Sunday, March 10, 2019

Review: Overlord

Completely at the other end of spectrum to Redcon-1 comes another War-based zombie fun fest, Overlord. However here, the plot makes sense, the characters are good, and the whole thing is a tremendous film!

Produced by J J Abrams, he of Star Trek, Alias and Lost fame, Overlord opens looking like a fairly standard war film. A crack group of soldiers are paracuted into German territory during WW2 to investigate a German bunker/outpost. The effects here are mindblowing as the poor group of soldiers are under attack even before they leave their airplane: with bullets hitting them, explosions all around, other planes flying with them before exploding, barrage balloons, and all the other paraphernalia of war.

Most of them make it down, some are captured and executed by German troops, but a small number make it to a French village where they befriend one of the locals, a woman, Chloe (Mathilde Ollivier) living with her young son (Gianny Taufer) and mother in a house. Something is wrong with 'mother' though - she seems to be turning into a monster!

One of the group, a black soldier called Boyce (Jovan Adepo), manages to infiltrate the German bunker and discovers that a Nazi doctor has been performing horrific experiments on humans, all to try and create a serum which will revive the dead as Nazi super soldier zombies.

Boyce steals some of the serum, and it ends up being used on one of his own party... they decide that they have to destroy the laboratory, and so return to plant explosives. Of course there is a standoff with the German commander who has injected himself with the serum.

The film has some great moments, and the make-ups and effects are superb. Watch out for a pleading woman's head separated from her body but still on a spinal column! There are elements here of various previous Living Dead films, as well as, I felt, John Carpenter's seminal The Thing, especially in the music which by accident or design seems to emulate Ennio Morricone's score, but also in the decision to blow the whole place up at the end.

I found the film hugely enjoyable, though it does take a long time to morph from what seems to be a standard war film, into a zombie horror film. Oh, and I have no idea at all why it's called Overlord.

4 out of 5!

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