Blood Glacier and The Machine are currently available on instant Netflix.
Blood Glacier (2014) – Not rated
“After a glacier in the Alps leaks a mysterious red liquid, a group of scientists must defend themselves against hordes of biological monstrosities.”
The most egregious fault with Blood Glacier, and there are a lot of them, is that the dubbing is ridiculously poor. It was as though they grabbed some random people off the street and had them read a previously unseen script. This is mostly a problem because it makes Blood Glacier seem much worse than it is.
Blood Glacier is still a mess, a hodgepodge of environmental ideas and a rather liberal theft of John Carpenter’s The Thing. These things would normally cause me to dismiss this film but Blood Glacier does have some things going for it.
The natural setting is handled well though it seems as though the glacier would have melted much earlier given how warm it seems in various scenes. The practical effects are well-handled and very nice to see in this CGI age (not that there isn’t CGI here as well).
Overall Blood Glacier is just a misfire.
The Machine (2013) – Not rated
“During a cold war, Britain’s Ministry of Defence steals the first-ever self-aware cyborg and trains it to become a brutal fighting machine.”
Ah, at last. The Machine is one of those gems you search for and find after watching dozens of drecky, lesser efforts. The title is apt if a bit too non-descript. Caradog W. James wrote, directed, and executive produced this low-budget science fiction thriller that once again posits the dangers of artificial intelligence.
Caity Lotz carries the film as both a bright young scientist and the weapon she creates. If her name sounds familiar, it is because she currently plays Black Canary on Arrow. Toby Stephens is just fine as the head scientist, Vincent (and can currently be seen as Captain Flint on Black Sails). Denis Lawson is a suitably menacing bureaucrat in charge of the super soldier program.
The setting is mostly restricted to a single, rather plain, base. The movie is not particularly flashy and the action sequences are rather pedestrian. The script is quite good as is the story behind it and, at a bare hour and a half, the movie never overstays its welcome.
I highly recommend The Machine for any lovers of intelligent science fiction.