The mysterious case of Blood Glacier, a.k.a. The Station

Wednesday January 22nd 2014


At the beginning of the year, I took over the Guardian Guide’s home entertainment column. After half a decade of covering only theatrical titles, my letterbox is now laden on the regs with forthcoming DVD and Blu-ray releases, from the sublime (Upstream Colour) to the ridiculous (Insidious: Chapter 2) via a high definition re-release of Tinto Brass’s saucy early-noughties sex comedy Cheeky.

Every now and then, I’ll also receive something utterly perplexing and instantly fascinating, as I did earlier this week when — hidden amongst a wodge of press releases and review discs — I uncovered Blood Glacier, a.k.a. The Station.

The film, due for release next Monday from StudioCanal, arrived burned onto a DVD bearing the latter title, though an attached compliments slip warned that…

The disc will be marked as “The Station” but please rest assured that the film’s name has been changed to “Blood Glacier”. In any reviews or coverage that you may give for this, please refer to it as “Blood Glacier”.

It seemed odd that a single film might bear two such disparate names, so I assumed that perhaps StudioCanal had purchased a sophisticated arthouse title called The Station and were now trying to market it to the FrightFest mob by giving it a provocative title. That is, until I turned over the press release to reveal…

… AN ACTUAL BLOOD GLACIER.

It turns out that the film is about a team of scientists (a bit like the ones in The Thing) who travel to a remote, wintry research centre (a bit like the one in The Thing) and are stunned to discover a mysterious sickness (a bit like the one in The Thing) affecting local wildlife. Amazingly enough, the film has drawn comparisons to The Thing, as noted at the top of its DVD cover art:

It’s original German title — Blutgletscher — translates literally as Blood Glacier, making no bones about the film’s horror credentials (or the involvement of a blood glacier) so it’s hard to imagine what some sales agent or other was trying to achieve when they elected to offer up The Station as the film’s English-language title. As if there weren’t already enough boring indie movies with almost precisely that name.

Still, the name must have gained some kind of traction, because as you can see above, it still merits a small mention on the film’s otherwise overwhelmingly bloody, glaciery, cover art. Fellow UK distributors, take note — it can’t hurt to hedge your bets…