Kurt Loder Movie Reviews

Blood Glacier Isn't Total Crap; Zombeavers Is

Screaming death birds and undead aqua-rodents.


IFC Films

Movies that are so-so at worst are often dismissed by grumpy viewers as "crap." This is unfair—it's a slur on actual crap, which can offer many pleasures.

The new Austrian movie Blood Glacier isn't actual crap, actually–it looks pretty good, and its cast isn't entirely unacquainted with the craft of acting. But the movie's tolerance for cheap genre rips is high, and its aspirations cheerfully low. It's an old-school creature feature that seeks only to peel your nerves back and gross you out. It draws heavily on John Carpenter's The Thing, with a few Alien flourishes bolted on, and it does its job.

At a weather station high in the Tyrolean Alps, a group of researchers is fretting about the effects of global warming. The Alps are melting! Okay, that big deal about the Himalayas puddling away a few years back was a crock – but this is real! When a data transmitter farther up among the snowy crags fritzes out, the three scientists on hand dispatch their technician, a boozer named Janek (beardy Gerhard Liebmann), to investigate. What he finds upon arrival at the remote site is a huge slab of ice veined with red…stuff. Back at home base, the head scientist, in a classic explaining-it-all scene, explains that what we have here is an infestation of mysterious single-cell organisms whose purpose is to burrow into unsuspecting life forms and feast on their DNA. The result is hybrid creatures with bad dispositions and fierce clacking mandibles.

Director Marvin Kren wisely provides mostly glimpses of the mutant animals that soon begin to gather outside the weather station. There's a half-louse/half-fox combo, a monster mountain goat, and a blood-swollen mosquito the size of a cell phone. Also a snarling death bird that comes screaming down out of the sky to bury its pincers in a luckless girl's leg, and various close-ups of throbbing guts and alarming subcutaneous horrors. Not much that you haven't seen before in some form, but it's fun to see it again.

The movie has more characters than it really knows what to do with (a visiting governmental party arrives mainly to be picked off by the rampaging fauna). But the ending is priceless–a gooey plot twist that sets a new standard for sci-fi silliness. Nicely done.

Zombeavers is actual crap, as I think first-time feature director Jordan Rubin would happily agree. Rubin is a comedy writer who has churned out gags for Carson Daly, Craig Kilborn and Comedy Central. Now he has churned out Zombeavers, a riff on the old cabin-in-the-woods horror theme, and I'd guess he had a lot of fun doing it.

Briefly: One day a barrel of biohazard gunk rolls off a truck and down a bank into a river, where it bobbles away on the current, coming to rest at a beaver dam. The dam is located at the edge of a lake. The lake is fronted by a house in which six youths – three guys, three girls – are taking a little mini-break. Duly paired off, they indulge in all the usual squabbling and whining and carnal writhing that have become an iron-clad genre requirement. To focus our attention, which might otherwise wander, one girl removes her shirt for awhile.

Soon the kids decide to take a dip in the lake. Spotting the beaver dam, they swim over to check it out. It's splattered with bio-gunk, which–although the kids don't know this yet–has turned the resident aqua-rodents into bloodthirsty zombies. Pouring out of their dam, they go at the kids like ferocious paddle-tailed sharks. When one of the boys reaches underwater and pulls up his own chewed-off foot, the kids flee back to the house, where they think they'll be safe. The beavers, they laugh. Soon they're banging on doors and bashing in windows. And you know what has to happen to anyone who gets bitten by one of these furry demons, right? (It's actually pretty funny.)

The problem with one-joke movies like this is that the joke is all in the title. The picture has a professional gloss, and the little-known actors are sufficient to the minimal demands made on their talents. But the beavers are clearly puppets (or otherwise fabricated), and despite all the flesh-ripping they inflict, they fail to terrify on any visceral level. You might be best-advised to savor the title without paying to see the movie. In any case, Zombeavers hasn't acquired theatrical distribution yet. Keep an eye on your cable listings.

NEXT: What's the Cost of the Death Penalty?

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  1. Really? Because I loved Zombeavers

    No, actually The Independents gets interviewed by The Jacket and the intern monkeys have posted it on YouTube before here, so, rock on=


    1. oh, also = Kennedy says Kristin Cavallari was the best interviewee they ever had.

      1. Isn’t she the retard who was anti-vaccination because “she had read some stuff”?

        1. Yes.

          Which is why Kennedy says it was like the bestest interview ever… because it unintentionally ‘started a conversation’ about an issue they didn’t expect and blah blah blah.

          I don’t recall Kennedy exactly ‘challenging’ her on that particular point. Maybe I blocked the whole thing out because the tone of it was just ‘chicks talking about shoes’

          1. Kennedy did challenge her a bit, but I thought she had on kid gloves for it. Cavallari was so fucking “duh I’m doing this because I read some stuff and clearly didn’t think about it very hard” that she was begging to be destroyed, but I guess that’s not good for your TV show attendance if you do that. Still, it’s disappointing to see such off-the-cuff stupidity given a pass.

          2. I don’t recall Kennedy exactly ‘challenging’ her on that particular point.

            I think in general Kennedy has a different style then we are use to.

            She just gives em rope to hang themselves.

            Her Reason TV bits were like that as well.

            1. In addition to that, if she were as confrontational as we are here, no one would agree to be interviewed anymore.

              We are a special breed of asshole, so naturally we are always giving her shit about letting people off easy.

              1. Sorry, neither point cuts any ice with me.

                This ‘rope’ thing I fail to grasp – she’s not exactly a calm and detached queen of subtlety.

                She’s plenty ‘confrontational’ – see numerous examples of shrill, accusatory interview questions.

                We may be ‘dicks’ in comments, but I don’t think that in any way suggests how we’d prefer people be interviewed. Taking the communist as an example: dozens of people have posited ways to speak to that numbnuts which would have been an improvement on the pillow-fights they’ve had with him so far.

                Don’t even get me started on the latest thing with Wolfowitz. That guy’s a serious policy heavyweight, and he got treated to a very weak and shrill line of Qs that allowed him to ignore the interviewer and blather. Kmele barely saved the piece.

                I’m not saying she’s completely *awful*; just that the stated criticisms are legit. She’s great as a host I think (I like her more than some, apparently); she’s just not the best at interviews.

    2. Why is Nick wearing a shirt with the Aperture logo from the game Portal?

      Did he actually play the game?

      Why did we not get a review?

  2. I want Kurt Loder’s opinion of Bobcat Goldthwaite’s Shakes The Clown.

    1. You silent motherfuckers!

  3. Zombeavers.

    No Canadian girls involved? I am disappoint.

  4. Zombeavers?

    I was expecting something else.

    1. Take a gander at the trailer. Shit looks hilarious:


      1. “Oh noz a log is blocking the road.

        What should we do!??!”

        1. “We can’t get separated, that’s what the beavers would want!”

      2. Yep, looks like a riot.

      3. Hmmm. The shot of the blonde in a bikini with legs spread on the table while the snapping beaver approaches her crotch wins best scene.

        I nearly pissed myself laughing.

  5. Movies that are so-so at worst are often dismissed by grumpy viewers as “crap.” This is unfair?it’s a slur on actual crap, which can offer many pleasures.

    True. See Vampires vs. Zombies. Wonderfully awful.

  6. They should have used real Beavers, and turned them into actual zombies.

    1. Bad idea, man.

    2. And one of them would have got loose, and…

  7. Our old friend Katrina vanden Heuvel deepthroats the Kremlin for RT:


    I find it hard to believe this wasn’t written by Putin himself.

    1. “It may already be too late for the democratic debate the US elite owes our nation. If so, the costs to American democracy are already clear.”

      Sentences like this got circled in red and gigantic comment = “THIS SAYS NOTHING” by teachers in *high school*

      In college, the prof would hand it back to me and go, “Don’t insult me with this.”

      Its not like you can easily refer back to what is actually meant by ‘Democratic Debate’, or who the ‘US Elite’ *is*, or what the ‘clear costs’ are. If you try, you simply jump from one baseless rhetorical lilly-pad to another, always wondering why it seems every point is being *assumed*.

      She refers to “Putin’s “aggression”” in quotation marks…

      I’m not sure ‘intellectual dishonesty’ is sufficient to explain that.

      Is the annexation of Crimea and fostering a guerilla insurrection in East Ukraine somehow, ‘a measured response to events outside their control’?

      She alludes to Russia’s potential need to use force to address the ‘looming ukranian civil war’. She takes for granted that this ‘looming civil war’ has absolutely nothing to do with Russian policy to date’.

      This woman should be laughed out of professional journalism.

      1. Sentences like this got circled in red and gigantic comment = “THIS SAYS NOTHING” by teachers in *high school*

        These, not this: you quoted two sentences. :-p

    2. What network did you say she was propag…er,I mean, working for?

      1. The other cable channel that likes to have folks from reason on.

  8. one girl removes her shirt for awhile

    You’d think I’d get tired of seeing boobs. You’d think…

    1. You like seeing Chuch Schumer’s boobs?

    2. Do men ever get tired of seeing boobs? Like maybe when they are 90, maybe?

      Or is there like a dirty old man phase, where you stop liking boobs between 60 and 90, and and then you start liking them again?

    3. “You’d think I’d get tired of seeing boobs.”

      Why on earth would I think that?

      If I live to be 120, while I am lying on my deathbed with only a few gasps of breath left, I will want to see boobs.

      1. Boobs are clearly subject to inelastic demand. The internet provides an unending supply of boobs, yet demand for boobs is as high as ever.

  9. Grandma is concerned.

    Any attempt by Republicans to embarrass the Obama administration over the deadly September 11, 2012 attack in Benghazi, Libya, could backfire in the mid-term congressional elections, a Republican U.S. senator warned on Sunday.

    Some Republicans view the attack, in which militants killed four Americans at the U.S. mission in Benghazi including Ambassador Christopher Stevens, as a political liability that could hurt President Barack Obama’s Democrats in November.

    Although the issue may resonate with some voters, pushing it too hard is politically risky for Republicans, said Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, who is running for re-election this year.

    “C’mon, you guys, don’t be mean. He’s the President.”

    1. Why would you want to distract people’s attention from ObamaCare anyway?

  10. Unexpected

    Federal authorities raided again multiple Denver medical marijuana businesses in dramatic fashion Wednesday ? smashing doors, yanking out pot plants and cash, sawing safes open and driving the seized items away in U-Haul trucks.

    The four targets ? all linked to the VIP Cannabis dispensary or its operators ? were among the more than a dozen medical marijuana businesses that agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration and Internal Revenue Service first raided in November. While the earlier raids shuttered many of those businesses, the four raided Wednesday were notable for having reopened.

    Jeffrey Dorschner, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney’s office in Colorado, confirmed the new raids but did not explain what prompted them. Search warrants for the raids were sealed.

    “As this relates to a long-term ongoing criminal investigation, no additional information will be made available,” Dorschner said in a statement.

    But Obama said it was legal!

    1. And Feds’ behavior is different from mobsters denied their protection money, how?

  11. SCIENCE, bitches!

    Kids who have been bullied are nearly 1/3 more likely to bring a weapon to school than their peers who haven’t been bullied, according to research being presented today at the Pediatric Academic Societies annual meeting.

    That means that about 200,000 high school bully victims are bringing weapons to school, according to the research that analyzed data from a 2011 nationally representative survey of more than 15,000 U.S. high school students conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    “Tragedies like the Columbine High School massacre have alerted educators and the public to the grave potential for premeditated violence not just by bullies, but by their victims as well,” said researcher Dr. Andrew Adesman.

    It’s a slaughterhouse.

    1. Shocking news… people that have been attacked are more likely to carry weapons with which to defend themselves. Who would have thought?

    2. Kids who have been bullied are nearly 1/3 more likely to bring a weapon to school”

      Its cool how deft journalists are with ‘data’… like, how they can turn ‘estimates on attitudes among a small minority’ into “actual behaviors by hundreds of thousands of people”

      Its not like there’s any fundamental flaw with that line of reasoning.

      (bangs head against desk)

      There’s a vast yawning gulf between ‘stated views’ and behavior. Ask people’s “attitudes” about any number of things… then go measure what they *actually do*? and note that the 2 are almost entirely different topics. “Why people do things” and “why people SAY they do things” do not necessarily coincide as often as you might think.

      These assholes talk about the ‘potential for *premeditated violence*’… outside of any statistical measures of ACTUAL *premeditated violence* in schools today.

      and they call themselves ‘scientific’ while they play this little ‘survey-says!’ game.

  12. I also like how they leave open the definition of “weapon” while referring to Columbine, in order to allow us to assume every one of those victimized kids has a Bushmaster and a thousand rounds of ammo in his backpack.

    1. Also, Columbine was 15 years ago. So, it sort of undercuts the “THIS IS A CRISIS” narrative. Do they even realize that?

      1. Maybe the guy who killed all those preschoolers in Connecticut wasn’t crazy, he was just retaliating for being bullied…by the preschoolers. Ever think of that, smart guy?

  13. Isn’t this the prequel to Blood Beavers of the Bergschrund?

  14. Sometimes man you jsut have to roll with it.


  15. Wow. I guess it’s the Matlock marathon tonight. For real horror you can’t beat a waddling thick old Andy Griffin.

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