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Stranded: Sickle's Take on "Blood Vessel"

Blood Vessel follows a ragtag crew of Allied survivors stranded on the open sea after their civilian ship is sunk during WWII. After coming upon a seemingly abandoned Nazi vessel, the group thinks they just may have lucked out, but the cargo within the ship's depths holds the sinister secret as to the fate of the original crew.

Blood Vessel Review

I could tell from the opening scene not only the level of quality to expect, but also the general method used through the level of quality. As far as low budget horror films go, this particular style immediately distances me. And as a reviewer, I should be better at articulating my issues with the style, but as I have no formal training in cinema production, I can't pinpoint the exact variables I have an issue with, which are likely on the technical side. Yet, I can do my best to convey the gist of how it looks to me.

It feels like Hallmark Channel original. It has this haze on the experience that feels like it's being recorded through a slightly-less fuzzy soap opera lens. On top of that, heavy, fake fog is perhaps the only trope from the 80s I wish would vanish into oblivion. Add in some below average acting and some predictable dialogue involving heavy-handed "your culture differs from mine so I don't like you" quarrelling, and you pretty much have the perfect storm of what I consider default bad.

Yet...I rather enjoyed this movie. The authentic and detailed take on the vampire mythos was refreshing, along with bringing back some very old cinematic elements of the infamous movie monster. On top of that, we get some fun practical effects as we warm up to the acting of the remaining survivors. The cinematic elements that generally bother me weren't as noticeable as I dove further into the film, perhaps with the low light and tight-knit quarters neutralizing some of the inadequacies that are normally in full display.

While I did appreciate the practical effects of the vampires and the ancient mythos approach, I'm also not a big vampire guy. Just like there are cat people and dog people, there are vampire people and werewolf people. Despite my love for cats and dogs – I mean vampires and werewolves...if somebody put a gun to my head, I'd have to go with werewolves. That is, of course, due in large part to the practical effects and body horror generally associated with werewolves. Sometimes vampires scratch this itch, and this film does to some extent, but the ancient vampire mythos also packs a lot of that ambiguous mind control and other pseudo-gothic wizardry that I have a hard time getting behind. This is, of course, entirely personal preference. If you like a monstery, Romanian vampires, this film is for you.

I've got to point out just how awesome the double entendre within the title of the movie is. Blood Vessel? Are you kidding me? This is the kind of movie that deserves to be made just on the pitch alone..."Okay, we've got this idea...An ancient vampire takes over a Nazi ship and we call it...Blood Vessel." BOOM. Sign off on that movie!

Horror Rating System

Horror Qualifier: 9/10

Horror Quality: 6/10 Film Quality: 6/10

#bloodvessel #hallmark #WWII #vampires

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