Eurohorror Spotlight #11: Rammbock aka Siege of the Dead (Germany, 2010).
Starring: Michael Fuith, Theo Trebs, Anka Graczyk
We see a middle aged man, Michael (Fuith), ‘practising’ how he will give back the keys of an apartment to his now ex girlfriend Gabi who dumped him after 7 years. As he goes into the building he hears a man screaming and what maybe gunshots. He goes in but Gabi is not there, just a anti social plumber. Plumbers mate, young boy Harper, is attacked by the plumber who seems to be a zombie suddenly. They manage to get him out the flat and lock themselves in. They hear noises outside, look out a window to see zombies attacking other people. Checking the TV news channel people are being urged to stay indoors as the people of Berlin turn into crazy flesh hungry zombies. They spend the night there but in the morning they fear for the worst when all TV stations display the Test Card – nothing is on the air. Michael and Harper communicate with the residents by shouting out of the window as they try to figure out a way of escaping without being attacked.
Released in the UK as Siege of the Dead but in the rest of the world as Rammbock, this is a fantastic little movie. It really is little too: the runtime is just 62 minutes. Many may be put off by a DVD claiming to be feature-length when its only just longer than an average episode of Top Gear or Homes Under the Hammer but those who look beyond the short length of this title will be in for a treat.
It’s not high on original ideas for plot but it does have a lot of nice little touches throughout its scenes that make it a little different from the pack. The trapped in an apartment building-attacked-by-zombies plot device has been done by the likes of REC (many times in the case of that franchise) yet Rammbock is more sombre and not as ferocious as its Spanish counterpart.
As is the case in movies of this nature there is no real explanation for how or why the zombies come to be although it won’t matter as the rest of the actions makes up for it (again, typical of the genre). The character of Michael is determined to fight on for the sake of his doomed relationship to Gabi while the young Harper goes along with whatever will keep him alive. The story seems to be implying that love is the ultimate driving force (more so when Harper falls for a young lady who lives in the building) and as long as you have that then zombies, and their lack of emotions, can never truly conquer the living.
Michael Fuith (Michael) and Theo Trebs (Harper) have most of the run time to themselves and they are both good actors. The film calls for them to display various emotions, sometimes in the matter of minutes, that they both do well. Fuith has gone on to appear in the recent Blood Glacier while Trebs, just 16 when Rammbock was made, has appeared in numerous German TV series.
A fun, compelling and often emotional zombie film that is short and high impact, a worthy Eurohorror to track down.
8 out of 10.
Available on DVD with English subtitles under both names Rammbock and Siege of the Dead.