Overlord (2018)

The mix of war movies and horror movies have always been a natural combination, since they’re both manage to examine the dark sides of combat and humanity. It’s just a shame that there haven’t been many movies of the sub-genre that have been worth watching. Thankfully, while “Overlord” isn’t a complete masterpiece, it manages to come out in the end as a sleek and very clever amalgam of horror, fantasy, and war oriented action. It might also sweeten the pot that Avery’s horror war hybrid feels like a spiritual prequel to “Re-Animator.” Director Julius Avery approaches the idea of a horror movie set during World War II with great right balance of both genres, allowing “Overlord” to be a character piece first and then delve right in to the horrendous grue and human ugliness.

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The Bootleg Files: Heil Honey I’m Home!

BOOTLEG FILES 653: “Heil Honey I’m Home!” (1990 British sitcom that ran for one episode before being cancelled).

LAST SEEN: On YouTube.

AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: None.

REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: One of the most notoriously bad productions in British television history.

CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE: Nein.

Imagine “I Love Lucy” with Adolf Hitler as Ricky Ricardo, Eva Braun as Lucy and an obnoxious Jewish couple as the Mertzes. Welcome to the production that makes “The Day the Clown Cried” seem like the pinnacle of fine art: the 1990 British sitcom “Heil Honey I’m Home!”
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Caedes: Forestglade of Death (2014) [Horrible Imaginings 2015]

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Horrible Imaginings Film Festival San Diego 2015

Forest, zombies, Germany, sounds like a match made in horror-comedy heaven. Caedes: Forestglade of Death, or Caedes – Die Lichtung des Todes, follows a group of friends as they go to Happy Camping for a weekend of relaxation and beer, lots of beer. Quickly a leader is established in Dan who approaches a blond babe named Leen only to be shot down. Everyone settles in, meets their camping neighbors, and parties all night. When morning comes, some awake with one hell of as hang over while others wake up as zombies, something clearly having happened overnight. Zombies go looking for food where they can, attacking the remaining campers who defend themselves as best they can. San and his friends Manesh, Jose, and Jorrun all survive along with Leen, Fritz, Tina, and a few others. This band of survivors then works together to live, finds the zombie source, and get out of there.

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Inglourious Basterds (2009)

inglourious_basterds_ver9Tarantino is often touted as a filmic sensation, a director who understands film and the art of storytelling and despite the backlash he gets from some, the man simply knows how to tell a damn story. In a world where blockbusters and animated films shake us down for cash in exchange for a movie that only acts as an amusement park ride (experienced now, easily forgotten later), Tarantino opts instead to give us bang for our buck with films that surpass their genres and provide us with the old fashioned art of storytelling. With his flair for dialogue and his mastery of the film camera, Tarantino is always performing at his best regardless of his film’s quality (erm–“Death Proof”) and “Inglourious Basterds” is one of his best works yet.

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Blitzkrieg: Escape from Stalag 69 (2008)

BlitzFINALlobby-1Ah Nazisploitation, one of my favorite sub-genres of the Grindhouse niche. After watching the “Ilsa” movies last year, I found the subset to be a very fascinating and varied area with titles attempting social relevance and failing immensely. “Blitzkrieg” is the incredible ambitious and sophisticated dip into the nazi exploitation gallery with a very unusual and original story that hearkens back to Jess Franco and Don Edmonds. “Blitzkrieg” sets down on 1955, a little over a decade after the holocaust where a secret group of officers are busting ex-Nazi death camp owners and arresting them.

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Ilsa: She Wolf of the SS (1975)

Ilsa

Based on the actual Nazi Ilse Koch, “Ilsa, She-Wolf of the SS,” takes the actual person Ilse Koch who tortured prisoners and collected skin from the prisoners who had tattoos, and turns it into a rather shameless exploitation film. Let’s be honest, this is mostly just pornography with a plot, and yet I was lost in its story. The actual Ilse Koch was a lowlife dog, a monster fit to be hanged and pelted with rocks. She was an inhuman jellyfish who took great pleasure in tormenting the poor prisoners, while this film is really just porn. And, I’m not begrudging it for that. This is a capsule of its time. Period.

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Sophie Scholl: The Final Days (Sophie Scholl – Die letzten Tage) (2005)

In 1943, German teens Sophie and Hans Scholl, and Christoph Probst along with many others, were convicted of crimes against their country during the end of the second world war. Sophie, Hans, and Christoph were convicted and executed after being caught distributing leaflets and pamphlets speaking out against Hitler and his army. What’s depicted in “Sophie Scholl” is the utterly heroic and courageous war fought by these three people to survive and send out their messages of impending defeat to the Nazi’s. “Sophie Scholl” is a brilliant and utterly magnificent exploration not only in to the battle of these freedom fighters, but also an insightful glance at the last breath of the Nazi regime. I insist I’ve yet to see an awful depiction of the holocaust, and I stand by it. “Sophie Scholl” can be added to that list as one of the best depictions of Nazi wrath, and defiance ever made. It’s a masterpiece, pure and simple.

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The Pianist (2002)

ThePianistThe holocaust was the worst crime against humanity and a race ever committed; the concept as to the extermination of the Jewish race and it’s allies is simply ridiculous and thus a thought is shown in “The Pianist” a film that rivals every one of the greatest Holocaust films ever made, including the best “Schindler’s List”. Based upon the autobiography and chronicle of pianist Wladyslaw Szpilman through his struggle for survival from the beginning of the holocaust, his family’s move from smaller place to smaller place to finally a concentration camp, his escape from the concentration camp and his survival in the Warsaw ghetto, we learn something about the people of that time, the Jewish people who were persecuted among the Nazi’s; these were survivors, these were true heroes who managed to stay alive along the course of the Holocaust.

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