A Monster Battle
♦ Tripwire’s editor-in-chief Joel Meadows reviews JJ Abrams’ produced Nazi zombie horror film Overlord, directed by Julius Avery and out now in cinemas in the UK and US…
Director: Julius Avery
Stars: Jovan Adepo, Wyatt Russell, Mathilde Ollivier
Overlord is a World War Two film with a twist because it has a horror element very much at its heart. And even though it is only produced by JJ Abrams rather than directed by him, his fingerprints are everywhere. US soldiers are dropped behind enemy lines to take out a church occupied by the Nazis but they soon discover that there is more going on here than just a military operation.
Overlord feels like an EC comic story brought to the big screen and while this isn’t the first time that we’ve seen a Nazi/ horror hybrid at the cinema. There was Michael Mann’s The Keep and Jean Rollin, Julian de Laserna’s Frozen Lake back in the 1980s but the presence of Abrams here means that there is a certain level of quality that would have been lacking if he wasn’t involved.
Avery moves the action along with aplomb and the cast are very likeable onscreen. Erik Redman, who plays the demented Dr Schmidt, is suitably insane as the villain of the piece and the rest including Mathilde Ollivier as one of the inhabitants of the French village, Jovan Adepo as Boyce and and Dominic Applewhite as Jewish US soldier Rosenfeld are all pretty decent. We also get to see some rather nifty physical effects once the horror elements come more to the fore and it is refreshing in these days of CGI to watch a film with some proper old-school physical effects.
Overlord is a refreshingly old-fashioned war horror movie made with flair and the right balance of action and gore and is the perfect autumn movie. There were rumours that it fits into the Cloverfield series that has been running on the big screen and Netflix but Abrams has stated publicly that this isn’t the case. One for aficionados of slightly kitschy horror films that are still well-made, Overlord is probably the most fun you’ll have at the cinema this season.
Overlord is out now in cinemas in the UK and US