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5 July 2011

Siege of the Dead (2010)

Tonight I watched a German film by the name of Rammbock. I think that the literal translation is Battering Ram, which is by far a better name than Siege of the Dead. However, Siege of the Dead is the name on the DVD box. I think someone missed a trick there! I'll stick with Rammbock if you don't mind.

There's something wrong with Frau Bramkamp in Rammbock, Revolver 2010
There's something wrong with Frau Bramkamp in Rammbock, Revolver 2010

Before we get into the film, let me get something off my chest. It relates to a quote on the front cover:

"Romero would be proud"

I know that this isn't going to be well received, but really... what's the big deal with Romero? Yeah, I know, he kick-started the whole zombie thing, and lots of people are passionate followers, but come on! Of the huge number of films that he's been involved in over the years... how many can you honestly say you enjoyed? Once I hear parallels being drawn with Romero, I start to get twitchy. Thankfully, Rammbock is better than that!

But how much better?

Watch out for the neighbours in Rammbock, Revolver 2010
Watch out for the neighbours in Rammbock, Revolver 2010

The film has a fairly relaxed opening by zombie standards: Michael (played by Michael Fuith) returns to Berlin in a last ditched effort to make up with his ex-girlfriend Gabbi (Anka Graczyk). Only, when he arrives at her flat, she's nowhere to be seen. Unfortunately for Michael, the only person around is a plumber and he turns out to be infected. There quickly follows a mad-dash series of close shaves which finally results in Michael and the plumber's apprentice Harper (played by Theo Trebs - a young Matt Damon lookalike) being trapped in Gabbi's flat with a horde of zombies scratching at the door.

What do you know... We've got a good old-fashioned siege on our hands!

Harper saves the day in Rammbock, Revolver 2010
Harper saves the day in Rammbock, Revolver 2010

One thing that I think worked well in this film was the sense of things continually going from bad to worse. Pretty much everything these two attempted seemed to backfire on them in some unforeseen way. Take the time they sneaked outside onto the landing to recover Michael's dropped mobile phone. They get chased back inside the flat only to end up trapped in the bedroom. Oh dear! I really expected Michael to turn around and say: "Well, now we're f**ked!"

There is humour here, but it's not dressed up in the same way that a lot of films do. To be honest, I found it a refreshing change. More generally, though, is that sense of claustrophobia as the siege ensues. It isn't long before the boys dig into their reserves and are on the up and up. And that's all I'm going to say on that front... watch the film!

Harper's got a girlfriend in Rammbock, Revolver 2010
Harper's got a girlfriend! in Rammbock, Revolver 2010

As far as the zombies go... well they aren't really zombies... but that's okay. Here we have angry running infected people. Although sometimes they do look like they might have been brushing their teeth at the point the Apocalypse hit, in the main they look good and I certainly wouldn't have messed with any of them!

As an aside: I think that Michael and Gabbi have one of those dressing up as animal fetishes. It's not explored in any detail, or explained, but you get the odd hint here and there.

Michael misses Gabbi in Rammbock, Revolver 2010
Michael misses Gabbi in Rammbock, Revolver 2010

So did I like the film?

Yeah I did. It's not that long, at about an hour, but it's enough. It isn't a big-budget film, but it doesn't look or feel cheap either. And it's not actually that scary. It just works, and for that reason alone, I'm going to recommend it.

On the Triple-B I'm going to take out 6 zombies with my home-made catapult. Aim for the eyes!

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