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Reed Alexander’s Horror Review of ‘Blood Vessel’ (2019)

Big Trouble on a Little Vessel…

A Russian, an Aussie, a Brit, and an American, bord a ship… Idontfuckingknow, maybe don’t start your movie like a bad bar joke? It doesn’t even make any god damn sense. On what ship, would American, Russian, and Aussie soldiers be together with British Intelligence? It’s a small complaint, and really, the movie was pretty good, so it was also a complaint that I can forgive. It just annoyed me for some reason.

But, it did make for a motley cast with some interesting characters. I guess the point was so that the characters weren’t all ‘cut and paste,’ jingoist American soldiers. There’s more on this I’ll complain about in the spoilers, but suffice to say, it both worked and didn’t work for reasons that would only matter to a history nut.

But since we’re talking about the characters, the acting was good and the dialogue natural. It was better than one could hope for on a low-budget indie exclusive to Shudder (1/15/21). To be frank, it was good for horror and that’s an impressive feat each of these actors can be proud of.

Another thing I have to give this movie credit for; the use of the set, atmosphere, and cinematography was very intelligent. They make a small Nazi frigate feel like the damn cruise ship from Ghost Ship (2002) and that really goes a long way to set the mood. While everything is cramped and claustrophobic, it almost feels like there are miles of cramped tunnels that the cast desperately navigate.

If I had to complain about anything, it’s that the monsters of this creature feature look kinda silly, and their level of threat is never consistent. We’ll get back to that in the spoilers as well.

Overall, I can easily recommend this movie to Horror Heads. It’s dark and fun and fairly fast-paced, so give it a shot.


I have to fault this movie for ‘Black Man Dies First.’ Yes, technically the Captain dies first, but he’s completely undeveloped and doesn’t get more than two minutes of screen time. What pisses me off about the fact that they killed the Black Guy first, is that they made a significant point to develop him, only to kill him off before the rest of the cast. Hell, he’s better developed than the rest of the cast, then BAM, fucking dead. The actor deserved more screen time, the character deserved more screen time, and frankly, this trope is just tired and fucking racist. DO BETTER!

The cowardly British Intelligence character also was kinda pointless. First off… British intelligence was fucking hardcore. He’d be the toughest guy on that ship, not some wheezily coward. British intelligence trained American intelligence during the Second World War and they were no one to fuck with. And they didn’t even do anything with ‘the coward’ trope. The whole point of ‘the coward’ is to sell out the rest of the characters at a pivotal moment, and they just didn’t bother. Another character does that. Instead, this guy literally contacts the Nazis to turn himself in for protection, but then nothing comes of it. It never even comes back up.

The lead vampire looks kinda dumb… Listen, I DEEPLY DIG the fact that the vampires are hideously deformed creatures. Monsterous Vampires are my jam, but the big pointy bat ears were just fucking silly. The fucking head vampire looks like Batman’s ‘Man-Bat.” It was occasionally difficult to take seriously.

My last major complaint is the threat level the vampires present. The small child vampire tosses one character clear across a room, at one point. Hell, it takes holey water and a flaregun to temporarily take the main vampire out of action. So why the fuck was it so easy to kill all the other vampires? At one point, the last two dudes fight a room with four fucking vampires and they fucking wreck them. No holy water, no crosses and relics, just a wrench and an ax against four vampires. It doesn’t make any sense.

But I still consider this movie worth it. I was firmly entertained the whole time and honestly, that’s all that matters. Give it a shot.

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