SOLDIERS OF THE DAMNED (2015)
Directed by Mark Nuttall
SOLDIERS OF THE DAMNED is a spooky, supernatural tale that takes place as the Third Reich face confrontation from Russia’s Red Army. Losing their stranglehold over Eastern Europe, the German soldiers find themselves at war with the Russians over territory but its not just the Russians they’ll have to worry about in the dense forest of Romania.
There’s some pretty neat ideas in this film with time travelling, undead soldiers and ghosts plaguing the Romanian forest. You never know who will be taken next as the soldiers make their way to their destination. Stumbling upon unusual events throughout the movie, such as a man squashed by a tank, it really makes you question what the hell is going on and much like the soldiers, we’re pretty clueless forcing our imaginations to run wild with theories.
The attention to detail with the German uniforms and recreating that certain 1940’s look really gives an authentic feel to the SOLDIERS OF THE DAMNED which is rather important when you’re creating a war movie, albeit one with horror overtones. Of course there’s surreal moments but the filmmakers have gone to great lengths to make the film as realistic as possible even in the battle sections with plenty of vicious wounds and spurting blood to go with it. For those creepier, inhuman moments, CGI is used to great effect to turn the characters to ash, something which startles and puzzles the soldiers as they make their way through the forest. What sort of witchcraft is at work here?
SOLDIERS OF THE DAMNED stars a smashing cast with Gil Darnell leading the German soldiers as Major Kurt Fleischer. He seems kind-hearted and loyal to his men who serve him without question. Fleischer’s the sort of leader you could look up to and though he’s fighting for the German army, he wants nothing more than the war to end so they can finish the job and at this rate, it looks like the Germans will lose. Lucas Hansen stars as the slimeball SS officer Major Hinrich Metzger who constantly likes to pull authority on Fleischer and exert his dominance. After hanging many children during the war, Metzger appears to be haunted by visions running around the woodland. His actions make him the most unpopular person in the unit, with many of Fleischer’s men keen to see him meet a grisly end. Playing Professor Anna Kappel is Miriam Cooke. Kappel is part of the occult division of the SS and is ordered to retrieve a relic from the forest that could help their studies. She’s pleased to see her main escort is Fleischer, especially as the two have a history together. Despite this romantic reacquaintance, Fleischer would rather not be in the woods at all and is keen to get the job done as quick as possible so they can leave unscathed.
The creepy and unnerving tale of SOLDIERS OF THE DAMNED will have you on the edge of your seat, eager to discover the secrets of the forest whilst the solid supporting cast create a tight knit group you can really invest in. A supernatural tale well worth checking out.