Sunday, August 21, 2011

my thoughts on.... 'Rammbock: Berlin Undead' aka 'Siege of the Dead'

I have to admit, when I saw this pop up as a film I might enjoy I ran out and watched the trailer, I was intrigued. When I finally got a chance to watch the actual film last night.... I was impressed. This film is barely over 1 hour and is better than most full length zombie films. As a matter fact, this is probably my favorite zombie film I've seen recently. I feel that it's the kind of zombie film I would write and produce, if I was able to. I mean, the end of the film, is almost identical to something I wrote back in 2000 and it was nice to see how it played out on the "big" screen. This film is German and I haven't seen to many German zombie films. However, if this is any indication of what they're capable of, I can't wait to see more. They cast a very unlikely lead in this film. He's balding, older and a bit on the heavier side. He's akward and unassuming and at first, you kind of feel sorry for him and want to help him. Soon you realize that he can handle himself and by the end, you're totally sold on his character. I just can't say enough good things about this film. Sadly, it only had a limited release and hasn't gotten much press. It deserves so much more for it's actors, director, producers, writers and cinematographer.... they are all geniuses. (no, I'm not being sarcastic)

The plot (according to reads): "Hoping to reunite with his girlfriend, Gabi, ordinary guy Michael (Michael Fuith) goes to her Berlin apartment, but instead of Gabi, he finds young plumber Harper (Theo Trebs) hard at work. Michael's day gets considerably worse when zombies suddenly begin to terrorize the city. Trapped in the apartment, Michael and Harper strike up an uneasy partnership while they attempt to help other fearful survivors in the building and find the missing Gabi." Seems simple enough, yes? The reality is that it is a very simple storyline and overall flim. That really doesn't change the fact that it's an amazing zombie film. They stuck with the modern 'fast' zombies and most of the rules of zombie films are in tact. They do tweak things in one way that actually allows the ending that happens in the film. It's a nice twist and not unbelievable.

Obviously, you already know that I loved this film. It's right up there with the French 'La Horde' aka 'The Horde' and the Spanish '[REC]'. I always thought that George A. Romero had cornered the market on this horror subgenre, but that just doesn't seem to be the case anymore. There have just been so many amazing zombie/plague films coming out from other countries that they cannot be ignored anymore. I only hope that the rest of the world can adjust it's gaze a bit from the USA and branch out to films with subtitles or people with foreign accents. There is a whole world out there of amazing cinema that is just waiting to be discovered. I remember when I was initially building up my film knowledge, it took a bit of a leap of faith to go out and rent my first foreign films. I still did it and it opened up a huge door for me. There are so many amazing films out there in every genre, that it's well worth an filmgoer's time to start branching out.

All that being said, I'm happy to give 'Rammbock: Berlin Undead' 4 out of 5 stars and I'm hoping that someday I can find it to add to my DVD collection. I'm a little nervous that it may not be as easy to track down as other films. If you see one out there, let me know! In the meantime, I'm probably going to watch it again tonight and enjoy the little nuances that I missed the first go around. There is just so much going on with this film. I mean, any film that only takes about 5 miuntes to get into the action and then really doesn't let up for the remaining 60 mins, must be doing something right.... right? Sure, you sometimes need a lot exposition to get a story going and to build up a strong storyline, but other times it's the best thing to just kick things into high gear right off the bat. This film is maybe not a new take on an old theme, but it's so amazing and amazingly well done that everything old feels new again. God bless the Germans.

If you enjoy this, check out: '[REC]', 'La Horde' aka 'The Horde' and 'Dead Snow'


  1. Thought you might like it Joel! It's just a little bit special...

    Great review!

  2. It's about time, Germany. The only zombie movies I've seen from those guys were black and white newsreels of swastika-laden rallies and the man with the shitty mustache.