Wednesday, 11 March 2015

The Devil's Rock (2011)

If I recall correctly, I stumbled across this film while trawling through cheap DVDs on a mail order site.  I then googled it, learned it was a New Zealand made horror film set in WW2, and decided to order it.  On the other hand, there's every possibility that I don't recall correctly, and the opposite is true: that I read about the film first, then discovered it was cheap and ordered it.

In either case, I am glad I didn't google image search the film at the time.  I did so for the first time in order to get the DVD cover image above, and discovered that a lot of the movie's advertising - and some of the other DVD covers - rely heavily on the image of a half-clothed woman in Nazi regalia.

Now that admittedly wouldn't necessarily have stopped me from buying the DVD.  But it gives the impression of a more exploitative, sleazier film than this actually is.  While there is some nudity, anyone buying this in the hope of seeing lots of skin is going to be disappointed.

Two commandos from New Zealand arrive in the Channel Islands on the eve of D-Day.  Their job is to perform acts of sabotage that will distract Nazi attention in that direction, and away from the actual landing sites.  I'm dubious about this, given that the Allies were trying to persuade the Germans that their landings would come near Calais, and the Channel Islands are (a) in the opposite direction and (b) rather too close to the actual landing sites for comfort.

The two men complete their mission to sabotage artillery guns, but before they leave they hear screams from inside the facility.  One of the two insists on investigating, which pretty quickly leads to the death of his partner and his own capture by the only living Nazi in the building.  Oops.

One doesn't get to be a commando without being resourceful, however, and our hero manages to escape: only to discover that the 'woman' he heard being tortured is a literal demon from hell.

Stuck between a Nazi and actual Hellspawn.  It's going to be a long night for this commando.  Especially since the demon has the ability to disguise itself in the form of his deceased wife.

The Devil's Rock is a decent horror film.  It's a little slow to get going, but after we finally get a big info dump about what's going on, it tightens up and the final act - one or two quibbles aside - is pretty tense and effective.  I also liked that it tied its plot into the Channel Islands' real life reputation as a place of witchcraft.

If you're a horror movie fan - especially one who likes old-school 'practical' gore effects - this is worth your time.

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