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Friday, June 3, 2011

Rammbock (2010) Horror Zombie Infection

Rammbock (2010) - My daughter and I got to see this short, 60 minute feature at a midnight showing at the AMC Loews Boston Common 19 theaters. This opportunity to see a small film that otherwise we would never see was welcome. The coming attraction for YellowBrickRoad opening June 3rd also looked good. To make up for the short run time there was a funny intro film about what to do if a zombie is in the theater. I looked for a link to it but could not find it. It was not hilarious but certainly amusing.Rammbock : Berlin Undead was a good little film. At its heart is a love story involving Michael (Michael Fuith) and Gabi (Anna Graczyk). She had recently dumped him but he was still hoping things would work out. To further this agenda he brings his copy of her apartment keys over to her place in the guise of returning them. Still the infatuated he spends time practicing the lines he will say to win her heart back. Unfortunately for him when he arrives at the open apartment she is not there. In her place is a plumber and his assistant Harper (Theo Trebs) who are working on her pipes, literally not figuratively. Worse yet is just as Michael arrives, outside a fast spreading virus is turning people into fast zombies, think infection like in 28 Days Later. The plumber crack and all suddenly becomes infected and it is all Harper and Michael can do to fight him off and close themselves in Gabi's apartment. These early scenes are pretty much the same as we have seen in other movies, like the above mentioned 28 DL, Le Horde and the excellent [Rec] and [Rec] 2. Still the scene are not without peril and much like every other movie of this type there is a need for the characters to expose themselves to even more danger than you would think necessary. Harper assists even though he knows it is a bad idea. There was a good piece early section of the film where the remaining unturned people are safe for the moment in their apartments and come to the windows to talk to each other. The layout of the building created a nice closed courtyard, which unfortunately had an open gate at the start of the film so there are lots of infected down below. The space this creates for communication is excellent and if more was done with it the film could have been that much better. Say if from one window the attacks on other apartments could be viewed. It could have been really cool but was only used briefly here. We get to meet some of the other survivors, seeing that the big guy with tattoos has already been bitten. Expecting that something was going to happen with this massive man who will turn there is a real sense of anticipation built.
Even with information on the radio and TV telling everyone to stay in Michael can't. Knowing he dropped his phone on the stairs when struggling with the plumber he has to go for it. Harper is creating weapons and all Michael can do is think about calling Gabi, he actually gives Harper a hard time for using her forks in his weapon creation. Again it is a positive that this theme of the love you can't let go of plays through the film instead of being dropped. Still in the early stages of the film the more predictable stuff is happening so of course when Michael is getting his phone it rings, attracting the infected in droves. They manage to barricade themselves in the bedroom but the rest of the apartment is lost to them and the infected know they are there.
Not to give away too much more of the story, but lets say that the strange and endearing parts about Michael's love continue and when the two guys have to break through the wall to the apartment next store they end up separated. Harper from his place figures out how to ward off the infected while Michael has a anticipated reunion. He eventually see the way out of the city but there is still some work to be done and some side stories before the final attempt to get to safety. The second half of this is fairly original and a cool little take on the theme that recently has been thoroughly explored. There is a space in this end of civilization film where lots of small stories can be told. No doubt workers in Boston and Cambridge have thought out there escape routes in detail, think duck boats. Wherever you live if this type of film is for you then you have your own scenarios in your head. This film does a decent job telling one of those stories. Could more have been developed in this one? Yes for sure but even so it is a competent entry into the genre. So some credit to be given to the filmmakers Director Marvin Kren and writer Benjamin Hessler.
Rating (6.3) 5.0 and up are recommended, in the Zombiegrrlz system Go Out and See It!

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