Monday, April 29, 2013

Sometimes they get it half right!

by MJ Preston

The opening scene to "Blood Runs Cold" is a horrific spectacle
I watched a horror flick tonight that had two opposing elements that repelled and attracted me. But first the hook: 

     Opening scene: A man lies  face down in the snow. After a second there is movement. He is regaining consciousness, is badly injured, disoriented and his face is caked with blood and snow.  As he lifts himself, he turns back toward his car. The vehicle has collided with a tree and for a fleeting moment you think that maybe he has been in a car accident. That is, until someone holding an axe appears from behind the car. Panic sets in, our desperate victim attempts to reach for his cell phone, but there's no time. He turns, a look of hopelessness crosses his bloody snow caked face. He begins crawling away. From behind, the person carrying the axe comes striding up, swings, the axe connects, the victims neck snaps over and then...    Fade to black.

     At first I thought I was watching a Canadian Film, due mostly to the winter landscape and the abundance of unknown actors in this atmospheric piece that reminded me somewhat of a low budget 70's horror flick. I stumbled across the film quite by accident. On YouTube of all places. Often I'll hit YouTube to bring myself up to date on movies that are coming out as I no longer hand money over to the
crooks at the local cable company. Two years ago I cancelled my cable and everything now is online. 

     As it turned out, the film I was about to watch was a low budget Swedish horror film called: Blood Runs Cold. So far the opening sequence had drawn me in and now as it turns out we are following a young woman named Winona [played by Hanna Oldenburg] as she drives her minivan through the snow covered back roads in search of a country house that was rented for her by her boss. It seems Winona is a reporter of some type and needs a little down time from the stress of her job. As she searches, she checks the address and finds what she thinks is the house her boss rented. Unable to get all the way up her driveway she parks about 400 yards back and hoofs it through the snow.

     Once in the house, she hears all sorts of noises and we are led to believe that someone is in there with her. But after a room to room search she finds an open window that is banging and that calms her nerves. What is the best formula for creating the perfect atmosphere for a slasher flick? 

     Well, according to rules and regulations, there must be at least three more victims to make it a real slasher film. So Winona sets off for the local pub, hooks up with an old flame and drags him and his two friends back to the creepy old house for a bit of product placement (Budweiser) and sex. You have to have sex, without sex there would be nothing for the characters to do except spout more of the empty dialogue written for them in the script. Oh wait, I'm sorry. The title of this Blog is: Sometimes they get it half right, and they do. 

Enter the Antagonist, an axe wielding cannibal who is quite possibly undead.
     You see the strongest and most interesting character in this film is the antagonist, an axe wielding maniac who not only murders his victims, but eats them as well.  But there's more. This axe wielding, cannibalistic maniac has something else about him that is quite interesting. We aren't really sure that he is human. Every time he is attacked, be it stabbed, shot, or impaled by his own axe he seems to bleed out a plume of dust. And that is really what they get right in this film. The malevolent force is really quite scary and unrelenting. Slicing his way through the story whilst gobbling down the odd chunk or two of flesh. In fact this interesting chap was what made the film worth watching right through to the end. It certainly wasn't the protagonist Winona, who did more stupid things in an attempt to get herself killed than the average slasher bimbo does in the first five minutes of a Friday the 13th sequel.

     Look, I'm willing to look the other way when someone reaches out to open a basement door after discovering there is a distinct possibility that there is an intruder in the house. But this young lady does exactly what no one would do. Guy attacks you with axe and you knock him down the stairs, drop the knife. Someone kills the lights and is trying to get you. Flick your Bic lighter and give your position away. Good gravy, even my wife who usually gets angry when I start criticizing the writing of a film, began to roll her eyes.

    So, sadly they got it half right in this low budget film, but I still suggest checking it out for the scary scenes that save this film from a total tear down. There isn't a lot of reviews out there for Blood Runs Cold, but it sparked my interest to stay until the end. If you don't want to buy it you can check it out on Youtube using the following link: BLOOD RUNS COLD


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MJ Preston is the Author of the Horror Novel: THE EQUINOX
His new novel ACADIA EVENT is forecasted for release in late 2013

'The Equinox' is a tour de force of brilliant writing, fast-paced action, and gritty characterisation. 
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  1. That was written so freakin' well! And the term "good gravy" is one of my faves. Great hop. Here's my MMM at Design du Jour.

  2. Ah, the Swedish horror film! Here in Australia we have a channel that plays nothing but foreign film late at night and I often find myself immersed in the Swedish ones!
    Great post! Love your writing style!
    Here's my MMM'S Carmen Jenner Author! and Book Me!
    Happy Hopping! =D

  3. Ok, the fact that you didn't recognize any of the actors is one thing. But I, a Swede, have never heard of neither this movie nor ANY of the people involved (and it got a whopping 4,1 at imdb)- how did you even find this??

    1. I stumbled across it on Youtube. Apparently it was made on a budget of $5000.00 US. Which, if true, is amazing, because with that budget they did a hell of a job.