Virus Undead

[a.k.a. Beast Within]
Dir: Wolf Wolff + Ohmuthi
Star: Philipp Danne, Nikolas Jürgens, Birthe Wolter, Anna Breuer

This is a curious approach: the film makes no real attempt to hide its Germanicity, but all the actors speak Englisn, presumably for no reason beyond marketability, and it's basically an American movie e.g. donut-eating cop, with European accents. Wannabe doctor Robert (Danne) and his two student friends head out to the country to settle the estate of his grandfather, a renowned scientist who recently died under mysterious circumstances. They bump into Robert's ex-girlfriend (Wolter) and her slutty pal (Breuer) at a petrol station and invite them to the mansion for a party. Little do they initially know that an epidemic has just begun, one which turns its victims into bloodthirsty killers. They soon find out, naturally, so are forced to try and shore up the ramshackle house, to fend off a horde of attackers with mayhem on their mind. Meanwhile, behind a hidden door in the basement, they locate the scientist's laboratory, and try to piece together exactly what is going on.

Once we got used to the Anglo-German approach (and, let's face it, better that than the usual horrendous dubbing), this isn't awful, but it does take way too long to get going. For about the first hour, there's more scenes of humans munching on sausages than munching on each other, and mediocre chit-chat among the largely uninteresting friends, thoigh Jürgens comes over as vaguely resembling a low-rent, German version of Jeffrey Combs. Once things start to ramp up in the final third, it does improve, though there is very little here with which you won't be highly familiar if you've seen more than about three zombie flicks (and I know we have...). Chunks of it probably don't make any sense, such as the Slutty One's decision to take the fight to the infected, but complaining about "logic" in this kind of film, is like critizing porn for inadequate character development.

[July 2011]

Dead Deutsch
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