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A couple of brutal and mysterious murders point to Uppsala University. Johan, a last year student at the police academy, gets involved in the investigation. He enrolls a course at the University in order to, under cover, track down the killer.
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This is a movie set during WWII and involves Captain Stone and a platoon of American and Finnish soldiers on a mission to find a bunker held by the Germans. On the way there they come under fire and at the same time run in to some German soldiers that seem to be "undead". How is this possible? Their platoon is almost completely killed off apart from a few of them, including Capt. Stone. They move on and run in to another survivor, a Russian soldier. They all try to survive and end up at the bunker they were meant to take out. But once inside they find out just how the German soldiers became the "undead". Written by
Michael Hallows Eve
I found "War of the Dead" by sheer coincidence. I had never heard about it prior to accidentally stumbling on it. And the cover of the DVD made me pick it up and give it a go, as I do enjoy zombie movies. And zombie Nazis, well it just doesn't get any better!
Now, I will say that "War of the Dead" is unlike most other zombie movies that I have seen in my life. It has that whole "Band of Brother" / "Saving Private Ryan" feel to it, with the impressions that you are right there in the action with the soldiers. I liked that about the movie, because it is a cool thing. And taking place during World War II, but with zombies running around, well that is just an interesting concept. Sure it is used in other movies, such as "Outpost" and "Død Snø" ("Dead Snow") for example, but still it worked out quite well in "War of the Dead".
One thing did puzzle me, and that was why Americans were there helping out the Finnish soldiers. That just didn't strike me as very plausible. But hey, it is just a fictional movie. Moving on, some of the accents throughout the movie were also a bit on the less impressive side.
Effect-wise, then I found "War of the Dead" to be quite good. The movie had a heap of action with guns and explosions. But for a zombie movie, then the gore and actual mayhem caused by the zombies was a bit tame. Especially because the zombies were agile and running around, a feature in zombie movies that I am not a fan of. (Yeah, I am a Romero-zombie fan to the very core!) And also the zombies seemed to be capable of some brain activity, as they were able to do intricate fighting and blocking in brawling. And when the zombies jumped down from those tall trees, then I was ready to find something else to watch (but I didn't, I gave "War of the Dead" a fair chance). What was that all about? So now zombies climb 10-15 meters up into trees to hide and ambush those coming past? That was just too ridiculous.
The feeling of the atmosphere in the movie was really one of the better things that was working to pull the movie up. Because it was a great mixture of "Band of Brothers" but mixed with the gritty places and narrow corridors that you had in the first two original "Resident Evil" games. And that worked out so well, because it really put on a brooding sense of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
I think that the people they had put in the movie in the various roles were actually doing good jobs with their roles. And it was refreshing to see a movie with no familiar faces popping up. The one who put on the most impressive and memorable performance in the movie was Samuel Vauramo (playing Kolya).
As for a zombie movie, then don't expect the classical Romero type zombies in the movie, and don't except to see a lot of gore and mayhem, and don't expect to see any real decomposition in the animated corpses either. So if you put these expectations aside, then "War of the Dead" is actually a good, wholesome entertaining movie from Finnish director Marko Mäkilaakso.
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