Screenwriter Benjamin Hessler marks his debut with this film, Rammbock assisted by director Marvin Kren, whom both, would later re-team for the horror movie Blood Glacier (2013), however in this 2010 production billed as the first zombie film, made in Germany. The movie, falls into the grouping of other zombie movies, aside from the setting and dialogue, and has English subtitles and in versions dubbed into English language. Each nation providing a zombie flick representing their countries response and actions of the citizens, a welcome sight to new interpretations, all dating back to grandfather of the dead, George A. Romero.
The movie wastes no time in getting and unleashing the end of the civilized world, cascading a quickly stripped away life, of humdrum, and growing a zombie universe, that borrows from 28 Days Later (2002), and yet adds a dose or two of uniqueness to the film. The movie opens with Michael (Michael Fuith) a stalker like boyfriend who seeks to rekindle his relationship with is now ex-girlfriend Gabi (Anka Graczyk) goes to her disgusting poor looking apartment building with a large empty courtyard, and finds problems, a plumber engage and chained to radiator highly agitated. Assisted by the apprentice Harper (Theo Trebis) they successfully move the diseased man out from Gabi’s apartment, and braced the door, with no time to spare as waves of zombies begin flooding the area. Soon the audience gets served with a fair amount of suggested gore (hint: limits of budget), and hard to have zombie movie without it in the modern era, the strength of the film moves forward, and drops a few comical moments to break the tension and set the audience up for that jolt of scares and tension. Rather than focusing on mindless bloodshed gore and thrills of intense pulling liver eating scene, the attention of the camera stays on the characters, allowing the plight and response to convey the problematic issues. Quickly the entire film turns more depressing, the isolation of traditional zombie genre, grows and lingers on the basic human functions, and wonders the meaning behind it all is pointless escapism from the growing reality below and in stairwells of their current tomb. The rage infect disease has a temporary cure, and the wheeling and dealing to obtain, brings many interesting situations including deceit and loneliness.
While Kren and Hessler made a great and surprising interesting film, they failed in one grouping, the length, 63-minutes, too long for short film, the standard industry is under 50-minutes for a short, and a feature at least 85-minutes. No clue, why it happened, the storyline, had the audience and intention to strive forward, with the claustrophobic confines and exploring more the residents, the pacing is wind a tad too tightly, the measure response of tense action and too short on creating dread and suspense, something the definitely needs improvement, a careful lesson to learn. The standard rule worldwide, one page of script equals on average 1 minute hence 90-pages is 90-minutes, remember that Hessler. As for the lacking special effects, the goal of showing raging maniacs turning into white eyed creatures with blood-smeared mouths provides enough input to the audience to understand that these animals are truly zombified. Meanwhile Kren brings a true sense of euro horror the screen, and pays a bit of homage to Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window, showing influence knows no limits or barriers. Cinema always has the ability to transcend the limitation others place as a roadblock, and Rammbock meaning battering ram, bashes through them decimates them completely.
Zombies, have invaded avenue of society, from movies, music, comics, television, board and video games, drinks, clothes and here in America home defenses and firearms, the sub-genre of zombie culture exploding on a daily trend with nothing to prevent the virus from overtaking the world. Now the average horror fan has seen enough zombie movies to last them awhile, but yet again, why not indulge in some more, especially with romance factor playing a minor part, reminiscent of the short horror film Anniversary Dinner from Jessi Gotta. The English translated title, Siege of the Dead, is not bad, heard plenty worse, but take the time to view the movie, it won’t disappoint, the only downside the lack of a full-length movie.