Directed by: Julius Avery
Run time: 110 minutes
Format: 4K Ultra-HD
The Lowdown: Overlord is fucking fantastic.
It works as a war film and it works as a creature feature, going well above and beyond similar titles like Frankenstein’s Army, to deliver one of the best genre thrill-rides in recent memory.
Overlord opens with a solid get-to-know-everybody as a military plane transports soldiers to the front lines of World War II. The Germans have perfected a diabolical weapon that might tip the scales, and it’s up to this rag-tag troop of soldiers to stop them at any cost.
Boyce (Jovan Adepo) is the moral center of the group. John Magaro is Tibbet, the brutish killer of the squad. And Wyatt Russell, earning his family name (his dad is Kurt), plays Ford, the covert operative with the skills to dismantle the German weapon.
Overlord commands your attention, whether it’s putting viewers in a POV-nightmare-descent-via-parachute through an exploding sky of bomb blasts and falling planes, or sending them deep into the bowels of the German stronghold where a sinister mad scientist has perfected the art of full-body transformations.
The stellar script by Billy Ray and Mark L. Smith deftly toggles between propulsive war action and unthinkable abominations born from a laboratory.
The film squeezes every ounce of tension out of each scene, all the while teasing the house of horrors that awaits the soldiers once they finally breach the German’s hideout.
It’s criminal that Overlord wasn’t a bigger box office smash when it was released theatrically, but genre fans would be remiss not to run and grab a copy of this flick immediately. It’s just that damn good.
The Stuff You Care About:
Hot chicks – Yes.
Nudity – No.
Gore – War violence and creature gore.
Drug use – No.
Bad Guys/Killers – Nazis, dude. Specifically, Nazi monsters.
Buy/Rent – Buy it.
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Now on Video-on-Demand:
The Changeover (Vertical Entertainment, 95 minutes, Unrated, Video-on-Demand): This New Zealand import succeeds where other, recent YA-girl-centric fantasy adventures (I’m looking at you, I Kill Giants) have failed to rouse emotion, due in large part to standout turns by Erana James as Laura, a young girl who learns the truth about witches and her family’s lineage, and Timothy Spall as the main bad guy, Carmody Braque.
Welcome to Daisyland (Spitfire Music/BlackBoxTV, Unrated, Video-on-Demand): This new anthology series, which airs on BlackBoxTV’s YouTube channel, has released four episodes so far, and each one is better than the last. Utilizing a short format (most episodes are just a few minutes long) allows Welcome to Daisyland, which is set in the world of traveling sideshow performers, to get to the gory good stuff faster. The special effects are stellar, and the creatures in Episode 4, which offers a different spin on vampires, are especially fantastic. If there’s a complaint to be made, it’s in the brevity. I wouldn’t mind about five extra minutes per episode to allow for a little more character development.