Sunday, August 24, 2014

The Devil's Rock, The Kiwis vs. the Nazis

Some of the greatest horrors inflicted upon mankind emanated from World War 2.  Setting a horror movie during that war poses difficulties for the film-maker.  For instance, can a horror be created which won't pale in comparison to the horrors of the death camps in Poland, the firebombing of Dresden, or the atomic blasts in Hiroshima and Nagasaki?  2011's "The Devil's Rock" works well, in part, because it is set in a claustrophobic setting in which the above horrors are not entwined with the plot.  On a smaller scale, good is pitted against evil.  The evil is an SS colonel in cahoots with a demon from Hell, as a commando from New Zealand represents the good.
The plot:  On the night before D-Day, two Kiwi commandos land on a Channel Island in order to destroy a bunker containing a big gun.  The object is to draw Hitler's attention away from Normandy.  Cpt. Grogan (Craig Hall) and Sgt.Tane (Karlos Drinkwater) are amazed at the ease in which they landed and were able to arrive at their target.  As they rig their explosives, the commandos hear men screaming in horror and gunshots from within the bunker.  Grogan kills a Nazi soldier fleeing the bunker.  Both men are confused why the soldier would be fleeing.  After hearing a woman scream, both men enter the installation fearing the Germans are torturing island citizens.  Really bad move!
Now we switch from war to horror movie.  The Kiwis find several disemboweled German soldiers in cramped tunnels inside the bunker.  Unfortunately for Tane, the lone surviving Nazi, Col. Klaus Meyer (Matthew Sunderland), gets the drop on him and kills him.  Grogan rushes to the scene and Meyer knocks him out and ties him up.  Meyer's interrogation of Grogan is interrupted by a woman moaning for help.  Meyer scoops up some body parts, announces "It is hungry," and leaves.  Grogan gets untied and finds that Meyer is dabbling in "The Black Arts."  Now Grogan gets the jump on Meyer and demands to be taken to what he thinks is a prisoner.  Meyer warns him that the prisoner is actually a demon summed up from Hell and very dangerous, but our Kiwi is skeptical.  When they arrive at the dungeon, Grogan is shocked to see his beautiful wife (Gina Varcela) in chains.  His wife was blown to bits by an air raid on London a few years back.  Meyer reminds him that what he sees is not his wife, but a monster.  When the thing eats some body parts and comes back to life after Meyer shoots it in the head, Grogan gets on board.
As Meyer and Grogan continue WW2 by shooting and stabbing each other, the demon waits in anticipation. Grogan comes to realize that he needs Meyer to defeat this spawn of Hell, but can he trust this Nazi (remember the story of the turtle and the scorpion)?  Initially Meyer conjured up this wretched fiend in order to use it as a weapon against the allies, however, it proved uncontrollable.  As Grogan and Meyer inflict gore on each other, one may ask if the makers of "The Devil's Rock" are perhaps saying that man can be as destructive to fellow men as the Devil.  Will Grogan be able to survive a very cunning Meyer, and the chained demon?  If the demon wins.....then what?  The ending is interesting and will require some thought to understand exactly what happened.  Lots of gore, and very defined characters (all the acting is superb) make "The Devil's Rock" a must see low-budget film.     

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