In war, death is not the only thing to fear
Writers: Peter John Ross, John Whitney, Philip R. Garrett
Directors: Peter John Ross, John Whitney
Zombies of War is the UK title for a movie known in the US as Horrors of War. The American title is actually more accurate – for more than one reason.
The story is set in World War II. Aware that he’s losing the war, Hitler has set up a special unit to investigate using “supernatural” creatures as special weapons; creatures such as werewolves and zombies. After a few encounters with these creatures the US army sends a squad to where they think the experiments are taking place in order to put a stop to them.
It’s not a bad idea, unfortunately it fails pretty miserably. Most of the film consists of soldiers wandering round a generic woodland (supposed to be France) shouting and shooting guns; if that macho military stuff floats your boat then you might like this movie. The creatures don’t get a lot of screen time until the very end. This is less a horror film set in the war than a war film with a few creatures as extra enemies.
That would probably have worked if the story had been well told, but it isn’t. It’s all over the place. The main mission doesn’t even start until half way through. Most of the first half is setup which could have been handled in twenty minutes. The first section also has as the enemy werewolves rather than the zombies which appear later; the transition between the two acts is jarring and the result ends up feeling more like two separate films welded together. Maybe the idea was to spin off a TV series with the squad hunting different creatures every week. Certainly the film ends with a setup for a sequel that I very much doubt will ever be made.
The whole thing is made even more of a mess by much of the action in the first half being in the form of flashback or flashforward, resulting in little sense of immediacy. For all the gunshots there’s almost no real feeling of tension or menace. It’s all pretty tedious with script problems including one of the characters uttering the fatal phrase “As you know…” and a massive infodump near the end.
Zombies and Nazis can blend together nicely. In the case of this movie the sauce is well curdled.