Reviewer: A. Zombie
Rated: Not Rated (Extreme Violence and Gore)
Starring: Michael Fuith, Theo Trebs, and Anna Graczyk
Before anyone dives into this film feet first, be aware that it is not in English. There are subtitles. If that prevents you from watching any decent film, you need to brush up on your reading skills and suck it up. More often than not, it is worth the extra effort. Is Rammbock (2010) worth it? Let’s find out.
Synopsis: Michael heads to Berlin to talk with his recent ex-girlfriend with a plan to win her back. But something isn’t right with the city. It is too quiet and Gabi is nowhere to be found. Before he can find her, hell breaks loose in the form of ravenous zombies—quick, dangerous—swarming the apartment complex Gabi lives in. Michael finds himself relying on a young man, Harper, and the complex tenants to help him survive and locate his missing girlfriend.
Rammbock starts off a little slow, building the tension to the first reveal of a new, frightening zombie breed. They’re red-faced, veins bulging under their discolored skin. Foam flows from their mouths. They scream and run as though possessed by demons. In other words, they’re not to be trifled with. The virus that creates them works quickly. Those infected do not die. Instead, an adrenaline rush triggers the change. In theory, if an infected person can remain calm for long enough, their immune system will attack and destroy the virus. It is only a theory; no one can stay calm in the middle of a zombie attack for very long.
The way the virus works was supplied through an age-old zombie film trope—the news feed. It is understandable in the case of Rammbock; the film is just about an hour long. There isn’t enough time to demonstrate the full effect and possibilities of the virus. However, I wish someone would think of a more original way to convey vital information from the government to the people. Use carrier pigeons for all I care, just find another way that doesn’t make the audience begin to zone out after a while.
Mixed with the horror of watching these people trapped inside an apartment complex is a lot of very interesting questions about human nature. Who can you trust? Once you realize there is an outbreak, everyone, even your lovers and family become a threat. One scratch, one bite and they’re chowing down on your face. What is the right way to escape? Several times in the film, suicide is mentioned as an option to be free of the painful truth—there is no way out alive. Or is there? Bravery is walking forward, no matter what frightening thing you face. A handful of the characters are extremely brave, almost to a fault. And the final question is: Would you sacrifice yourself to kill your infected lover, sparing yourself the loss and them the indignity of living as a monster? As one of the monsters, I have to say life as a zombie isn’t half bad. To each their own, though.
Overall I’m giving Rammbock three and a half gnawed-on legs out of five. This is a film that will make you seriously stop and think, “Am I ready to face whatever odds, whatever horrors, in order to live?” Well, are you?