Keep up-to-date on your favourite artists and movies, track gig and release dates, and join in the conversation.
SEARCH RESULTS FOR
Wake up - Daniel dives into the monumental animated classic 'Sleeping Beauty' on a brand new episode of Ink & Paint - click to listen now!x
review, Blood Vessel, Blood, Vessel, film, movie, latest movies, new movie, movie ratings, current movie reviews, latest films, recent movies, current movies, movie critics, new movie reviews, latest movie reviews, latest movies out, the latest movies, review film, latest cinema releases, Australian reviews, home entertainment, DVD, Blu-ray, Robert Taylor, Alyssa Sutherland, Nathan Phillips, Christopher Kirby, John Lloyd Fillingham, Mark Diaco, Vivienne Perry, Alex Cooke, Troy Larkin, Steve Young, Justin Dix, Australian, Horror

BLOOD VESSEL

★★

DISAPPOINTINGLY ANAEMIC

HOME ENTERTAINMENT REVIEW
LATEST REVIEWS
By Jake Watt
29th July 2020

It's no exaggeration to say that World War II was a war of many horrors, but as the years have passed, storytellers have used the shocking, world-spanning conflict as the backdrop for many gruesome stories that go above and beyond the battlefield.

Justin Dix's 'Blood Vessel' takes place in late 1945, somewhere in the North Atlantic ocean. The survivors of a torpedoed hospital ship are crowded onto a single life raft with no supplies. Things are looking grim until an abandoned German minesweeper emerges from the mist, giving them one last chance at survival.

Dix has assembled a terrific cast to play these reluctant Allies, comprised of Russian spy Alexander Teplov (Alex Cooke), Aussie digger Nathan Sinclair (Nathan Phillips, 'These Final Hours'), two Brits, compassionate Jane Prescott (Alyssa Sutherland, 'Arbitrage') and slimy Gerard Faraday (John Lloyd Fillingham), and a trio of Americans, including heroic Captain Malone (Robert Taylor, 'Rogue'), African American cook Lydell Jackson (Christopher Kirby, 'Upgrade') and Bronx loudmouth Jimmy Bigelow (Mark Diaco).

'BLOOD VESSEL' TRAILER

The tensions within the diverse group are a highlight. "I'm not going anywhere with that fascist", one of the Americans complains of the Russian in their midst, to which the Australian replies: "Communist, dickhead". Another standout is Sky Davies' cinematography as they board the ship, which is swathed in red lights against a variety of greys. Shot mostly inside the HMAS Castlemaine (one of sixty Australian minesweepers built during World War II), the film's production design is impressive. The confined spaces create a claustrophobic environment for the ensuing action and help give a low-budget horror movie some larger-than-life atmosphere.

Upon exploring the seemingly deserted ship, the intrepid gang find mangled corpses, charred remains and a ton of gold bullion. They also stumble upon a Nazi soldier, who has barricaded himself in a room, and a young Romanian girl, Mya (Ruby Isobel Hall), anxious to return to her "famigilia".

If it isn't abundantly clear from the title, 'Blood Vessel' is a vampire movie. However, it takes 52 minutes before we see any bloodsucking action, which is far too long to watch people opening doors, finding items, and wandering through the titular vessel. While the bat-like baddies are impressive homunculi of practical effects wizardly, they sit around in a cargo hold for the most part, working some mind control mojo on their hapless victims and flapping their clawed hands around.

Unlike the films that it draws inspiration from (the first two 'Alien' movies and John Carpenter's 'The Thing' are big reference points), 'Blood Vessel' lacks tension and scares.

I'm guessing that Dix chose to hold off on the action due to budgetary constraints, but he neglected to fill that dead air with anything substantial. Unlike the films that it draws inspiration from (the first two 'Alien' movies and John Carpenter's 'The Thing' are big reference points), 'Blood Vessel' lacks tension and scares. It doesn't even have over-the-top bloodshed to fall back on, like Robert Rodriguez's 'From Dusk till Dawn'. In fact, the film feels like a cross between a long episode of Guillermo del Toro's TV series 'The Strain' (which also featured WWII-era vamps and a hulking Nosferatu with telepathy) and special-effects specialist turned director Steve Beck's wearisome 'Ghost Ship' (minus the undiscriminating nudity and gore).

Subverting a cliché-heavy genre template requires a tricky balancing act: the setup needs to look conventional, but if it's too conventional, the audience may fall asleep before the twist kicks in. Despite some decent (if familiar) work from the makeup, prosthetics, and special effects teams, the lethargic pacing and lack of substantive innovation in 'Blood Vessel' means the end result is disappointingly lifeless.

It does have a cool title, though.

FAST FACTS
RELEASE DATE: 05/08/2020
RUN TIME: 1h 33m
CAST: Robert Taylor
Alyssa Sutherland
Nathan Phillips
Christopher Kirby
John Lloyd Fillingham
Mark Diaco
Vivienne Perry
Alex Cooke
Troy Larkin
Steve Young
DIRECTOR: Justin Dix
WRITERS: Justin Dix
Jordan Prosser
PRODUCERS: Corey Trent Ackerman
Jeff Harrison
Brett Thornquest
SCORE: Brian Cachia
www.wickedofoz.com.au/blood-vessel
BloodVesselMovie
BloodVesselTheMovie
TOP-RATED REVIEWS
The Marksman - Liam Neeson on the run
TRENDINGWIN THE MARKSMANLiam Neeson on the run
High Ground - Australia's cycle of violence
TRENDINGHIGH GROUNDAustralia's cycle of violence
Music - Sia's feature debut falls flat
TRENDINGMUSICSia's feature debut falls flat
Jungle - A true story told poorly
TRENDINGJUNGLEA true story told poorly
Pocahontas - 25 years later, the colours of the wind are fading
TRENDINGPOCAHONTAS25 years later, the colours of the wind are fading
Summerland - Sweet and sentimental
TRENDINGSUMMERLANDSweet and sentimental
Peter Pan - Presented by National Theatre Live
TRENDINGPETER PANPresented by National Theatre Live
Revisiting 'Dark City' 20 years later - The most underrated and influential sci-fi film ever?
TRENDINGREVISITING 'DARK CITY' 20 YEARS LATERThe most underrated and influential sci-fi film ever?
One Last Deal - A touching tale of final chances
TRENDINGONE LAST DEALA touching tale of final chances
25 Free-to-Watch Short Horror Films - The scariest shorts we uncovered online
TRENDING25 FREE-TO-WATCH SHORT HORROR FILMSThe scariest shorts we uncovered online
Nymphomaniac - Lars, sex and cinema
TRENDINGNYMPHOMANIACLars, sex and cinema
Kuessipan - Coming of age story in an Innu community
TRENDINGKUESSIPANComing of age story in an Innu community
Promising Young Woman - Nice guys no more
TRENDINGPROMISING YOUNG WOMANNice guys no more
Ammonite - Francis Lee delivers another beautiful portrait of love and longing
TRENDINGAMMONITEFrancis Lee delivers another beautiful portrait of love and longing
Dirt Music - A typically flawed Tim Winton adaptation
TRENDINGDIRT MUSICA typically flawed Tim Winton adaptation
Another Round - What a beautiful, beautiful ride
TRENDINGANOTHER ROUNDWhat a beautiful, beautiful ride
Event Horizon - Revisiting the sci-fi horror cult classic
TRENDINGEVENT HORIZONRevisiting the sci-fi horror cult classic
xXx: Return Of Xander Cage - The good, the bad and the ugly
TRENDINGxXx: RETURN OF XANDER CAGEThe good, the bad and the ugly
© 2011 - 2021 midnightproductions
All rights reserved

Support SWITCH | Disclaimer | Contact Us!