Horror/Zombies – Starring Michael Fuith, Theo Trebs, Anka Graczyk. Written by Benjamin Hessler. Directed by Marvin Kren (2010)
Zombies and love? Marvin Kren’s début film is a marriage made in Hell …
Michael (Michael Fuith) arrives at the Berlin apartment of his ex-girlfriend Gabi to return her keys, hoping to rekindle their relationship. Instead Gabi is missing and Michael finds himself at the centre of a zombie apocalypse, trapping him in the flat with young plumber, Harper (Theo Trebs). As the apartment block comes under siege from zombies, Michael and Harper team up to escape.
The film opens with a forlorn Michael outside Gabi’s apartment block, practising the incompetent speech he intends to deliver to her, cut with snap shots of the pair from happier times. A haunting music score and a shaky hand held camera draw the audience into Michael’s broken world, even before we see the first zombie. Muted colours and gloomy, washed out interiors add to the sense of oppression and create a pleasing art house feel.
Forget the helicopters, explosions, burning cars and hoards of crazed zombies on the DVD cover, Siege of the Dead is about as charming as a zombie film can get. It’s more love story against a backdrop of a zombie outbreak than Romero-style gorefest. With its focus on relationships, the film has more in common with television’s The Walking Dead, and taking this into consideration, Siege of the Dead may disappoint some zombie fans. But leave your conventional expectations behind and enjoy a tale that builds a claustrophobic world where love and friendship fight for survival.
German with subtitles and a cast of unknowns, this hour long film won’t have you squirming at the gory bits (there aren’t that many). But with the fast, foaming at the mouth 28 Days/Weeks Later ‘rage’ style zombies, it does have its tense, hold-your-breath moments. Siege of the Dead is well shot, carefully paced, superbly acted, neatly written and dares to be different. Not least for the moments touching on the weird – ‘Do you want the bear suit?’ is hardly the most trite line in zombie movie history. And in case you are wondering, don’t ask, just watch.
Rating 5 out of 5
Review by Lisa Richardson.