Film review: Zombies of War

April 23, 2010 by
Filed under: Film reviews 

zombiesofwarThe zombie Nazi film sub-genre is, like everything else these days, not the obscure, difficult to discover (and fund) thing it once was. The atmospheric Outpost (although, were they really zombies, or ghosts, or…?), and the blood-drenched zombedy Dead Snow both made positive contributions to the list that began with Shockwaves back in 1977 and then all but expired with the mouldy cheese that was Oasis of the Zombies (1981) and Zombie Lake (1981).

The most recent addition to the canon (although it was made in 2006) is the ultimately disappointing Zombies of War (as it’s known in the UK on DVD; Horrors of War elsewhere). Many of the reviews on the Internet Movie Database have referred to ZoW as being referential to the ‘classic’ B war movies of old, but, you know, arguably there’s not much call for this sort of approach these days, (unless you’re Tarantino), so as someone states, why bother?

ZoW has a plot that is pure cliché, as admittedly do pretty much all of the Nazi/war zombie films (with the exception of Dead Snow): the war is going badly for the Germans; they do some occult research; make a few scientists do some taboo research on prisoners and willing, brainwashed volunteers – the result being ‘secret super soldiers’ that they are convinced will change the course of the war. Except they won’t, we all know that, as a team of Allied troops are parachuted in behind enemy lines to nip the esoteric experiments in the bud.

The Germans in ZoW have absolutely no chance when you consider there are only two or three of these super soldiers dotted around the countryside as far as the viewer can tell. They take a couple of shots to the head to put down, and, oh yes, the US infantryman who is attacked and turned by a werewolf (!) early on in proceedings, ends up being very influential in the final battle. In fact, you don’t come across a zombie until about forty minutes into the film, the first few scenes of action being wholly and strangely lycanthrope-orientated and set in the same stretch of woods, despite hours of marching.

Can one recommend a film based upon some of its ideas alone? Not in this case unfortunately, although something in me does like the idea of partisan werewolves attacking Nazi zombies; and a bigger occult picture is hinted at, but I guess, budgets dictated otherwise. ZoW could have been a fun experience, given a much bigger budget, better and tighter storyline and directed by an auteur such as Tarantino or his mate, Rodriguez.

ZoW has obviously been re-titled to take advantage of chumps like me who snap up anything zed-related, so it is my important duty to advise you to avoid at all costs, not just because of the lack of convincing acting, the average special effects, but mainly because Zombies of War doesn’t know what it is.

Zombies of War, 2006

Directed by John Whitney and Peter John Ross


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