Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Actually German : Rammbock (Berlin Undead)

Are you ready for some German undead?  When I decided to do one-word Horror film titles, this one popped right to the top of my list.  Sure, this is kind of cheating, as the film is listed as Rammbock- Berlin Undead.  However, every major poster/piece of box art calls it just Rammbock, so let's go with that.  What is the movie about?  As the full...ish title implies, it's about zombies.  The key thing to understand, however, is that this movie barely steps over that line from being a student film and being a real film.  It's like the difference between Eraserhead and every other David Lynch film.  You will see a sad, sad man try to survive a zombie apocalypse.  You will also be amazed at just how small a zombie apocalypse can be.  To find out just how localized it gets, read on...
Our hero is a schmuck who goes cross-country to try and reconcile with an ex-girlfriend, under the pretense that he's returning her keys.  He stops by when she's not there, but things are afoot...
As it turns out, a zombie outbreak has occurred.  Why?  How?  Who cares?  By the way, we don't get the cliche 'Footage of zombie riots' scene.  Instead, they do it via radio- cheapskates!
The guy ends up trapped in the building with the other tenants and a plumber who was doing work.  I hope you like tiny apartment buildings and groups of five zombies at one time (at best).
Things take a turn for the better as our hero does manage to find his lady.  However, things go back to being sour (for reasons that I won't SPOIL here).
Ah, the majesty and intrigue of people meandering around a Berlin 'brownstone.'  You can just feel the suspense build.  It's either that or the sound of your paint drying!
The surviving members of the group work up a plan to escape.  There's no way that it could fail, unless one of the characters happens to go off-screen and die.  Oops- they just did.
Fun fact: zombies hate strobe lights.  Some Werewolves do, however.  Go figure.
Who will survive?  Who will kill the most zombies?  Will Amadeus in fact rock us?  To find out, watch the movie.  The End.
There is slow-walking and then there is slow-pacing.  The plot of this movie is good, but not great.  It's a simple idea and I can't really fault it.  The movie's problem is its lack of budget.  If this were a $50 million film, it would approach the scale it was actually going for.  Would it inherently be better?  Not necessarily.  It would, however, be closer to the film that it clearly wanted to be.  Imagine if 28 Days Later was set in an apartment building.  Would it be as good of a film?  No.  The idea of a whole city being overrun by zombies is certainly nothing new, but it is rarely done right.  This movie is essentially Dawn of the Dead, if the main characters never left that building from the beginning of the movie.  Again- that would not be as good of a movie.  If you can accept how focused the film is, you can have a good time with it.  I could never get past it personally, making me watch it and simply yearn for what could have been.  Take us away, obvious question...
Next up, a really, really dumb film.  It's a rape-revenge film...with bowling.  Stay tuned...

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