6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on December 2, 1998
This film contains most of the elements of a wonderfully old fashion horror movie: the beautiful, tragic young couple facing an incurable illness; the mad old woman in the ruined old castle; the family skeleton in the closet; the drunken doctor; wonderfully fake monsters; a remote island setting; the delightfully dishonest innkeeper: so where did it go wrong? The editing was haphazard. There were glaring inconsistancies in the storyline. Sometimes there were hints that led nowhere. Other times things happened that made you sure you had miss an important part of the movie. There are flashbacks but they occur so quickly the only way I was able to tell they contained actual pictures and aren't just blurs representing the confusion and weakness of John's illness was to watch them in slow motion. Roy Dupuis and Kristin Lehman made the viewer care about what happened to John and Kathy Strauss. During their search for the secret of John's past they meet a number of interesting residents of the island. Sadly most of these characters never develop. Rutgar Hauer as the doctor is actually a more minor character than his billing lead me to expect. This film is not the movie it could have been, still I enjoyed it well enough to rewatch it and try of figure out the parts where I had been left with the feeling I'd missed something.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on September 9, 2012
For such a slow-paced opening (and middle), I really enjoyed the story of this oft-forgotten B-release. The plot, though not perfectly consistent--what horror is, right?--really interested me and I gave a damn about the main characters. Throw in some stumpy, mutant, photosensitive Morlocks that can make you smile and you have a real winner with some fun flavor. This is an "A+" of a B-movie.
Wait! B-horror that comes with a history lesson? Yes, please! In 1652 the King of Holland forbade intermarriage within aristocratic families when doctors discovered hemophilia and other genetic defects in the royal family. [End history lesson.]
Eva Van Daam (Gillian Ferrabee; Secret Window), a true narcissist, chose to lay with her twin brother (also played by Gillian Ferrabee), the closest second to making love to herself. After the king's decree against incest, she moved her family to the New World where, presumably, they could continue their sibling-kissing ways behind closed doors and they disappeared in history in some Atlantic island community.
Cutting to present day, we meet a very pale, awkwardly European-looking John Strauss (Roy Dupuis; Screamers). He is weak--noted by his heavy-handedness on his cane--has strange visions during seizures, and is a hemophiliac tended lovingly by his much healthier and more attractive wife Kathleen (Kristin Lehman; The Chronicles of Riddick). After a life-threatening nose bleed--referred to as blood poisoning--we quickly meet this Atlantic village's only doctor, Dr. Marlowe (Rutger Hauer; The Rite, Hobo with a Shotgun).
We learn that John was born on the island but raised in Paris since he was an infant, funded on some manner of anonymous/secret trust fund which the bank traced back to the Atlantic village. During their origin-sleuthing expedition, John and Kathleen stay in the town's only hotel, which doubles as a funeral home. Charming, right? Dr. Marlowe turns out to be on the island investigating something himself, and his path soon converges with John's investigation.
John's visions become more frequent, he develops a hunger unremedied by food and has no explanation for having these strange "urges." Some interesting discoveries suggest that John may actually be a Van Daam, even though he is 33 and the last of the family died off 75 years ago in a terrible fire at their estate. Hmmmm?
When we finally meet our monsters the scenes feel, well, "fun." Someone gets dragged to their doom, as usual, but something about it made me smile. From here it's all stumpy, disproportioned, hermaphroditic mutants and, to the delight of horror fans, they're breaking the rules when choosing their victems with no discretion between a witch of a crotchety woman and a sweet old lady in a wheelchair, a sweet young lady trying to escape her abusive mother, and yes, innocent children!
What to watch for: 1) John finds the cure for his incurable disease. Not exactly turning to Eastern Medicine when hospitals failed him, he eats a dead fetus that's been soaking in formaldehyde for years. Afterwards he has the confidence of an athlete from one of the early 1990s Wheaties ads. 2) The "Bleeders" are all legless hermaphrodites. So, essentially, when they move by tripod-ing their arms and "lower body" stumps they are basically slamming and dragging their genitals across the rocky floor of their catacomb homes. Ouch! 3) John is reunited with his long-separated twin sister (the THIRD acting credit for Gillian Ferrabee in this film, by the way) that he never knew existed. To provide an exact narrative quote from the movie: "And although his sister could make love to herself, she welcomed her long lost brother and loved him, too." I appreciate when they came ad some sincere romance to a B-horror flick. Don't you? 4) Realizing that Gillian Ferrabee plays three different small roles as incestuous members of the Van Daam family! I guess the director was trying to ride the coattails of The Nutty Professor (1996) which came out one year earlier with Eddie Murphy playing seven characters.
Director Peter Svatek had done nothing major prior to Bleeders (not that Bleeders is by any means major), nor after, and I can only add Witchboard III: The Possession (1995) to his horror credits. That said, I was quite pleased with this flick and shocked that such an inexperienced director could generate this product. It absolutely could have been better. But it's worth a watch just the way it is.
ALTERNATE TITLE: This was also released as The Descendent with a very non-horror-looking DVD cover. One may mistake it for a drama at a glance...but far from it. Yet another title, Hemoglobin, appeared to be a medical thriller of sorts. Again, quite far off. The present cover is most blatant and, while it gives away the appearance of the monsters, does that really ruin the movie for anyone?
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on April 4, 2007
I was very intrigued by this movie from start to finish. It was a very different movie for it's genre. It is a story about a orphan, in his adult life, having a major blood disease trying to find his family to get some medical history. He just doesn't know who his family is or where they are. He is drawn to an island that he has never been to before and finds his family. It sounds like a nice "run of the mill" type of movie. But it is anything but a "run of the mill" type of movie. In search of his family, he gets more than he bargains for. Roy Dupuis is a great actor in this role and does give the audience some "nice views". I highly recommend this movie to anyone that loves zombie and mutant movies.
on October 18, 2001
Writer Dan O'Bannon (Alien, Dead & Buried) has lately turned to B-movies, as this one or the superior "Screamers" show. Also a fan of H.P. Lovecraft's narrative (he directed "The resurrected", based on a Lovecraft tale), he co-writes this Canadian horror movie which is slightly based on another Lovecraft tale.
The film is cheap, yes, and there are no big names in the box (well, except Rutger Hauer), but it has the charm that only B-movies have, together with some gore and unconventional features which will scare the more conventional viewers. Hey, this is not for children!
So it is appealing to B-movie lovers and Lovecraft fans, but the low budget ultimately becomes a problem: while the first half of the film benefits from the slow pace and the acceptable suspense, once the mystery becomes evident and the special effects department becomes the main attractive, the film looses interest, and the poor climatic sequences are too short and poorly directed (I guess they tried to hide how few money they had) to be climatic at all.
With more lenght and money, "Bleeders" would have become a little classic. As it is, well, at least is funny and unconventional, because I honestly believe you cannot made such an unpleasant and disgusting movie if that is not your purpose from the very beginning.
on March 16, 2004
This movie has everything horror film fans are looking for! It's scary, gory and it has beautiful women in it! When a couple come to a remote island off the coast of Maine to find his family, they soon find out that the town has few secrets burried under the cemetary. Centuries earlier a family of rich Dutch people called the VanDams lived there. Being inbreads,their mansion was set aflame by the townsfolk. But some Vandams escaped into the tunnels beneath the island. Years later they still live there and survive by eating the corpses from the cemetary. Once their food source is taken away after the cemetary is dug up, they become desprate for food and start feeding on those unlucky enough to be out at night. Soon they are discovered and are found to be very sensitive to light. The townsfolk gather at the lighthouse where they hold up with guns through the storm and try to fight them off. The best scene is where the island's mortician, Alice climbs down into a grave to steal a necklace (for the best of intentions) and a Vandam pops out from underneath the coffin, digs sharpened hammers and spikes into her calves and pulls her into the caves. I give this movie an A+!
on July 25, 2000
I originally bought because of Roy Dupuis. This is by far one of the oddest movies I've ever seen. I wish more time had been spent on John and 'Urs the Nurse' (an inside joke a friend and I came up with knowing that Kristen Lehman had previous been on 'Forever Knight' portraying Urs a vampire).
This movie in fact inspired a group of Roy's fans to nickname him 'Vampire King' because this movie seems to be about an odd vampire-ish type of guy. Had the writer and director tried a more traditional vampire tale instead of focusing on the legless freak aspect, it may have been a better movie.
However, as many have already mentioned, this is pure b-movie fodder.
It's no 'Interview with the Vampire' or 'La Femme Nikita', but it you like Canadian productions and Roy Dupuis, it may be one to add to your shelf.
on January 9, 2010
The review from Amazon is perfect! What more can be said about this film. I'll add my two cents anyway because I love this flick!
This film has great make-up effects!!! The mutant family of underground dwellers is crazy! 'BLEEDERS' is one of those 90's horrors that was (still is), a pleasant surprise for me. Its the kind of film you'd think came from Full Moon Entertainment, sort of. The acting, special effects, and location are perfect, in my opinion. One of the nastiest things about this flick is what this mutated family eat!!! Anytime I get a nose bleed, I think of 'BLEEDERS'. For fans of low-budget creature flicks, this is a must own!!!
on March 16, 2009
This is a B movie that had the potential to rise above its place in the genre, but didn't quite make it. It's a blend of contemporary horror and gothic darkness. Despite its faults--some moderately bad acting by secondaries, some clumsy dialogue and a few glaring continuity errors, it's very watchable. As long as you don't mind nudity, incest, and cannibalism. Roy Dupuis and Kristin Lehman save it from being pure shlock. It also has going for it a very beautiful, moody musical score that deserves its own CD.