Mama says technology is the DEVIL! And Mama would definitely be right in Georg Koszulinski’s “Blood of the Beast” when the first strand of human clones go ape s**t nineteen years after their inception and turn into blood-thirsty zombies. Yeah, it is a little like 28 Days Later, I guess, with the world being thrown into an upheaval due to some dangerously Godlike laboratory tinkerings. Yet, Koszulinski had a way smaller budget to work with and wound up pulling something off with a punch just about as nasty.
In “Blood of the Beast,” the Third World War comes in year 2012, ultimately killing off a third of the Earth’s population and rendering the surviving males sterile. Enter human cloning, which proves to be successful for a while, until the first strand of cloned humans turns in to zombies. The film opens shortly after this happens. We then follow a group of people blindly trying to find safety in a world quickly going mad.
“Blood of the Beast” is at its best when it’s playing with narrative convention. The film starts off with the whole war and cloning back story being told over digitally altered archival war footage. Very cool stuff and the addition of a warped soundtrack helps quite a bit in plunging the viewer into this grim look into the future…while looking at horrors of the past. The sounds and music used throughout this film, in fact, are reminiscent of Throbbing Gristle aural warfare. Another example of Koszulinski’s experimentation comes towards the end of the film where our heroes are running from escaped convict zombies in the woods. The video turns to a night-vision black and white and the dialogue is replaced with occasional dialogue cards, allowing the creative audio design to grandstand once more before the end credits roll. However, the film does drag a bit when it plays like a normal shot on video production. A lot of walking around in the woods, bitching and moaning about the state of things occurs in-between the more creatively helmed segments.
Still, this a memorable film that puts itself at the head of the pack of independently produced horror films. It’s smarter than most and even though it’s clear it was made on a micro-budget, it doesn’t come off as cheap. A creative and haunting output from a filmmaker who I’d like to see what else he has up his sleeve.