The Dead Pit & Rammbock

Posted: 07/03/2011 in Movies

Zombie Movie Night: July 2011

This month Zombie Movie brings us both the old and the new. We took a look at 1989’s The Dead Pit and 2010’s Rammbock.

The Dead Pit

Stay classy, Dead Pit.

The Dead Pit tells the story of a young woman with amnesia (or did she have her memories surgically removed???) who finds herself locked away in a mental institution. So, of course we are treated to all of the customary mental institution cliches: a crowded common room with pacing, mumbling patients, abusive hospital staff, a bitchy head-nurse, and a wrongfully imprisoned sane guy with a rebellious streak. Our lead starts having visions of an evil surgeon. Despite his friendly waving, we know he’s evil because he has bright red eyes and we saw him experimenting on patient’s brains in a secret basement 20 years ago during the prologue.

The acting is all pretty terrible. The heroine delivers some powerfully awful lines, but she does spend a lot of time in her underwear. The aforementioned sane guy seems to randomly alternate between having no accent, a British accent, or doing a Sean Connery impersonation.

It takes roughly an hour before any real zombies hit the screen. Once they arrive, they are of the risen dead, shuffling variety. There are some nice scenes of them rising from the Dead Pit and approaching from the eerily-lit horizon (it’s kind of reminiscent of the music video for Bonnie Tyler’s Total Eclipse of the Heart), but for the most part it’s too little, too late.

Overall, The Dead Pit is certainly not a good movie. It’s also not anywhere as bad as some of the duds at the very bottom of the ZMN Standings. It’s mostly redeemed by a host of unintentionally funny moments. Worth a look if you’ve got nothing better to do.

Current ZMN Rank: #32 out of 49

Rammbock

Rammbock is a German film that starts with a fairly pathetic everyman traveling to his ex-girlfriend’s apartment to return her keys, and supposedly win back her heart. Whereas, The Dead Pit took forever to get to the zombie action, Rammbock gets right to it. Within the first 8 minutes of the movie, our pathetic hero is running from a raging plumber.

Rammbock’s zombies are virus-infected humans. They’re fast and very sensitive to sound. If you get bitten or scratched, you don’t automatically die or turn. The virus is only activated when your adrenaline gets pumping. Good luck staying calm during the zombie apocalypse, though!

The film is well-made with a good story, solid acting, and nice effects. It’s got some quirks that might be a cultural thing (Is it normal for German people to sleep in bear costumes when stressed out?).  It’s fast-paced, which is actually one of its drawbacks. Including credits, the whole movie clocks in at 1 hour 4 minutes. That’s short, even by zombie standards. While I appreciate the filmmakers not stretching to meet a certain runtime, there were certainly areas of the movie that could have been expanded upon without dragging things down. Aside from that, Rammbock is a strong addition to the ZMN roster and I highly recommend it.

P.S. Watching the movie will not provide any clarity as to the meaning of the title. I still have no idea what a Rammbock is.

Current ZMN Rank: #13 out of 49

Zombie Movie Night Standings

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