Overlord (2018) - Flicks To Hold You Over
In the category of Nazi Zombie films, “Overlord” is easily the “Citizen Kane” of them all. That might be damning with faint praise since most of them are horrible, but there it is. This is by far the greatest Nazi Zombie movie ever created. It has exactly what you would expect from a “B-Movie” horror slash Action-Adventure movie starting with all the usual move tropes.
The most important movie trope of all is in beginning with the introduction to the group of misfit characters the audience meets at the beginning of the film and within the first 5 minutes, we know exactly who they are since we've met them all before in some way or another in other films like this one.
There’s the brooding stone-cold killer via Wyatt Russell “Ford,” who turns out to be just a quiet guy with some serious emotional baggage, some amazing fighting abilities, and the strength to do “the wrong thing” for the right reason.
We have the racist Italian with John Magaro as “Tibbet.” Not that all Italians in World War 2 movies or Nazi Zombie movies are racists… but there seems to have been just enough to fit the stereotype. He’s the token racist who goes through this adventure to realize in the end that his bigoted leanings have been exchanged for tolerance and understanding for African-Americans who are just as brave and capable as everyone else.
The creators of these films always seem to find a way to squeeze in a civilian woman as a possible love interest or as the feminine audience advocate for the female viewers in this movie, and “Overlord’s” Mathilde Ollivier’s “Chloe” is perhaps the most developed and interesting character in this movie since this character has to cope with being the only French Resistance fighter we see in the movie (or the only one I remember?) who also has to take care of her sickly aunt and her younger brother after her parents were killed by the Nazi occupation in her town.
Then we have the real hero of the story, a meek solder who barely made it out of boot camp and has a predilection to think that maybe war isn’t the answer but will have an inevitable conclusion that killing is necessary when confronting an uncompromising evil like the Nazi’s. Our hero, Jovan Adepo as “Boyce” gives a black hero in a racist white American Armed Forces and gets the brunt of “Tibbet’s” racist comments. By the end of the movie, he becomes the kind of action hero every good action needs and deserves. He should have his own action figure.
After the characters introductions, the rest of the film checks off all the boxes necessary for this to be the quintessential "Nazi Zombie" film.
The plot synopsis is exactly like so many other “Nazi Zombie” movies and video games that have come before it; allied forces are on a mission to take a site that's under Nazi occupation only to discover a secret program by Nazi scientists to create super-soldiers from the dead. The reason why this location is so important to the Nazi’s is that there’s something “special” coming out of the ground such as special “elixir of life" with horrific side effects.
And as it is in ever Nazi Zombie movie or video game, everyone suffers the consequence from these grotesque experiments.
The Loudest and Goriest Flick To Hold You Over?
That’s not to say this is a bad movie since it checks off all the boxes on the list for a typical Nazi Zombie movie; It’s a terrific movie since "Overlord" checks off all the aforementioned boxes in an innovative way. Every one of the characters has a few great lines that help move the plot right along, I can't remember a single bit of dialog that doesn't serve a purpose.
There are also the top-notch special effects that are far superior to all the other Nazi Zombie movies, especially in the first 20 minutes that make this an authentic World War 2 movie. It looks just as good – if not better – than most of the “D-Day Invasion” movies I’ve ever seen in years.
As an aside, It just so happens that it’s a J. J. Abrams Production and it feels as if it belongs squarely in the “Cloverfield” cinematic universe. I could easily see them shoehorning in something in the post-credits that something ties “Overlord” with the other “Cloverfield” movies… they didn’t have a post-credit scene, but if they did that’s what I would have expected them to do with one. If I remember correctly, the original title of this movie was "Operation Cloverfield," and this one going to be a part of that cimematic universe. I might be wrong...
There should be something said about the sound and visual effects about this movie especially when I saw this in the theater with my sons. This is one of the loudest movies I’ve ever seen, maybe because we saw it during a late morning matinee and this theater tends to crank up the volume for the elderly patrons who frequent the theater this time of day. This is a very loud movie with the sound effect that I’m sure people could hear in the two neighboring theaters in the same cinema complex. We could actually feel every bullet shot and every shell exploding, and it was enough to make us feel as if we were actually there.
The level of gore in this film is some of the most intense I’ve ever seen in years; it’s on par with some of the effects to the greatest SF horror movies ever made; John Carpenter’s “The Thing” (1982). I have butchered my share of animals to eat, I’ve witnessed some horrific things immediately after highway accidents, and of course I have seen some pretty graphic scenes in other movies (not only that, but I saw “Howard The Duck” in theaters, and with the help of professionals I’m alive today to tell the tale!) and there were things in this movie that made me sick to my stomach. Whatever they spent on visual effects for this gorefest, it’s all on the screen… every damn penny of it is there.
Many of the goriest things are things you can actually see but is actually heard. You are left sitting there wondering what horrible creature is making that grotesque sound, and your imagination is left to do the rest of the work. This movie is disturbing and nightmare-inducing in the best of ways.
The Greatest "Nazi Zombie" motion picture of all time!
“Overlord” could become a cult classic and it could raise the bar for all the other movies of the “Nazi Zombie” genre and most likely it’s now that genre’s standard-bearer. Even In terms of the much broader “Nazi Occult” genre movies, "Overlord" smashed its way into the IMDb’s Top Ten into that keyword category claiming its place among other Dieselpunk Action-Adventure movies such as “Captain America: The First Adventure” and “Raiders of The Lost Ark.”
Whether it will remain as one of the greatest movies in that category, only time will tell.
It won’t be nominated for a “Best Picture” Oscar, and none of the actors will be nominated for an Academy Award, it will win prestigious statues due to its technical merit alone. It’s merely a great movie that appeals to the audience of The Fedora Chronicles and all retro-centric Action-Adventure movie aficionados everywhere, as well. Nobody is ever going to come out of the theater saying that this is the greatest movie ever made, but it is the best movie of its kind that you will see this weekend.
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