Hi, I'm Sam, I love movies. My main interest is science fiction and zombie movies. Pessimistic and survival films I also enjoy a lot.
For a long time, it was rumored that Overlord was the fourth entry to the diverse Cloverfield saga. After the viral found footage of the original, the intimate indie gem of 10 Cloverfield Lane, the sci-fi disaster of The Cloverfield Paradox and a whole tangle of theories including time jumps, extraterrestrials, and giant monsters, it made "sense" that a film about Nazi zombies produced by Bad Robot was the next entry.
Fortunately, the rumors weren't true. And I say that not for throwing shade at the Cloverfield saga (which I'm a fan of, even with its ups and downs). But because that way, Overlord was not overshadowed by an ambition greater than this film directed by Julius Avery already has by itself.
The action begins on World War II's D-Day, inside a plane of a paratrooper squad about to begin its descent into the worst nightmare of their lives. Its mission is to survive the original deployment and to destroy a German radio tower located in an old church in the nearby French village. The success of the entire military effort depends on that operation.
The horror starts airborne. The entire fleet of aircraft is torn apart by enemy weapons before they can reach their destination, causing multiple casualties.
The only survivors of the carnage are the hardcore but slightly perturbed Corporal Ford (Wyatt Russell) who is an expert in explosives, good-hearted Private Ed Boyce (Jovan Adepo), sour and cynical sniper Tibbet (John Magaro ) and photographer Morton Chase (Agents Of SHIELD's Iain De Caestecker).
The gang manages to infiltrate the small town where the church is, and take refuge in the house of a French woman named Chloe (Mathilde Ollivier), who lives there with her little brother Paul (Gianny Taufer) and her aunt Simone.
It's there when things start to get strange. Aunt Simone is prostrate in a bed, locked in a room, after being physically disfigured and mentally deranged in a secret Nazi experiment performed inside the occupied church.
Chloe and Paul have managed to survive, thanks to the fact that SS Hauptsturmführer Captain Wafner (Pilou Asbaek) has developed an obsession with Chloe. In fact, it's strongly suggested that Chloe has done him sexual favors in order to keep her and his little brother safe.
The American soldiers hide in the attic of the house while they plan their next move. But when Captain Wafner tries to rape Chloe, Boyce is unable to stay hidden. Forced to move quickly after keeping the German captain prisoner, Boyce manages to infiltrate the church.
In the church, Boyce discovers many sinister things. A group of German soldiers burns with flamethrowers what appear to be disfigured and mutated men, considered "failed experiments". There is a whole laboratory led by Dr. Schmidt (Erich Redman), processing a strange liquid created by processing an ancient tar--found under the church--through the human body.
Boyce, still terrified by the discovery, manages to grab a sample of the strange serum, rescue another paratrooper from his division called Jacob Rosenfeld (Dominic Applewhite) and even localize the best way to destroy the tower radio, which is after all his main mission.
Back to the attic, everything goes downhill. Captain Wafner manages to escape, taking little Paul hostage. The American soldiers are besieged and forced to flee from there. Chase gets killed during these events.
And that's when Boyce, Ford and the rest of the gang understand what the serum is for. After injecting the liquid to Chase, the photographer revives more active and stronger than ever. However, he quickly begins to mutate and to have a hostile and irrational attitude.
It's all clear now. The Nazis are trying to create a serum that will turn their soldiers into ultra-powerful immortal creatures. For now, though they are mostly perfecting the serum on villagers and captured allied forces.
Now, this handful of American soldiers must fulfill an even more complex mission, in a matter of hours.
Overlord is undoubtedly unique in its style. It's a combination between the premise of a bonkers B-Movie and the scale of an epic war blockbuster produced by J.J. Abrams.
And it's perhaps that B-movie component that makes one as a spectator end up waiting for an extra madness step like in the Dead Snow saga. Seeing J.J. Abrams credit as a producer doesn't help either. As one immediately thinks of narrative pieces that progressively escalated their complexity and creativity. Lost and the aforementioned Cloverfield suffered severely from this.
But the truth is, that shouldn't be perceived as negative. The only sin of this film is to have stepped on virgin narrative territories. Overlord works, precisely because of the great balance it makes between its two genres. Perhaps, if the story had bowed to its B-Movie premise, it would have completely lost its legitimacy as a war movie.
Because the majority of the time, Overlord feels exactly like that: a great war movie. The setting, makeup, special effects, and performances are of the highest quality.
This is, above all, an explosive war movie. One where it happens to have some Nazi zombies around.
Zombie Movie Details
Release Year: 2018
Director(s): Julius Avery
Writer(s): Billy Ray, Mark L. Smith
Actors: Jovan Adepo, Wyatt Russell, Mathilde Ollivier, Pilou Asbæk, a.o.
Runtime: 1 hour 50 minutes
© 2021 Sam Shepards
John Plocar from Weatherford on June 06, 2021:
I totally forgot about the rumors that Overlord was going to be connected to the Cloverfield universe. I'm curious how the writers would have bridged the gap there if it were true haha anyways, I dug the hell out of Overlord when I saw it back in 2018. I think it's been too long since my last viewing so I might go back and have myself a good time with it again! Solid review by the way =D