July 23rd, 2021
MOVIE: BLOOD RED SKY
STARRING: PERI BAUMEISTER, DOMINIC PURCELL, ROLAND MOLLER, ALEXANDER SCHEER
DIRECTED BY: PETER THORWARTH
AMovieGuy.com’s RATING: 3 STARS (Out of 4)
The premise of Blood Red Sky is where the fun is. It involves an airplane that is hijacked by a group of terrorists, but on this international flight from Germany to New York, there is a passenger that just so happens to be a vampire. It’s not a good thing to be stuck in the air when the hunger for blood must be satiated. Director Peter Thorwarth is working with a solid idea, which feels like a mixture of retro themes, similar to movies such as Tony Scott’s The Hunger mixed with Passenger 57. There may not be much deeper thought going into Blood Red Sky, but this is a thrilling, nasty vampire movie, soaring above the clouds, causing havoc on a 747. Blood Red Sky is mindless but it comes with a side of vampire rage.
We meet Nadja (Peri Baumeister) at her hotel room, prepping her medicines in a bag, while her son Elias (Carl Anton Koch) checks them into the airport. The plan for her is to take the redeye flight to New York because it is there where a doctor might have a cure for her. It should be a simple trip, but it’s all delayed by Berg (Dominic Purcell) and his group of goons, led by the psychotic Eightball (Alexander Scheer), pulling out guns, killing the pilot, and installing one of the hijackers to earn their demand of financial compensation. The passengers are notably scared and when young Elias tries to run to a cargo hold, Nadja is shot dead, that is until the bullets push back out of her body, and now she is one pissed off vampire.
For me, I am a big sucker- pun intended- for high intense scenarios such as this, where the question becomes how will anyone get out of this. It reminds me of films such as Speed or Under Siege, where the hijacking is scary, but the motivation of survival takes these characters over. This is a bit different though, once Nadja cannot control her vampire urges, she turns into a bald, pointy eared Nosferatu looking being. She must unleash herself on these men, while fighting to not attack the innocent, but as things become more chaotic, the number of vampires on the plane increases from just one to many, many more.
What works best on Blood Red Sky is the direction by Peter Thorwarth, keeping the quarters tight, an often claustrophobic approach that gives the audience the lay of the massive 747 jet land. The screenplay by Thorwarth and Stefan Holtz is standard with the action stuff but takes the risk of telling Nadja’s backstory of how she became what she is. For me it was a double edged sword, where going back crushes the momentum of Blood Red Sky, creating a somber tone, where one accident led to Nadja meeting her creator, but I also appreciated Thorwarth attempting to give depth to a movie that typically would not have it. There’s not a perfect science to making a movie like Blood Red Sky great, but it has the nuts and bolts of genre films like this, which is why we always go back to movies like Snakes on a Plane in the first place. Chaos reigns and it’s entertaining once again here.
The final act drags a bit too long and the runtime of over two hours could be the biggest problem with Blood Red Sky, but there’s still a great collection of action, throats ripped, and people turning into vampires here. That’s more or less what I came to see and even if it’s supported by a lighter week of good movies, I was a big fan of the makeup and special effects used here. Surviving in the air is difficult, incredibly terrifying during a hijacking, and it’s even worse in a plane filled with vampires. It makes for an entertaining movie though. Now put your trays in the upright position and enjoy the bloody good show.
BLOOD RED SKY IS ON NETFLIX FRIDAY JULY 23RD
Written by: Leo Brady