Previously and more dully known as The Station, Marvin Kren’s Blood Glacier begins with audience-goosing title cards about climate change and melting icecaps. It’s a gratuitously self-serious ignition button for a lame Thing knockoff that pits a bunch of research scientists in the German Alps against wildlife made rabid by a micro-organism that leaks out of a, yes, glacier soaked in blood. As the scientists try and wrap their minds around why the contaminant’s index case, a fox, would ever bite a dog, and sarcastically wonder if the surreptitious critter shares their public-relations ambitions, unfortunate parallels to a certain ubiquitous viral hit from Norway arise. The plot becomes increasingly overstuffed with the introduction of parallel threads involving one of the scientist’s ex, Taja (Edita Malovčić), who’s none too subtle about having aborted their child, and a Random Blonde seen running from a prehistoric-seeming bird whose razor-sharp tail takes out one of the guides for a bunch of elderly hikers in the region. Everyone’s hysteric paths cross at one of the scientific research stations, which gets an intermittent pummeling from freakazoid animals that suggest botched Rick Baker creations. And as it programmatically works its way toward the unexpected but doggedly stupid resolution to Janek (Gerhard Liebmann) and Taja’s personal travails, Blood Glacier straddles a very awkward line between creature feature, conspiracy thriller, and domestic drama, all without novelty or suspense. One caveat: As Ministerin Bodicek, actress Brigitte Kren mines a delicious bit of camp from this atonal pulp-o-matic when her absurdly fascist granny verbally assaults a travel companion with the demand that she “stop eating that banana while you’re crying!”
Film Comment Selects runs from February 17—27.