Thursday, June 6, 2013

Horror Picks: Rammbock Keeps It Short and Sweet

Rammbock: Berlin Undead
Found another good one on Netflix streaming -- Rammbock: Berlin Undead.  The basic plot -- a mild guy named Michael goes to Berlin to return apartment keys to Gabi, with whom he has recently broken up. Instead, he gets stuck in her apartment building with a plumber's assistant during a strange outbreak that tears the city apart.

Zombie enthusiasts, don't get too excited by the title. If it's strictly the undead you're interested in, you won't really find that here. This is more like The Crazies -- still an outbreak, but rage-based. No one is rising from the dead. But there's still that siege mentality, the classic claustrophobia of a great zombie film, and a good plot to support it. There are subtitles, but it clocks in at 61 minutes, so you won't have time to get tired of them. That also means that there are no wasted moments and no aimless filler. Director Marvin Kren still found a way to slow the story down in a few moments so the human characters can process what's happening, while never losing urgency. 

There is a wonderful twist to the infection that Michael has to fight throughout the latter part of the film, something that brings his emotions to the forefront and lets us see that even without the quasi-supernatural crisis developing around him, he'd still be battling to keep himself from falling apart.  

And though technically, Rammbock may not be a zombie film, it follows the zombie film axiom. The best stories are rarely about the creatures outside. They're about the people trapped in overwhelming circumstances and the choices they make. And the choices here are often beautiful and tragic.