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Rammbock: Berlin Undead

A movie directed by Marvin Kren

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Berlin is Under Siege By The Rabid Undead....

  • Nov 25, 2011
In the search of more zombie horror, since I have grown rather weary of zombie comedies, so I’ve become willing to try anything. It is quite sad that the best zombie tales on any medium now resides within comic books and television (The Walking Dead graphic novels and on TV); seems like the zombie genre has been on a slump lately, so I figured I should go to foreign movies. Norway‘s Dead Snow was very unsatisfactory in storytelling but it proved to be a good B-movie romp, so I went for Germany‘s “Rammbock Berlin Undead”. It wasn’t what I expected, but I suppose it was a refreshing change from a ‘zomedy’.

Michael (Michael Fuith) had journeyed to Berlin from Vienna to visit his ex-girlfriend Gabi when a virus outbreak seemingly had broken out of nowhere and no explanation. The virus is turning regular people into homicidal, feral, flesh-craving creatures and much to his concern, Michael finds that Gabi (Anna Graczyk) is not at home and meets Harper instead, a apprentice of a plumber to work on her apartment. Together the two manage to barricade themselves from the zombie horde, as they try to make plans to try to survive. Communicating with the other tenants along the terrace, the two must find a way to get out and find safety, and maybe find Gabi and help the other tenants…

Director Marvin Kren makes a zombie film that instead of relying on the usual one-liners, the over the top zombie violence, blood buffet and splatter effects to engage his audience, goes for something more simple as with the need to survive. The direction together with the scripter, Benjamin Hessler takes the viewer into the lives of a few people, trapped within a tenement, and their utmost concern is to merely survive the chaos. We see the average joe’s point of view, as they try to ride out the crisis and an attempt to cope with the possible apocalypse.

The film is very simple really and relies on the possible feeling of claustrophobia, as we see Michael and Harper try to make moves that could allow them to get away. Much of the film has a lot dialogue as we get to know them through their interactions, and how the neighbors themselves think about their problem. For some reason, the film reminded me a lot of [REC], as some of the shots appeared to have been inspired by that fantastic Spanish horror film; the shots on the stairs and that scene with the old woman were eerily similar to [REC]. I am not sure, I felt that the direction wanted to mimick the claustrophobic feeling that the Spanish horror hit had created while introducing themes similar to “28 Days Later” as with the adrenaline triggered infection. The tone and atmosphere seemed inspired by the two movies, muted colors mixed in with shadows and editing trickery.



The zombies have the same qualities as the other movies I’ve mentioned. They are fast-moving, more feral and bestial than Romero’s zombies, and aside from the usual weaknesses, scripter Benjamin Hessler made an interesting addition, as these zombies’ retina were more vulnerable similar to those with Rabies. It was a nice twist, but I thought the film was just too short at 62 minutes to truly develop the depths of its script. The film was obviously very limited to its budget, and so, it missed the full fruits of its potential. But the director does have an ace on its hole, as the film focuses more on the salvation of a loved one or the obsession of surviving with a loved one. There is something quite touching as it appeared that Miichael’s concern for Gabi supersedes over his fear of the infected people. The acting may seem rather amateurish and the actors struggled to make the scenes convincing, but I appreciated the way the film made a more human emotional approach rather than the usual zombie violence.

It was too bad, since however good intentioned the film is, I felt that it was incomplete. I have to admit that it was short enough so it really didn’t need to go the distance with its premise, but there was a feeling of “nothing much” happens and so I doubt that the film would be enjoyed by a lot of folks. I know, it wasn't the filmmakers' intentions to go into further details, and its intentions of merely catching a glimpse of an apocalypse made sense, but the film felt too short. Still, “Rammbock” is worth a look by zombie fans, just don’t expect much and it may prove to be a good diversion. To its credit, it wasn’t a zomedy since I am very weary of those.

RENTAL [2 ½ Out of 5 Stars]

Berlin is Under Siege By The Bestial Undead.... Berlin is Under Siege By The Bestial Undead....

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December 02, 2011
This looks a little bit similar to "28 Days Later".
December 02, 2011
Yeah...it is eeriely similar...
November 26, 2011
Yet to see this but you know I will, even though it doesn't sound all that great.
November 26, 2011
I was hoping that it would be in the quality of The Horde but it wasn't. As a zombie fan, I checked it out still.
November 25, 2011
At least this film seemed to have grabbed your attention with the need to survive. I don't see how anyone can make a good zombie movie anymore, because a zombie is a zombie - not much room to try and make a zombie film too interesting; they get a virus, they turn into a creepy dead thing, they chase after everyone else, and so on. And you caught my attention with the word "apocalypse" - I suddenly realized that may be one of the reasons I dread zombie movies (aside from the usual gore which is boring me) - seeing the end of the human race and the possibility of the world ending in such a terrible manner makes me extremely nervous. (Thanks for giving me the link; I'm on pain meds and I'm feeling tired and loopy!) Will we ever see a good zombie movie ever again Woo?!?!
November 25, 2011
You have some good points. I guess the trick to a real good zombie movie would be to develop the characters and have the viewer invested in them. I too, feel a sort of dread as it seems to reflect the apocalypse, and on this the opportunity is vast. So far, the only great zombie story I can really say I enjoy is the Walking Dead comic series as it never seemed to falter and is bold enough to go further. The TV series is good but it misses the message of the source material. You get some rest, I'll let you know if and when I review something horror related. I may hit the theaters too this weekend.
November 25, 2011
Thank you - the only really good zombie movie I saw was (damn I can't remember the title!) an older one; takes place in a funeral home; the young guy is new and fumes accidentally leak out from the crematory and a bunch of young teens are stuck in the funeral home with the other guys. It was humorous (I love to see men get all scared and stuff; it cracks me up) and the zombies are trying to get in, and the characters had more of the attention than the zombies which made it interesting. The few who got infected by the zombies went through rigormortis (spelling?) before they turned into zombies, so one guy left his wedding ring out of the crematory before he burned himself up. I loved this movie - it had depth to it; do you remember which one I'm talking about? (Pain pills making me a blabbermouth - sorry LOL)
November 25, 2011
I think that is one of the movies in the return of the Evil Dead series, but it has been ages since I've seen that last. My fave was # 3 in that series. Have you seen FIDO? The Horde was pretty awesome too.Me and @ liked it a lot!
November 25, 2011
No, it wasn't in the Evil Dead series. I have not seen the movie you mentioned I don't think - I forget titles easily LOL
November 25, 2011
sorry I meant "Return of the Living Dead"

November 25, 2011
Yep -- that's the one! I loved the humor in this one!!

November 26, 2011
November 26, 2011
LOL -- they did say that a lot in the movie didn't they? I love it!!!!
More Rammbock: Berlin Undead reviews
review by . July 14, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
**1/2 out of ****    I give any director credit if they can at least surpass George Romero's more recently bland attempts at reviving the genre of the undead. Newcomer Marvin Kren has done just that with "Rammbock: Berlin Undead", one of those new age zombie flicks that defines the very word "zombie" very differently from how the classics did. No longer do the dead come back to life and attack the living; they never seem to have died anymore in the first place. Now, zombies have …
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Director: Marvin Kren
Screen Writer: Benjamin Hessler

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