B-Movie Inspirations: Blood Creek
Blood Creek, previously known as Creek and Town Creek, is a horror film directed by the famous (and infamous) Joel Schumacher, starring Michael Fassbender, Dominic Purcell, and Henry Cavill. Where else are you going to get Magneto, Heat Wave and Superman in one movie. Written by David Kajganich, the film apparently had a limited theatrical release in 2009. I came across it in my streaming options, and it was highly recommended by a friends. Dominic Purcell and Henry Cavill play brothers on a mission of revenge who become trapped in a harrowing occult experiment dating back to the Third Reich. Yes, Nazis, Occult and Zombies in the same movie. I am all in!
I would not qualify this as a B-Movie as much as a “under the radar” movie with limited release/straight to video production. It has a great premise, a decent execution and so much potential for sequels.
In 1936, a Nazi professor named Richard Wirth (Fassbender) is sent to the West Virginia, US to be hosted by the Wollners, a farming family of German emigrants. The Wollners believe him to be a visiting scholar, but Wirth turns out to be a Nazi occultist who seeks a Viking runestone buried on their property. He demonstrates occultic power on some dead animals, raising briefly from the dead, indicating a more sinister plan once he has tapped the full power of the runestone under their house.
Fast forward to modern day, the movie introduces Evan Marshall (Cavill) as a tired and hard-working paramedic who works 12 hour shifts, takes care of his invalid angry father and the children of missing brother. Through several well-shot and interestingly scripted scenes, we learn a few things important to the story. First, it’s Halloween and there is going to be a lunar eclipse that evening. Secondly, the brother – Victor (Purcell) – is a war vet who disappeared sometime ago during a camping trip in rural West Virginia.
One evening, Evan is surprised when Victor suddenly appears. Victor explains that he has escaped some mysterious captors, and they quickly prepare to return for vengeance. The brothers arm up and head to the farm to confront what we learn is the Wollners, who have barely aged since 1936. When they arrive to exact revenge, the Wollners tell the tale of Wirth and his intentions. Back in 1936, when Wirth revealed his intentions of occultic evil, the family bravely takes it upon themselves to save the world from this evil and trap him in their basement. Using occultic runes they learned from his books, they bind and contain him on the property and out of the house. Through rituals that requires frequent human sacrifices, they have been feeding him victims over the decades. Linked to Wirth, the family survive through the decades, operating as both captors and servants to Wirth, who they keep weakened and at bay.
Wirth then gets out of the cellar and begins his terror. Wirth is now a zombie-like figure with occultic symbols carved into his gray hairless skin. It is revealed throughout the story that Wirth has a plan to eventually awaken his third eye, which will mark the pinnacle of his power. The fact that its Halloween night and a lunar eclipse works in there somewhere too. Wirth’s terror includes killing and then subsequently raising horses and dogs into crazed zombie animals, as well as a few victims (reminiscent of Evil Dead). Lots of blood and gore follows until things begin to fall apart.
I am going to avoid any further spoilers, but needless to say this movie ends with a occultic bang that is very satisfying. By the end we learn that SS leader Himmler sent other Nazi agents to different locations throughout West Virginia. Evan finds a map that was under the farm and discovers that others like Wirth are at other farms. While Victor returns home to his family, Evan heads out to the other farms to stop the other Nazis, obviously setting up for sequels. However, it ends with Victor ominously returning to the Wollner farm, now burned down, standing over the runestone, perhaps implying he is tempted by it’s power.
Not only is a cool self-contained adventure, it is a setup for a great campaign. I fully plan to steal from this, advancing this into the future for a sci-fi adventure. Imagine finding runestones on an asteroid! I can easily see this as a horror RPG adventure for something like Call of Cthulhu. A group of players stumble across a bloodied young girl in the woods, with her back all shredded and sign restraints on her wrists. They investigate her tale to find an old farm house with runes all over it. What is to follow is a night of horror and death that would drive any party insane.
I highly recommend watching this movie for its inspiration (although I realize I might have spoiled it some). It is very much worth a watch.