I know I’ve fallen a few days behind on my reviews, but I’m still aiming for my 31 reviews for this month. I will be adding in a few book reviews to add some variety to the mix (I know some of you prefer reading to watching movies). So, what do we have today? We’re back to freaking Nazi zombies friends.
The war horror hybrid War of the Dead focuses on a platoon of American and Finnish soldiers who, after an ill-advised battle, soon find themselves on the run from soldiers they’ve already killed. (synopsis from Fandango)
Nazi zombies fist fight. And grenades make sparks but don’t really explode or eject shrapnel. Interesting. Also, zombies jump through the air like the vampires in Underworld.
Hitler and his Nazi scientists are conducting experiments on Russian soldiers to defeat death and their enemies. They are trying to create super soldiers who never die. According to the movie, the experiments were discontinued and all of the files were destroyed. Unfortunately, a mixed group of Finnish and American soldiers encountered some of the undying soldiers and a brutal war is waged.
You know what? I liked this movie. It reminded me somewhat of Dog Soldiers, which is one of my all time favorite movies. The soldiers (the surviving ones) have unique personalities that make you root for them. There is plenty of violence, dramatic scenes, and paranoia to go all around. Crossing the army genre with zombies was entertaining. While there were problems with the film overall it was fun.
Once the squad encounters the undead, they are quickly decimated until there are only about 4 survivors along with a young Russian soldier they captured. The captain is bit in the neck and turns into a leaping zombie soldier in short order. He then bites one of the young soldiers, reducing our count to 3. The young Russian proves himself to be quite the asset as he beats the shit out of 3 zombies with a shovel. The three get into a car and escape into the wilds.
At least, until the car breaks down. Their zombified captain leaps through the air like a ninja and lands on the roof of the car. This was one of the scenes where I was at first annoyed, but then in love. The driver of the car shoots through the car roof and hits the captain, who falls off the car. It just looked realistic.
After some discussions about their mission and finding the Russian guys girlfriend, the group heads to the secret bunker where the soldiers were sent from the beginning. What do they find? Lots and lots of bodies. I have to appreciate that the soldiers shoot all of the bodies in the head just to make sure that they don’t reanimate. There are constant reminders about ‘Aiming for the heads’ which should have been a lesson burnt into their souls after, I don’t know, the first time it was said.
Lot’s of fighting and death ensue. I’m not going to get any further into the story. Let’s just say it is worth checking out.
There is some amazing imagery. A young woman is killed by a shot to the head. Her body is lying on the ground and blood runs down her forehead into the sunken area below her eyelid. It was quite an effective image, conveying both tragedy and sorry.
While the film was hurt by some overacting and neverending bullet supplies, the overall story and characterization was impressive. The way the survivors band together and try to survive actually makes sense as do their reactions to the extreme situations they encounter. One other detrimental item was the unrealistic grenades and limited effects for the Molotov cocktails. I think the director needed to do a little more research into incendiary materials and explosives.
You know what? I’m not sure if these really are zombies. Not only are they ninjas, but they also become stunned when you punch or kick them. Weird.
Overall, I’m going to give this movie a 7 out of 10. It’s fun, it’s vicious, and it’s a military movie with zombies. Fans of Dog Soldiers and any zombie film should check it out. It’s worth the watch.
Take a peek at the trailer below: