Rammbock: Berlin Undead has been burdened by very diverse reviews and critical acceptance. Some seem to cherish the picture, while others firmly detest the film. While it’s nice to have supporters, anytime a film tips the scales with equal parts criticism and acclaim, it makes it an awfully daunting chore of determining whether the film is a worthy investment. Take my advice when I tell you that Rammbock is certainly a solid picture that offers plenty of visual as well as emotional payoffs.
Rather than leaping into a lengthy review of the film, I figured it may be nice to illuminate the standout qualities offered forth by director Marvin Kren and scriptwriter Benjamin Hessler. There’s much to praise here, with few pitfalls to contemplate (none of which leap out in pronounced fashion), but these five strengths truly drive the film.
All Chiller, No Filler: Kren wastes absolutely no time in getting down to buness. Within ten minutes there are zombies howling, thirsty for blood, hungry for flesh. Once the action begins to unravel, it never slows, and the buildup functions rather smoothly en route to a fine finale.
Pacing: At just 59 minutes run time Rammbock is a picture that really barrels at viewers. Hessler has delivered a story that moves in extremely swift fashion. There’s virtually zero downtime, and key plot points and conflicts unravel at exactly the moments they should. Condering the fact that the film is only an hour long, each act is remarkably well fleshed out, which makes for a film that feels a bit like a visual rollercoaster: It’s breakneck from the jump, but it’s never negligent in covering the details.
ted glimpses of the insanity, it’s rather rewarding, as it’s all good old fashioned practical work that echo the early efforts of Tom Savini.
Layers, Layers, Layers: As I just noted, there’s a quality story on display here. Emotions run quite high, but there’s a wide visceral quality bestowed upon the characters and conflicts here. Responses are for the most part quite realistic, and a few revelations are extremely bleak. The fashion in which these characters deal with the sudden outbreak and the repercusons that follow is quite believable, and that’s because there’s a strong element of humanity buried just beneath the surface of the picture. Love is found, love is lost, insanity flirts with most, desperation settles in, and, in a few instances, wits are held close, resulting in a tangible hint of hope that’s often neglected by typical zombie-fare.
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Rammbock may not top “Favorite Film” lists, but it’s a fun, fast little shocker with some charismatic performances, some haunting performances, and an overall feel of legitimacy that sets it apart from analogous features. Money and time well invested here: check this one out!Follow Matt Molgaard on Twitter