J.T. Petty’s, Blood Red Earth serves as a prequel to the 2008 fan-favorite western creature feature, The Burrowers. Where this intriguing short has been the last few years is a mystery to me (I was beginning to believe the film was a myth); I’d been unable to locate the short (trust me when I ensure you I sought it out after reading of its creation some time ago) until FEARnet added it to their On Demand line-up just days ago.
Having now screened the film twice, I can tell you that, while an interesting little flick (FEARnet lists the runtime at 32 minutes, though I clocked it at an actual 18 minutes), Blood Red Earth doesn’t really offer any gnificant backstory or additional information that may be useful, unless you conder the revelation that Indians knew of the burrowers existence prior to the happenings of the feature film to be remarkably enlightening.While it’s not essential to the overall tale told in The Burrowers, Blood Red Earth is a bit creepy, and does have a beautiful vintage appearance. I’m not certain of what form of post-production techniques the picture was subjected to, but the end result actually looks like a legitimate 35 mm print. It makes for a creepy sense of atmosphere, and a frighteningly realistic viewing experience.
The tale is mple: two Indian brothers find a dead deer and haul it back to camp. The deer however is contaminated and has been marked by the burrowers. Of course, the nasty little critters show up in the middle of the night, and nce there’s some fair game at their disposal, they claim the youngest brother as a future meal. From that point forward, it’s a grim trek through the desolate landscape to find the boy.
Strangely enough, the film feels more like one long scene (make no mistake, there are plenty of cuts) than an official short. I suppose that could be interpreted as a compliment if you conder the continuity required in order to successfully create such a unique sensation. I’m on the fence as to how much I truly enjoyed it.