THE BLACK SHEEP is an ongoing column featuring different takes on films that either the writer HATED, but that the majority of film fans LOVED, or that the writer LOVED, but that most others LOATH. We're hoping this column will promote constructive and geek fueled discussion. Dig in!
Blood Creek (2009)
Directed by Joel Schumacher
“Had Blood Creek been successful, I could have easily seen Michael Fassbender’s Professor Wirth be a franchise bad guy.”
Joel Schumacher has had quite a career. Highs, lows and all that shit. Some of his movies I have truly enjoyed (8mm, Lost Boys, Flatliners, Tigerland) while others might as well remove their copyright status (I'm looking at you Batman and Robin). I’ll give the guy credit though. He has never been afraid to tackle a genre, for better or worse. But even with a nice resume, he’s never really had a definitive style. If anything has been maintained through his work, it’s that he’s always had a dark side, creating some moody, gory, killer stuff.
But times change. Recently, the guy has lost the touch. He’s flatlined. His last two features have gone straight to DVD, but that shouldn’t be a surprise as this trend started back in 09 with the curious case of Blood Creek. The studio didn’t want it. Obviously, they hated the thing but they were forced to release the thing anyway. So it was dumped out there. Of all places, it was given a limited release debut at my local $2 theatre. That’s something I’ve never seen that happen before or after. Really? A second run theatre debut? Anyway, the thing was thrown to the wasteland and left to die. Why? Was the thing that bad? Did it stink like landfill filled with dump? No. In fact, Blood Creek is dark, disturbing, and demented. It’s a movie that deserved not only a theatre release, but a little love from audiences too.
Blood Creek is a damn good movie for several reasons. One, I love the tone. It’s mean spirited because not only does it have a really nasty Nazi in Michael Fassbender, but none of the characters are likeable. Our EMT hero Evan, played by future Clark Kent Henry Cavill, is pretty dull and lifeless. I guess who wouldn’t be if your life had stalled and your old man blamed you for the disappearance of his brother Victor (played by Dominic Purcell). But Cavill is just there, doing whatever Victor (who suddenly returns and orders Evan to help him) tells him to do. Of course, Victor doesn’t have much life to him either as he’s so driven by revenge that the writer forgot to include any character traits at all. For once, however, the lack of character development didn’t bother me. Sure, there’s a clear distinction between good and bad here, but usually I hate movies without any development. It’s just as necessary as the actors or the camera. Then again, Victor’s thirst for revenge is understandable considering he was served up as food for a demonic Nazi. Which brings me to point two.
Is there a better villain than a good old, leather-clad Nazi? Seriously, if you add a Nazi to any movie and it instantly feels that much more evil and threatening. If Michael Myers actually turned out to be Hitler’s distant cousin, wouldn’t it change the way we view him? You bet. If Biff from Back to the Future loved the SS, he’d be that much more of an asshole. Had Blood Creek been successful, I could have easily seen Michael Fassbender’s Professor Wirth be a franchise bad guy (though a better name would be in order). He’s a little bit like the Hellraiser demon or the Mummy from The Mummy as he needs blood to regrow and maintain his power. He’s always in leather, his face covered, and he can reanimate the dead. What’s not to like?
Third point? Well, if one is still needed, the evil supernatural element is enough. See, back during WWII, Professor Wirth traveled to America to seek a stone, which a family of German immigrants had on their property. Being broke and all, they agreed to let the man stay with them in exchange for examining the stone. Flash forward 80 years, the family hasn’t aged and now they kidnapped people, torture them, and serve them up to Wirth, who has morphed into an evil movie villain. Why? Well, things aren’t 100% clear but I didn’t allow silly things like plot holes to ruin the fun. Instead, I took the ride and wasn’t disappointed as the thing was bloodier and meaner than anything I’ve seen in quite some time..