Filmed in Spain in 2013 under the more interesting title Panzer Chocolate but only now reaching North America under a title that makes it sound like a generic war film, Panzer is another tale of hidden Nazi treasure and the horrors that guard it.
The plot is nothing we haven’t seen plenty of times before a group of friends and amateur treasure hunters deduce the location of a fabled Nazi bunker code named “Valhalla”. Reputed to be the storage place for a fortune in plundered artwork and guarded by a creature known as Das Kommandant Frank. Of course they find the bunker, the creature and a plot to bring on The Fourth Reich. Much nastiness and bloodshed ensue.
Sadly the film is as generic as it sounds. Granted there’s probably not a lot new you can do with this plot, but being a Spanish film I was at least hoping for a different perspective and/or a couple of new ideas but this hits all the usual notes, the spooky forest, the even spookier bunker, occult experiments and their ghastly results, etc. And it all plays out pretty much by the numbers, right down to the couple who have sex in the tent meeting a nasty end minutes later.
The film is competently made, the effects are gory and the makeup for Das Kommandant is creepy, reminiscent of the Nazi Zombies from the much better Shock Waves. The acting is solid and there’s even an appearance by the great Geraldine Chaplin but there’s no flair to it all, it feels like it was designed by a committee tasked to make a horror movie. And with three writers maybe it was.
The film’s only interesting point is the app that goes with it, download it and leave your phone on while you watch and it delivers the kind of extras, including an alternate ending, that you might find on a DVD. Apparently it’s triggered by a sound in the film, this is an interesting idea and might be useful for delivering extras to those who want them as streaming media replaces hard copies. But just like DVD extras, it can’t save a weak film. But since it wasn’t free and both of the reviews of the app on Goggle Play said it was buggy and kept crashing I skipped it.