Posted May 27, 2012 by Chris Suffield in DVD/Blu-ray
 
 

War Of The Dead


Wartime Russia 1942 finds a group of American and Finnish soldiers band together after the discovery of a horrifying SS Experiment to raise the dead and create a zombie army.

Wartime
Russia 1942 finds a group of American and Finnish soldiers band together after
the discovery of a horrifying SS Experiment to raise the dead and create a
zombie army.

Sadly War of The
Dead
is not the latest George A Romero entry in his landmark …Of
The Dead
series, although after 2009’s Survival of The Dead it might
be best if the iconic filmmaker steps down. Although, a bad Romero movie is
still better than most of the direct to DVD horrors that crop up on a monthly
basis.

After a battle that
only leaves a handful of survivors on both sides, the mismatched soldiers
stumble upon a secret Nazi experiment that brings the dead back to life. They
must put aside their differences to stop the growing zombie hordes, before the
world falls into the ravenous hands of the walking dead.

The production
budget was obviously modest, as the costumes, sets and some of the performances
are actually pretty good. These are the things that usually cause a low/no
budget horror to fall flat, but director Marko Makilaakso does an
efficient job with what he has but he forget one cardinal rule in a Zombie
movie, make it scary.

Andrew
Tiernan
as the all
American hero Martin Stone and Mikko Leppilampi as the Finnish
Lieutenant Laasko both give the strongest performances in the movie. As good as
they are with the material they have, it’s difficult not to see War of the Dead
as a missed opportunity.

The wartime zombie
movie is a difficult sub genre to pull off, Norwegian film Dead Snow was
praised by critics and fans of the horror genre and still stands as the best
example.

2008’s Outpost
was an enjoyable if somewhat forgettable but it proved successful enough to
spawn a sequel. Outpost: Black Sun is out on DVD in September, however
War of The Dead is unlikely to be as well received.

There may be little
in the way of fresh ideas in the zombie genre, but this hasn’t prevented the
success of many low budget efforts or the off beat Hollywood types like Zombieland
or homegrown Brit hit Shaun of the Dead.

War of the Dead has
a handful of good set pieces, the climatic battle is both impressive for the
budget and shows some inventiveness but it’s void of tension and frights.

The concept gives
so many chances for The Dirty Dozen vs The Undead type of a film, but a
weak script lets down a promising set up. It could have been better, but it
could have been a lot worse.


Chris Suffield