Now here's a weird case: An out-of-nowhere occult-heavy horror flick from director Joel Schuamcher (The Lost Boys, Flatliners), production company Gold Circle (Slither, White Noise), distributor Lionsgate (too many horror films to mention) -- that got a contractually-mandated afterthought of a theatrical release (25 theaters!) before popping up on the horror shelves, looking all slick and intriguing. (Say what you like about the film itself, but Blood Creek, previously known as Town Creek and also plain old Creek, does offer one bad-ass DVD cover.)
And what's Joel Schumacher, only a few years removed from The Number 23 and The Phantom of the Opera, doing in Romania making a low-budget horror flick about a satanic nazi vampire zombie-master?
I have no idea, nor am I sure A) who Gold Circle thought would go see this flick on a Friday night or B) why it (like so many other Lionsgate horror offerings lately) was tossed into a "shame" release and then all but forgotten about. What I do know is that, barring a few clumsy bouts of exposition and a general air of familiarity, Schumacher's Blood Creek is a perfectly passable horror-freak time-waster -- but only if you can pop it on to your TV with a minimum of extra effort. Slickly shot, intermittently creepy, and eventually kinda satisfying, sure, but there's no way Blood Creek is some sort of under-the-radar mini-masterpiece.
The basic gist of the plot is that Evan (Henry Cavill) must team up with his long-lost big brother Vic (Dominic Purcell) to rid a local farmhouse of a diabolically possessed family and their longtime houseguest: a satanic nazi vampire zombie-master. I'll leave the backstory to the Schumacher's noir-ish flashbacks (and while we're at it let's leave the character development to a handful of clumsy early scenes) and cut right to the meat of the matter: Once Blood Creek gets down to business, it's sort of a "isolated house siege" horror film, not unlike the settings found in Night of the Living Dead and The Evil Dead. Only instead of combating corpses or demons, our heroes (and that family of possessed kooks, don't forget) must fight off maniacal horses, re-animated hayseeds, and (all together now) a satanic nazi vampire zombie-master.
Points to Schumacher for including just enough characters to serve as body count fodder, and high marks indeed to the soon-to-be-classic sequence in which a bloodthirsty horse tears apart a kitchen while getting shot to pieces.
And just when things can't get much weirder, up pops the always-welcome Shea Whigam as a monster victim who suffers all sorts of horrific fates. Horror-wise, Blood Creek's villain (Michael Fassbender as a deformed immortal nazi known as Wirth) feels a bit like a Cenobite who got his own spin-off flick, but (to be fair) this bad guy does keep the carnage coming at a brisk clip. And he's remarkably persistent.
Clearly the victim of some last-minute (or plain old sloppy) editing, Blood Creek asks you to wander through some dry material and clumsy storytelling before it finally gets down to sticking all its characters into a house with a crazy monster outside. Still, there's something to be said for slickly-calculated (if basic) scares, a slightly unique villain, and just enough style to make something so basic look relatively new.