Movie of the Week: Overlord

I’ve spent a good amount of time, lately, playing Call of Duty:  World War II.  I am a fan of the series ever since I first played Call of Duty 2 on the X-Box 360.  Well, let me amend my statement, I’m a fan of the World War II games.  I like the others well enough, but, for the chance to, seemingly, explore history, those are the games for me.  With the introduction of zombies to the Call of Duty world, a love affair blossomed.  Between those living dead Nazis and the monsters of Wolfenstein, I have a good time.  Playing those games brings me to this week’s movie:  Overlord.

In the run-up to the D-Day invasion, a squad of paratroopers are sent on a top secret mission.  Their objective is to take out a radio tower, but their plane is shot down.  In the fighting that follows the crash, only a handful of the squad is left alive.  The remaining men are led by Corporal Ford who has no intention of quitting.  What they lack in numbers, they make up for with determination and bravery and they set out to finish what they started.

The village of their destination is overrun with German forces.  One bright spot is that some of the locals are on the side of right and are doing their best to stand up to the Nazis (as much as they can resist, anyway, and still remain independently breathing).  It is here they meet Chloe, a young woman, who hides them in her house.  She has a special hatred for the Nazis since they subjected her aunt to experiments and left her permanently disfigured.

It doesn’t take long for the Allied forces to discover a disturbing truth.  The Nazis are using the villagers as lab rats.  They have successfully brought some of the dead back to life, but the serum they use is not quite perfected.  The dead do come back, but they are not the same.  The resurrected have a tendency to mutate and kill anything and everything.  The serum is still in the early trial stages.

Overlord is the kind of movie I’m glad it was actually made.  I feel lucky to have it.  I don’t know the demand for horror-themed World War II movies, but I’m guessing from its relative weak box office that the demand is not very high.  Although, and this is just speculation on my part, the demand for this is probably higher than the demand for horror-themed World War I movies (which I love, also, what few of them exist).  I won’t even mention horror-themed Civil War films (I’m in favor of them).

This is probably as close to a Wolfenstein adaptation as we’ll get for the foreseeable future and it’s really something to enjoy.  It’s full of action and grit and, even if you don’t like horror films, it has plenty of things that explode.  It also has an abundance of  fists and bullets flying and the period setting is spot-on.  Make this a double feature with Dog Soldiers and it is a perfect Saturday night at the movies.