As part of getting ready for Halloween, I’ve started binging on zombie films. There’s a good number of them on Netflix and I watched a hidden gem on it recently: Rammbock. It’s only an hour long so any zombie fan should take the time to watch it.
Rammbock follows Michael, on his way to see Gabi, his ex-girlfriend in Berlin, when the undead rise up. He becomes trapped in her apartment with a teenager named Harper, but Gabi is nowhere to be seen. As the apartment faces the inner courtyard of the building, Michael and Harper talk to the other residents in hopes of figuring out how to survive. Of course, their plans don’t quite work out so well.
I enjoyed Rammbock because it offered good acting, a good story, and interesting dilemmas for the survivors. The zombies had a few unique quirks of their own, and the film wraps nicely in only an hour. Gorehounds will be very disappointed though, as there is very little blood and no gruesome death scenes. However, if you enjoy interesting takes on the dilemmas survivors would face in a zombie attack, give Rammbock a try.
The last decade has seen a resurgence in the popularity of the zombie genre in American films but it’s now spread worldwide. In the last several years, many foreign films have taken the undead in a new direction. From Nazi zombies guarding treasure to New Zealand slackers making the best of a post-apocalyptic world, the appeal of shambling hordes of flesh eating undead monsters seems to be universal. These movies are only part of the burgeoning zombie movie canon but each is worth checking out.
1 and 2. [REC] (2008) and [REC] 2 (2009):
You might have seen Quarantine, the American remake of [REC] but the reason I recommend [REC] over Quarantine is the sequel. Without giving away too much, [REC] and [REC] 2 uses a blend of Catholic mysticism and science to suggest that a strain of rabies leads to demonic possession. In Quarantine, this angle is changed to an underground scientist working on rabies research. You don’t see much of this backstory in either version of the first movie but in the sequel it makes the difference.
The American film, Quarantine 2, is a predictable direct to DVD movie set in an airport terminal. [REC] 2 takes place immediately after the first movie and follows a SWAT team as they enter the zombie-filled apartment building. It’s claustrophobically intense – the zombies run into submachine gun fire and keep coming and the hallways are too small to run away. By the midpoint of the movie, [REC] 2 distinguishes itself from other zombie movies with several clever plot twists and developments. The finale is amazing, surpassing the night vision ending of the first movie. It’s a great zombie film that takes the undead in a new direction. Two more films are being planned.
One of the best pieces of zombie literature will finally hit the silver screen next year:
Paramount has announced they’ll be dropping their Brad Pitt-led zombie movie “World War Z” into theaters on December 21, 2012. The film is currently shooting with Marc Forster directing the Black List-approved script by J. Michael Straczynski (with rewrites by Matthew Michael Carnahan) that centers on a UN bureaucrat named Gerry Lane, who in the aftermath of the zombie war is asked to compile a complete report on the incident.