Jun 8, 2011
When it comes to the Nazis, Hollywood and the mainstream media have left no area uncovered in regards to the pure, unadulterated, and indisputably evil character of Germany from 1933-1945. According to mainstream sources, the Nazis were homophobic yet homosexual, anti-Semitic yet Jewish, and Christian fundamentalists yet neo-Pagans. Chances are, if you have something that means a lot to you in your life and/or your character, Hollywood has portrayed the Nazis destroying and persecuting it. Out of all the criticisms libeled against the Nazis, probably the most ludicrous and bottom-feeding is that they practiced black magic and obtained absolute power via the black arts. Of course, some members of the National Socialist leadership did dabble in the Occult and many held anti-Christian sentiments, but these esoteric studies were more of inspirational tools than a means to obtain otherworldly supernatural powers. When I discovered Joel Schumacher's Blood Creek (2009) – a film about the supposedly sinister SS occult forces of the Third Reich – I was naturally reluctant. After all, every Hollywood film (for example: Raiders of the Lost Ark, Hellboy, etc.) that features Nazi occultism tends to be quite silly and ultimately lowbrow (yet sometimes effective) propaganda, thus, it is no surprise that Blood Creek proved to be no exception. Thankfully, Blood Creek was not packed with the ancient Judaic folklore that resonated throughout the prematurely born flick The Unborn (2009); a film whose undeserved popularity unfortunately eclipsed Schumacher’s superior flick Blood Creek (which was also released the same year). At worst, Blood Creek is a decent way to fantasize about Nazi occultism being alive and well in the good ol’ US of A during a boring Tuesday night.
When it comes to reality, proto-Nazi and Nazi occultism more resembled a scene out of The Wicker Man (1973) or the artwork of German folk artist Fidus than something you would see in Steven Spielberg's typically overrated film Raiders of the Last Ark (1981). Völkisch renaissance fairs, ancestor worship, and a Blood / Soil ideology could be seen throughout Germany during the relatively short time that the Third Reich lasted, but black magic spells and the sardonic sort of Nazi occult scenarios portrayed in Hollywood films lay in the realm of pure fantasy. In the film Blood Creek, a Nazi professor named Richard Wirth (played by the devilishly suave German-Irish actor Michael Fassbender) – a name probably derived from Richard Walther Darré; one of the leading “Blood and Soil” ideologists of Nazi Germany and Herman Wirth; the Dutch-German historian/scholar of ancient religions who was the leader of the Ahnenerbe; a quasi-occult Nazi think-tank – arrives at the German-American Wollner family's farmstead in West Virginia (no doubt a scary "no go zone" for Hollywood types). Little does the family know that Wirth is really a völkisch occultist who is solely interested in the ancient Viking runes of his ancestors that just happen to be located on their rural farm. After becoming acquainted with the runes he blatantly lusts after, Wirth begins his transformation into a grotesque Aryan Übermensch of demonic proportions. After introducing Wirth, the film jumps to present and introduces the film’s protagonist, Evan Marshall, an EMT who is haunted by the mysterious disappearance of his war veteran brother Victor; a family tragedy that happened during a camping trip in West Virginia a couple years earlier. When Victor finally appears (initially resembling Jim Morrison during his final years when he sported longhair and a full beard), he demands that his brother Evan go with him on a trip with no questions asked. From there, the film turns into a deranged mix between The Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake (2003) and Shockwaves (1977) with aesthetic qualities echoing back to Schumacher's previous film The Number 23 (2007). It has been 70+ years since Wirth’s initial appearance on the Wollner farm yet the West Virginian family has barely aged. It is revealed that Victor was held hostage by the farm family and used as fresh Aryan meat for Richard Wirth’s ancient Aryan blood transformation. Some have wrongly described Blood Creek as another Nazi Zombie flick, but aside from Wirth’s grotesque appearance, it is nothing of the sort. Instead of being a brain-dead-rotted-meat-head mute typical of your conventional zombie flick, rune-master Wirth is a hyper-conscious Luciferian-being whose ultimate goal is to obtain a third-eye in the center of his large Nordic forehead. As far as intelligent and thoughtful material goes, Blood Creek is an artlessly shallow pool of blood diluted philistine drool, but, as entertainment, the film makes for an entertaining ride into post-World War II Nazi purgatory where the Teutonic occult spirit is still very much alive, but hidden amongst nighttime shadows. Of course, in real-life, present day Nazi occultism has taken the form of writings by deceased esoteric Hitlerites like Greek Hindu Savitri Devi and former Chilean diplomat Miguel Serrano, therefore, Blood Creek is ultimately a work of total fiction with not even the slightest inkling of truth.
If you listen to the audio commentary given by Joel Schumacher on the Blood Creek DVD, he ignorantly cites the book The Spear of Destiny by Trevor Ravenscroft – a dubious work on Nazi Occultism (that alleges that Hitler started World War II to obtain the spear that pierced Jesus Christ) that has been debunked many times as a sensational fiction – as a major influence during his direction of Blood Creek. Although the film is nowhere near as entertaining as Schumacher’s self-proclaimed masterpiece The Lost Boys (1987), Blood Creek does feature auteur themes typical of the director’s previous work. The gashes and cuts inflicted on Wirth’s male victims and the cruel way the whippings are executed evoke the same sort of homo-sadomasochistic eroticism that is customary of a Joel Schumacher film. Also, like The Lost Boys, the film’s female lead (who blurs the line between protagonist and antagonist) conspires (like an unwilling whore of Satan) with the ghoulish antagonist, but ultimately saves face (although inevitably losing her virginal face and beauty) as the film progresses. Unfortunately, unlike The Lost Boys, Blood Creek features a score that is, at best, nothing short of forgettable. Blood Creek also ends in an abrupt manner that provides evidence for a possible (but unnecessary) sequel. One of the things I found most striking about the film was the contrast between the present and past. During the beginning the film (set in 1936), times are much simpler and more wholesome (despite Schumacher’s dramatic portrayal of farm animal slaughtering), but in the present (2007) rural white folks are completely out of their mind and on crystal meth, as if the Nazis destroyed all hope for whites in the future. Of course, it was really the defeat of Nazi Germany that confirmed the death of the Occident (whether one wants to admit this or not). If one thing is certain about the foreseeable future, it is that Hollywood and their international admirers (Dead Snow is a great example of the Americanization of European cinema) will continue to pump out more sensational anti-Nazi propaganda films. At best, films like Blood Creek are examples of anti-Nazi propaganda at the most crudest level, but sometimes they make for passable multi-million dollar trash entertainment.
Posted by Soiled Sinema at 2:50 AM
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