rutger Hauer as a drunken
doctor recently moved to a small New England fishing community. The
arrival of John Strauss (played in near-albino fashion by Roy Dupuis)
raises some interesting questions.
The basic theme of Lovecraft's story remains unchanged. A family of incest-deformed monsters live beneath the town, feeding on the dead. Of course, Lovecraft provided a description of the horror in the Lurking Fear and yet, to my knowledge, there is no adaptation that has bothered to be true to this fairly simple detail.
The movie is fairly fast paced, though the insertion of a sex scene comes off as forced and staged, interrupting the film's progression for the purpose of a few quick breast shots. The creature effects aren't that great, indeed, they are probably one of the poorer portions of the film. The footage of the underground catacombs though? That is just wonderful.
The film tries to play with atmosphere, and does us the courtesy of not waving badly made up monsters in our face. Indeed, one of the more tense scenes plays out mostly in shadow as the creatures storm the local lighthouse.
Bleeders is, in a single word, baffling. It features a competent cast,
including the always fantastic Rutger Hauer, and a bunch of unknowns who
provide us with far better performances than we generally have inflicted
upon us in low-budget straight-to-video horror. The location is gorgeous -
a foggy fishing island somewhere off the eastern coast of Canada. The gore
and monster makeup are extremely good, too. Even the script is adequate,
containing no really awful dialogue or bizarre character
Add all these elements together, and you should end up with a solid little low budget horror film. Instead... well, you get Bleeders.
Its main fault is a serious cinematic crime: it is boring. I lay the blame for this unforgiveable flaw at the feet of the director and, to a lesser extent, the composer. The whole film is terribly paced. There is never any sense of urgency or danger throughout. It seems that the director has never seen a horror or thriller film before, as he certainly has no idea how to built suspense or deliver a shock. Scenes dealing with life and death feel identical to those featuring leisurely chats about genealogy. The whole film just feels terribly flat.
The score really doesn't help. It is simply the most boring and pointless movie score I have heard in years. In the first few minutes, I was thinking it was pretty. An hour and a half later, after listening to what seemed to be the same five minutes of music on a loop, I hated it. The music, like the direction, is utterly flat. Character scenes and supposedly scary scenes are all scored the same. Like the director, the composer seemed to have no idea what a horror film score is there for. It certainly isn't supposed to be something pretty to listen to when there's no dialogue.
These two problems are bad enough, but they are compounded by the fact that Bleeders is shot on video. This constant visual reminder of the movie's cheap nature, as well as its inept direction and bland score, make the whole film feel like an episode of some dodgy TV show, destined to be axed after a single season. Only the occasional splashes of gore and explicit sex scenes mark it as being something not made for TV.
It's a terrible waste of talent and potential. Okay, the best bits of the story are stolen from Lovecraft, but it could have been a fun Lovecraft ripoff, as opposed to yet another bad one. What a pity... it really could have been good.
I had to leave a comment on this one because so many people seem to hate it and its a personal favorite of mine. It's based on the Lurking Fear and personally i thought it was one of the best HP Lovecraft based films that I've seen and stays pretty close to the original story. Of course having said that I'm a big fan of both Unnameable films which seem to have been similarly slaughtered and Reanimator (only the first one!) so perhaps I'm more predisposed to these movies than the average guy. I thought Roy Dupuis and Rutger Hauer did a really good job. Maybe the US release title of 'Bleeders', which is pretty awful gives a negative impression to begin with, in the UK this was released a Hemoglobin, not nearly as painful. If you love Lovecraft then you'll probably enjoy this.
I wrestled with myself as I took this off the shelf. "Look! O'Bannon and Shusett co-wrote it! Y'know, 'Alien' and 'Dead And Buried'. And Rutger's in it!". I still knew in my heart it was gonna stink, but I rented it anyway. And much to my surprise, it was nowhere near as awful as I feared it was going to be. Okay, it has many faults, especially the two no-name Canadian leads, a hack director, and a predictable plot which offers absolutely nothing unexpected whatsoever (which is made even worse by a DVD slick which doesn't even attempt to keep anything to itself), but I found it quite watchable just the same. I'm a sucker for Lovecraftian movies, Rutger has little more than a cameo really, but he's pretty cool in it, and there are one or two effective scares and creepy touches. So the verdict is utter trash but fun. Goes well with beer!
This movie is a great B movie a lot better than most. It's a horror-mystery that will keep you on the edge of your seat. Aside from the all the blood shed there is also a little bit of a romantic side to the movie.
I recently rented 'Hemoglobin' (also known as 'Bleeders') expecting the
typical A-Pix film -- horrible acting, bad script and annoying children.
So, when I got home and popped it in the VCR I was rather surprised to see
an interesting not-so-horrorish film.
Sure, it still had the annoyingly fake children that A-Pix are known for, but in the end 'Hemoglobin' was rather interesting. The storyline was quite good -- a young man with blood problems and his wife visit the island on which he was born. This man searches the island to try to find out who his parents were and why he has his problems and ends up running into quite an interesting story. All while this is happening, townsfolk are disappearing or getting scared to death.
I think this film would probably be of interest to anyone who's a fan of the A-Pix style or people interested in the Suspense/Thriller genre. It's not the greatest film that your ever going to see, but it's something worth catching on late night television or if you have a dollar to spare.
Also, take note of one fact pointed out twice in the movie -- the main actress is pregnant. Can anyone smell a sequel?
Now, it isn't for everybody mind you, not even every die hard horror fans; but if you like freaky monsters under the ground from origins to awful to speak aloud, then not only are you a Lovecraft fan (see Shadow Over Innsmouth), but you'll probably enjoy this movie. Not fully incorporating the Cthulhu Mythos, huge parallels are seen in the backwoods MA people, the fish like monsters and something that came from a long time ago. Surprisingly, unlike the vicious scheiBfare Lovecraft renditions that came out of the eighties, this is surprisingly well done. It has actors and actresses that don't foul up the Lovecraftian nightmare that the director has in store for the audience, and a good plot. My only question was, so what happens next.
This is really an _adaptation_ as far as the lovecraft story is
concerned, but in my opinion a rather good one. (at least if you've
watched some of the other films 'based on' H.P Lovecraft stories.) It
is loosely based on "The Lurking Fear" by H.P Lovecraft, and explores
some cool and horrible ideas about inbreeding and other goodies.
The movie in itself features mostly good acting, and a really cool storyline. The effects aren't bad, and there's lots of blood and other goo. I truly recommend this to lovecraft fans, or just horror fans, out there. Don't go by the ratings on this one. Even if it won't scare you, some scenes are a bit on the creepy side (mostly just funny and/or cool).
Not a "HOLY CRAP THIS IS AN EXCELLENT MOVIE"-movie, but if you like B-flicks with monsters, blood and gore, this is one for you!
These days, I tend to get all my movies from Blockbuster video sales.
They have piles upon piles of VHS that they'll sell for either very
little money or a completely expendable body part. I simply can't get
It was at one of these sales that I found Bleeders. This wasn't the first time I had shopped for cheap movies, and I had already amassed a collection that included some of the all time classics ("Elves," "Jack-O"). I found Bleeders and thought it would fit in nicely with what I already had.
I wasn't so much disappointed as I was completely apathetic. I simply didn't care about Bleeders. I didn't care what happened to the townsfolk. I didn't care what happened to the increasingly ugly John Strauss. I didn't even care what happened to the Bleeders themselves.
Sure, it seems neat in theory. A pale, scrawny, utterly intolerable mainlander named John Strauss comes to a small island community looking for clues to his past. Why? I'm not really sure. Whoever he's looking for is probably just as hideous and obnoxiously dull.
Anyway, he uncovers a deadly secret in the form of the Bleeder beasts, who proceed to terrorize the town blah blah blah blah blah. It really isn't worth it to elaborate. Put simply, a story is told that could have been exciting, but is instead overacted and underproduced. While I wouldn't call it a complete failure, its shortcomings place it somewhere in the middle, where I'm sure it will quickly fade into obscurity.
I didn't turn the movie off early, but I was reading a book while it played. That's the kind of film no one needs to see.
But since I did, I suggest all of you do too. Please.
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