Hemoglobin

Also known as Bleeders
Also known as The Descendant
In English (1997)

Hemoglobin is not a vampire movie or a slasher flick. There are no chainsaws, and it doesn't feature a serial killer in a mask. I could tell that they were really trying for a thought-provoking horror movie; there was actual cohesive writing with symbolism and humor, along with a fairly heavy-duty plot. And most of the acting is actually pretty good.

Roy Dupuis plays John Strauss, a young man dying of a mysterious genetic disorder. Supposedly orphaned as an infant, he and his wife come to New England to find his roots, hoping to discover the source of his illness and treat it before he dies. (They, of course, should have left well enough alone.)

Rutger Hauer, a personal B-movie favorite of mine because of his Oscar-worthy performance in the classic sci-fi movie Blade Runner, plays an alcoholic doctor who is pretty much the hero of the piece. Rutger could have phoned this one in. His character initially had promise, but all he got was the bland action hero stuff while Roy's character descended into darkness.

Roy clearly got the meaty part, pun intended, and he was convincingly creepy as well as sympathetic: we really want John to figure it out and overcome his illness. Roy was made up as extremely pale and ill, and he wore one blue and one brown contact lens – so no gorgeous green eyes, Roy fans. There is one bright spot: a seriously R-rated love scene, with nudity. No, not full-frontal, but still fun... although I think it goes on a bit too long. If that's possible.

There are disturbing themes and images in this movie. Incestuous inbreeding to the point of monstrosity? Chomping on formaldehyde-preserved dead bodies? Gag me with a spoon. The scenes with people being hit with flails and dragged down into holes are definitely scary. The creatures are unconvincing, though, and the movie's real weak spot. I think they should have gone with something a little more real and closer to human. Some of the supporting actors could have been better, too. And I think they missed a cool plot point. Most of the men were out fishing during most of the action. What if, when they returned, we discovered that most of them had that blue/brown eye mutation?

Hemoglobin is not the worst movie I've ever seen. It is definitely not boring, and has some good points. Considering my current level of Roy-obsession, I'm not sorry I saw it. But on a scale of one to ten, it sucked.

One star,

Billie
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Billie Doux loves good television and spends way too much time writing about it.

3 comments:

Chase said...

Ha, I also thought that scene was a bit too long. I encountered a Spanish sync of the movie on youtube, and incidentally saw it (ok, thumbnail helped LOL). Too long, even for me. We are brats. :D
Another ha: I thought there was something odd about his face, and didn't even notice different eye colour. Well, his eyes do change colour due to lighting, so I wasn't suspicious.
I have seen the monsters and some other bloody parts, and I'm positively scared and somehow disgusted. What the hell is he doing in front of that mirror? It looks like he's eating something?
Btw, I love your reviews, esp. La femme Nikita ones.
Are you going to review some of the newer film Roy did?
Love,
Chase

Billie Doux said...

Hi, Chase: Thanks so much for your comment. I stopped reviewing Roy Dupuis's movies a few years ago. I think I just reached a stopping point. It happens.

Chase said...

Yea, I understand you. :)