“BLADE: THE IRON CROSS”
Dark and Weird
Sick science, punishing puppets, clairvoyant crusaders and a fascist zombies make “BLADE: THE IRON CROSS!” the strangest of the Puppet Master films. Dr. Hauser, the Third Reich’s maddest scientist has murder and mayhem on his mind. As Hauser’s heinous crimes are discovered, the psychic war journalist, Elisa Ivanov, awakens Blade, and together a bloody journey of revenge begins. It’s Herr Hauser’s reanimated undead army against a possessed doll and a beautiful vengeance-seeking clairvoyant.
Fans of the Puppet Master Universe have longed for a good Blade origin story since the very first movie. At first, this feels like it is going to be that film. Director John Lechago gives it a gritty feel like an early American noir film. Vincent Cusimano as Detective Jonas Gray has the persona of a fedora-sporting hardboiled cop down to a science and gives the best performance of the film (which is not saying much). The psychic war-reporter, portrayed by Tania Fox, is intriguing in concept, but sadly quite wooden as performance goes.
I liked the film all the way through the first half. Lousy acting is to be expected in B-horror sometimes, and the premise of it had me engaged at the onset. Set in 1945 during WWII, it has a great retro atmosphere and the perfect dark mood. However the screenplay is awful.
I did not care a bit about the characters, the dialogue is stilted, uninteresting, and completely ineffective for the most part, and from about the halfway point onward, I was bored. There is nothing scary and the “special” effects are not special.
Yet, it is a decent film that is hardboiled and gritty, fun and bloody and it makes promises in the beginning. Then the second half breaks every single one of them. I completely lost interest in the film and had to force myself through the rest of it.