Overlord (Podcast)

Just like “Inglorious Bastards” gave free reign to kill and maim Nazis, so “Overlord” creates a green light for gore against those same bastards. On the face of it we have a reason to kill and do it with vengeance. It’s like a horror/vengeance director’s perfect setting. From the little ink blot blood paratroopers on the movie poster to the opening scenes fleshing out D-Day, this film a huge set up. The pay off is nothing to sneeze at either.

It does what you imagine it will do based on the clues and the stuff you may or may not read on the internet. I think solid films like this will find a huge world-wide audience in time but as I write this, the box office numbers are flat. “Overlord” is adored by critics but sadly isn’t paying for itself … just yet. I predict it will in time. Remember now there are other ways that the box office a film can pad its earnings: streaming comes to mind. Netflix is also often helpful. But let’ get into this film and examine its pieces. There is a lot to count here as amazing. But is the whole greater than the sum of its parts?

Overlord (2018)
R | 1h 49min | Action , Horror , Mystery | 9 November 2018 (USA)
A little squad of American soldiers find horror behind enemy lines on the eve of D-Day.
Director: Julius Avery
Writers: Billy Ray (screenplay by), Mark L. Smith (screenplay by) | 1 more credit »
Stars: Jovan Adepo, Wyatt Russell, Mathilde Olivier

So, let’s start with the director. Julius Avery has one other film listed on his IMDB page, “Son of a Gun.” I have not seen it, it has a 6.3 rating on IMDB and over 20K ratings. That shows the 6.3 isn’t a fluke and is likely what the film really should rate. You get these films with 1k or less and it stands the chance of not being so accurate. 6.3 to me says: “This entertained about half the people that watched it.” Here is the IMDB synopsis: Locked up for a minor crime, 19 year old JR quickly learns the harsh realities of prison life. Protection, if you can get it, is paramount. JR soon finds himself under the watchful eye of Australia’s most notorious criminal, Brendan Lynch. But protection comes at a price. Lynch and his crew have plans for their young protegee. Upon release, JR must help secure Lynch’s freedom, staging a daring prison break. As a reward, he’s invited to join the crew as they plan a gold heist that promises to deliver millions. However, as things start to go wrong, a deadly game of cat and mouse ensues. JR finds himself unsure of whom he can trust and on a collision course with his former mentor.

It sounds like a common crime story but again, I haven’t seen it. The only draw it might have would be that Ewan MacGregor is in it. It came out 2008 and I haven’t seen it yet. For me, that’s quite telling about my interest anyway.

I’m very surprised that the director has no information on his bio page except for his height. Please. You often get one chance at Hollywood success, I think it shows a lack of marketing and personal aspiration to not send IMDB SOMETHING to pt up about yourself. But hey, I won’t judge too much. I too often fail to do Twitter and social media correctly which in essence is what he has done with IMDB.

Before we get into the pieces of “Overlord” let’s have a listen to the trailer … (trailer)

The film “Overlord” (2018)
R | 1h 49min | Action , Horror , Mystery | 9 November 2018 (USA)
The very short and sweet description on IMDB is:
A little squad of American soldiers find horror behind enemy lines on the eve of D-Day.

It’s definitely action and horror. The film starts out full throttle and rarely slows its pace. It’s also very dark, in terms of lighting and setting. I struggled to see who the actors were through the first 1/4 or so of the film. This is understandably the case because they are paying homage to D-Day, in fact the film was released near Veteran’s Day in America. Purposeful? Probably but the box office isn’t showing the effect of it. I guess it didn’t work.

I am 100% a pacifist. I respect the armed forces but it would never be my hope for my family. Having said that, My grandpa was a bomber in this war and he shared stories with me of being shot down in Germany. He said there were horrors everywhere on the ground. Somehow he was released and made it back home but the war really messed him up. I don’t see how showing realistic portrayal of those horrors can do anyone any good.

There are some things in this film. One or two reminded me of Frankensteins. The Germans are up to something in the tower. That’s the mystery part. It isn’t limited to the things I have mentioned. It be scary, there be monsters.

It’s war personified in the tower and everywhere else. The Germans are shown to be pawns of the Overlord and they pillage, rape, destroy, and murder anyone not on their hateful, evil Nazi side. Pretty common concept for cinema and theater. But this is a well made action/horror ride and I didn’t want to get off! The turns are predictable but t doesn’t matter. There are some truly great scenes from a few actors but ultimately, it’s a dark pulp horror simplified and on that level never fails to please.

This is a great war/action/horror film but more war/action than horror I think.

While I recommend “Overlord” there are some out there in the same theme of war or Nazi or both horror or better. Let me list a few movies that achieve a similar effect in film plot and theme:

First, Ones I have seen:
Under the Shadow
Pan’s Labyrinth
Hell Boy

Ones I haven’t seen:
Dead Snow
Blood Creek
Zombie Lake
Shock Waves
Frankenstein’s Army
The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death
Puppet Master I
Puppet Master II
Puppet Master III: Toulon’s Revenge
Horrors of War (Zombies of War)

In conclusion, while it was a very dark film in terms of lighting, I really enjoyed this latest addition to Nazi, War, Action filmmaking. I give this one a 9/10. Go see it! Let’s see if we can help out at the box office.

Author: Damien Riley

I post film reviews both written & audio. I'm a writer & podcaster, BA/MA English from Cal State Fullerton. Based in: Victorville, CA, USA My film review site is rileyonfilm.com

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