Review: Blood Lake: Attack of the Killer Lampreys

by William Burns

In the continuing attempt by horror cinema to villainize every animal on earth, James Cullen Bressack’s Blood Lake: Attack of the Killer Lampreys at least focuses on a truly disgusting species. Looking like the spermatozoa things from Eraserhead with rows of razor sharp teeth, the lampreys in Blood Lake are murderous, intrusive parasites that aren’t satisfied with sucking fish blood and want hemoglobin from something higher up the evolutionary scale. The film focuses on a family transplanted to a vacation community in Michigan with father/husband Michael doing his job as some kind of fish and game warden or environmental officer who discovers that the population of lampreys has exploded in the local lakes and, after decimating the lake’s ecosystem, are invading the water supply of the town, killing off the citizens. A take off on Jaws and Piranha, Blood Lake fits comfortably into the new genre of postmodern retro monster movie popularized with the so called “Sy Fy” movies mixing comedy, absurd plots, bad CGI, and a cast of has-been actors. The cast of Blood Lake is actually quite good with particularly impressive turns from Zach Ward and Rachel True, while Fred Stoller and Christopher Lloyd have fun with their roles, giving exaggerated but funny performances that fit the overall vibe of the film. Shannon Doherty, while not embarrassing, looks exhausted even before the action begins. The effects aren’t very special with CGI smeared all over the film, but there are a few good gore shots (a lamprey attack on an eyeball being quite memorable) and some innovative kills with the ability of the lampreys to invade human orifices used to great effectiveness. While certainly not winning any awards for originality or thought provocation, Blood Lake: Attack of the Killer Lampreys is slippery, wriggly fun.

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