Monday, March 5, 2012

Blood Hook

Blood Hook (1986)

Dir: Jim Mallon (Mystery Science Theater 3000)

IMDB: 3.6 out of 10

Ah yes Troma, A company I have grown to love ever since an early age I have been a fan of "Bad" cinema and no company stood out in that genre more so than Troma as a child. Of course films like The Toxic Avenger and Class of Nuke em' High turned me onto this company and  the popularity and promotion behind those flicks had much to do with that but after seeing those films as a child I quickly would begin to hunt down anything I could find in my local video store with the Troma label. Films like Sgt.Kabukiman N.Y.P.D. , Surf Nazi's Must Die and this little treasure Blood Hook were among the first that I tracked down in the aisles of the small local rental shop near my house as a child. I recall liking this film as a young'n and years later I have tracked it down to see if it still holds up to the level of greatness I once viewed it as. So here it is people Blood Hook!

         In the small fishing town of  Hayward, Wisconsin we see young Peter Van Clease watching his grandfather fishing when a strange noise comes from the distance and Grandpa Van Clease is pulled into the lake never to be seen again. 17 years later Peter and a group of his friends return to the small town for their annual "Muskie Madness" Festival. This event apparently is the only thing that attracts any kind of traffic to the tiny town as we see a family making their way to the festivities as well to get away from the rush of city life.As Peter and pals arrive at his grandfather's old property we meet Old man Duerst and his oddball son Evelyn who believes he was in the Vietnam war and goes on about vibrations and secret government brainwashing tactics right off the bat. It is made clear from the get that Old Man Duerst does not care for the city slickers and their loud music and crazy lifestyles , and upon learning that peter plans on taking over the property he quits as the groundskeeper.As the festivities begin we see the Swain family enjoying dinner when the wife reveals she is not a fan of the place and plans on leaving her family to go stay with her sister. Unfortunately for her she does not make it as Peter witnesses her being pulled into the lake by a giant fishing lure. Not sure he saw what he thinks he did , believing it was a bit of a flashback he says nothing about it.

Later as the Muskie Competition goes on we learn that local fisherman Denny is rigging the game by catching fish that he has raised himself to be huge and Old man Duerst finds this out and foils his plans by dumping the fish in the river. The following day Peter's friend Rodney catches the heavy fish and gains first place early in the game. Another of Peters friend Finner takes a liking to one of the camp workers named Beverly D and as they begin to get to know each other by taking a jog, Rodney is back out on the lake fishing when he gets snagged by the giant lure.Peter and his girlfriend Ann are notified of the missing person and they investigate Rodney's boat. Peter finds some ammo which leads him to believe it was Evelyn responsible for Rodney's disappearance.Upon investigation it is discovered that Evelyn's gun is actually just a wooden replica and his entire story of being a veteran is all in his oddball head. The Sheriff files Rodney's disappearance as a missing person and refuses to investigate further in order to not disrupt the big festival going on and scaring the tourists off during this big season for them.

Upset by the disappearance of Rodney, Valley Girl pal Kiersta decides to go out and take a swim to relax. We see Strange Old man Duerst fishing nearby with the same notorious big lure as the killers weapon of choice. While she drifts on a raft further into the lake she is snagged and drug into the water. After Peter and Ann realize yet another one of their friends has gone missing they begin to put pieces together and start pointing blame towards their friend Finner claiming he is mentally unstable. The Swain father gets himself stranded on his boat in the lake and while sounding his horn for help gets hooked in the gut for his troubles. Elsewhere Bev is having second thoughts about her love life and heads out for a late night swim , But not before Finner finds Bev in the arms of her ex husband Evelyn, This of course upsets him and he sets off into the lake to collect his thoughts. This  leads to her getting hooked in the back  , after she manages to free herself she is finally taken out with a strike to the head by an ore.The next day at the competition Denny is caught  cheating when the Swain son reveals he is loading his catches with metal to get their weight up. When the kids realize their parents have been missing for awhile now they head out to look for their parents. The kids join Peter , Evelyn and Ann now as they go hunting for all their missing party members.

Upset Finner is docked by a local Bait shop owned by town old timer Leroy and is drinking and playing loud music, This sends the old man into a frenzy and the killer is revealed when Finner gets hooked in the face by Leroy and looses an ear. After a struggle Finner is captured and strung up before getting drug into the bait shop where we see that Leroy is making his famous bait out of the human remains of his victims.Shortly after, Finner's boat is found by Peter and the gang and his ear is found in the boat. Now believing Leroy is the man responsible Peter alerts the Sheriff who refuses to buy into the story and demands some solid proof.  Evelyn and Peter discuss frequencies and it reminds Peter of some strange noises he heard before his grandfathers disappearance years ago. As the two go further into the theory they decide to pay Leroy a visit. Upon arriving at his shop they find the bait made of guts and remains. While the guys are investigating , Ann is back at their cabin listening to music and meditating when she gets snagged by Leroy but manages to get away for a brief second but eventually is caught and taken back to his shop to be killed.

Now with some hard evidence to back up their claims, Peter convinces Old man Duerst of their claims and  Duerst ,Peter and Evelyn come up with a plan to lure Leroy out with music to capture him and kill  him . Peter agrees to be the bait but he freezes up and blows the opportunity. The following morning at the competition Old man Duerst pulls a shotgun on Leroy in front of the crowd which gets the attention of the town Sheriff who still has his doubts of the claims, Until Kiersta resurfaces and backs up the accusations. Peter decides he wants to get the perfect revenge for his grandfather by using his own hook to kill the mad man. Old man Duerst trains him on how to cast accurately and Peter sets out to get Leroy. Leroy and Peter have a odd fishing hook duel in which Peter is snagged in the gut but manages to catch Leroy's neck before he makes his escape. In the morning Peter, Ann and Kiersta decide to leave town and now with all the proof he needs the Sheriff asks for Duerst's help in capturing Leroy who is wounded badly. The films closes with the two heading out into the nearby woods and we do not ever see if Leroy is caught or not.

Before I tear into this film one thing needs to be noted, The film was created by one of the minds behind Mystery Science Theater 3000 , years before that show was created. So that makes it pretty obvious this film was made with the intent of being cheesy and comedic. Not a film to be taken seriously at all, Now with that said this flick is just kinda bland. Some of the characters are rather funny and there are some hilarious moments here and there but the film in general is just kinda boring. I feel if the film would have perhaps went maybe a bit more over the top with the humor and made it borderline slapstick it would have made the film actually more appealing, which is strange because I never feel that a movie could benefit from such tactics but, if one film could I would have to say this is definitely the one special case. As far as the film itself it should have been called "Red Herring:The Movie" due to the multiple attempts  to trick the viewer into believing certain characters were behind the reel of the killer, I mean damn near everyone in the film is hinted at at one point or another.The fishing hook killer idea is funny and the weapon of choice is just ridiculous but this one lacks the absurdity and shock value I and many other fans of older Troma have grown to love and expect from this type of film. If you are a huge fan of Troma and are looking for a flick to just pass the time then this is not the worst you could find from them but it really is not that great either and again it is kinda forgettable in the end . There is no closure and I guess that is a poke at the popular Slasher genre but the ending is made so sudden and anti climactic that it just fizzles out in the long run.

Fun Factor:5
Overall: 4.5 out of 10

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