Blu-ray Review: Blood Hook

Ever watch a film and can hear Crow T. Robot and Tom Servo cracking jokes at the action on screen? Then you realize you’re not watching Mystery Science Theater 3000. I had the bots inside my brain begging to make tons of fish jokes while watching Blood Hook, an ’80s slasher film with a comic twist. How could this film had not been part of MST3K? It had so much going for it. It was a bizarre concept of a mysterious fisherman hooking people competing in Muskie Madness. It featured a cast that went on to not act in another film. And it was directed by the man who would be the original director of MST3K.

Peter van Cleese (Mark Jacobs) returns to the family’s summer cabin on the lake with his friends. It’s been a long time since he last was there since that vacation ended with his grandfather disappearing off the end of the house dock while fishing and listening to a record. It freaked out his family, but Peter thinks its time after 17 years to return and enjoy the place. Muskie Madness is in full effect at the small Wisconsin town. People from all over and the natives are doing their best to catch the largest Muskie (which can be a rather large fish). The small town worships the Muskie to the point where there’s a 143-foot fiberglass muskie in the middle of town that you can go inside. This is a real attraction in Hayward, Wisconsin. But there’s one thing you don’t want attracting, a homicidal fisherman with a deadly cast. Very quickly Peter’s friends and other visitors find themselves vanishing as a deadly lure hooks into them and drags them into the water. What is going on? There’s plenty of odd suspects around the town in a colorful town of locals. Nobody wants to admit there’s a problem since who wants to interrupt Muskie Madness?

Blood Hook is a bizarre film to watch. The mixing of comedy and murder works well on the screen. There’s a true sense of incompetence with the characters as the fisherman comes after them. You will find yourself screaming at the screen as the mysteries get revealed. If I’m to believe the imdb listings, not a single actor associated with this film went on to make another film that got distribution. But they aren’t painfully bad that they deserve to be avoided by casting agents. They could have easily gone on to be victims in Friday 13th or Halloween movies. Mallon and his crew did a fine job in capturing the terror around the lake that it doesn’t even look like it was incredibly low budget.

The version included on the Blu-ray is 110 minutes long. When Troma originally released the movie back in 1987, Lloyd Kaufman had the film snipped down to either 92 or 85 minutes. But even at 110 minutes, things don’t drag.

Why wasn’t Blood Hook a part of Mystery Science Theater 3000? Was it just too meta for Mallon to direct an episode about the movie he directed? Was Troma not interested in licensing the film for the show? Or did the staff sense that it’s much more fun to make fun of a movie when the filmmakers are thousands of miles away from their studio in Minnesota? Either way, Blood Hook is fun enough to watch with friends who don’t mind if you talk through the film and love hearing your various readings of Muskie Madness!

The video is 1.66:1 anamorphic. This allows you to enjoy the entire frame shot on 16mm. Things looks rather sharp for the format in 1080p. The audio is DTS-HD Mono. The levels are fine for the low budget production. You’ll hear the sound that triggers killer fisherman. The movie is subtitled.

DVD with all the features of the Blu-ray.

Hook, Line and Sinker (29:59) is an interview with Jim Mallon about the time he went to Wisconsin and caught a big murderous fish tale.

First Blood Hook (18:41) meets up with actress Lisa Todd.

What’s In the Tacklebox (23:10) has FX Artist Jim Suthers has him explain how you make fishing lures that can catch people.

Audio interview with Marsha Kahm (29:26) has her talk about shooting on small boots around the lake. She went on to shoot I Am Divine and The Cockettes.

Still Gallery (0:48) contains the original script, a soundtrack cassette and Polaroids of the effects.

Theatrical Trailer (2:29) shows off the comedy mixed with the body count.

Vinegar Syndrome presents Blood Hook. Directed by: Jim Mallon. Screenplay by: Larry Edgerton & John Galligan. Starring: Mark Jacobs, Lisa Todd, Patrick Danz, Sara Hauser, Christopher Whiting. Rated: R. Running Time: 110 minutes. Released: May 1, 2018.

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