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INFOBOX

Bleeders / Hemoglobin

Director:

Peter Svatek

Screenplay

Charles Adair, Dan O'Bannon

Producers

Pieter Kroonenburg, Julie Allan

Budget

8 M

Locations

Grand Manan Island, New Brunswick, Canada

Language

English

Cast

Roy Dupuis (John Strauss); Kristin Lehman (Kathleen Strauss); John Harol Cail (Ferryman); Rutger Hauer (Dr. Marlowe)

Distributor

 

Genre

Sci-Fi

Duration

94 minutes – (89 minutes USA version)

Release Date

July 31st ,1997

 

 

 

 

Roy plays John Strauss, a man with an unknown blood disorder who has returned with his wife to his ancestors home hoping to find some answers to the cause of his illness.

 

All inquiries into John's family seem to come up blank, no-one has heard of the Strauss family. A visit to the local Dr (Rutger Hauer) however, reveals something that points to John being a Van Damme. Eva Van Damme and her twin brother came to the island about 300 years ago to escape the new laws in Holland that forbade inter family relations. Unfortunately for John it would appear that all the Van Dammes were killed in a fire over 75 years ago.

 

Dr Marlow suggests that the young couple visit the Nurse of the previous Dr who may be able to help them.

 

The Nurse tells John the story about how the house burnt down and she & the Dr saved him and sent him away. She gives him a present - a rather bizarre looking contraption that was attached to his hand as a baby, which is how he ended up with the scars. She asks him if he has cravings & when he tells her he does but he doesn't know what for, she tells them to leave.

 

John is not happy with her version of events, because the fire was 75 yrs ago & he is not 75. She then takes them into the house and tells him that not all of the VD died in the fire, that they escaped into the tunnels below the island. She says that they (her & the Dr) sent him away because he was normal and the other VD's were afraid of him. John asks again about the cravings but she won’t tell, saying its their secret. Just at that point one of the VD's appears & kills the nurse. Its a rather hideous looking little creature, the best way I can describe these monstrous little things is like little stumps with arms.

 

As John & Kathleen leave the VD mansion a storm is brewing. When they get to the Dr's John is in a pretty bad state. Dr Marlow tells him he knows what he needs to stay alive (having performed an autopsy on one of the VD brought to him by a fisherman who accidentally killed it with the motor on his boat). What keeps them alive is embalmed flesh and John has to eat the embryo.

 

The VD have started to encroach on the local population because as the local cemetery has been dug up their food source been has cut off.

 

There is then a show down between the VD's & the islanders. Kathleen gets dragged off into the tunnels & John goes after her. As she is busy being attacked by one of the VD's John appears with a dead boy in his arms. His appearance stops the VD from continuing its attack on Kathleen. He puts the boy down & tells Kathleen to go. Then he takes out the 'present' from the nurse and uses it to slash the boy and drink his blood. Kathleen pleads with him to come home with her, he refuses saying he is already home.

 

When I first watched this film, I wasn't a great fan of it, but I must admit that over the years I've become quite fond of it. It's definitely not something that grabs you straightaway, it's more of a grower.

 

NOTE: I viewed the UK/South American release Hemoglobin. I believe that the North American release, re-titled Bleeders, has some scenes cut -- most notably the kitchen scene :)

 

 

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