World War II. Nazis – the personification of evil. Diving into the history, it’s terrifying to know the many different avenues they explored in order to attempt to reach their goal of ultimate world domination, particularly the scientific research and human experiments preformed in order to achieve their ideal perfect race. These topics in mind, comes Nazi Overlord, a Sci-Fi Thriller exploring how science could have aided the Nazis in their evil quest. The work of Director Rob Pallatina (500 MPH Storm 2013, Alien Siege 2018), the film made its appearance on DVD and VOD back on November 13, 2018 and now it sees a SVOD (subscription video on demand) release as of Wednesday, February 13th thanks to The Asylum. So, is the bizarrely titled film worth checking out?
During the battle at Normandy, U.S. Army Captain Rogers (Andrew Liberty: The Bold and the Beautiful series, Scandal 2012) proved himself to be an extraordinary soldier by taking out Nazis with his own bare hands. As a result, Colonel Forrester (Tom Sizemore: Saving Private Ryan 1998, Twin Peaks 2017) entrusts him to head a mission that four other teams have already tried and failed: rescue the brilliant English scientist, Dr. Eris (Dominique Swain: Lolita 1997, The Fast and the Fierce 2017), who was captured by the Nazis two months prior. Captain Rogers reluctantly accepts, with the Colonel promising he will receive a personal thank you from the president upon his successful return.
Armed with the appropriate ammunition, Captain Rogers and his squad of men head out to Romania, the last known place Dr. Eris was seen, but neither he nor his squad are special forces and have no idea what they are about to walk into. Lt. Haas (Greg Furman: The Last Keepers 2013, Flight 666 2018) is the only one in the crew that can even speak German. Furthermore, St. John (Michael J. Claman: Sunshine 2017, Rollups 2017) just got out of the brig for getting scared and going AWOL. Almost immediately, the squad are faced with many dangerous obstacles just to attempt to find information about the captive doctor; the Nazis only being one of the dangers. And, while Dr. Eris is a scientist, they have no idea what kind of insane experiments the Nazis may have forced her to create. Their only objective is to get her out alive and bring her back to the Allies. These men have fought and survived though battles with bullets whizzing by their bodies. Can any of them survive the horrors found in a Nazi laboratory and secure another win for the right side?
Having any type of Science Fiction element to a film with a war setting can be so far-fetched that it just will not work. The scariest element is that there are hints of truth in the plot of the film: as Hitler and his Nazis were always trying to find a way to beat their enemies, and it is common knowledge that there were horrific scientific experimentation performed on prisoners. How different would the world be now if any number of the experiments had succeeded and allowed them to actually become the victors of the war?
Though the film does come across as campy at times (especially due to its overly peppy musical score), this does serve the purpose of exploring the what if. What if they had captured the right scientist and given her the exact tools required to create the perfect weapon? Swain’s Dr. Eris is frightening, in that, she is the perfect scientist needed to fill that role. Swain is both elegant and maniacal which is exactly what should be expected of anyone working behind Nazi lines.
There is always a divide when it comes to military readiness and how far that should go. Some believe that their side (largely the US) should be armed to the teeth with everything the enemy has and more, just in case. While there are others that believe that just the idea of preemptive weapons causes more animosity that leads to war. Nazi Overlord is set in the past, but it is obvious those involved making the film want to invoke a particular response from the viewer.
Sizemore’s Colonel Forrester’s insistence that “…bio warfare has its place. It’s not as scary as it sounds,” and later pushing even further saying, “…it’s okay, we’re the good guys. We can use it,” are words of a politician not a boots on the ground solider. For those viewers who watch this film with an open mind this is the biggest take away. Pro bio weapons or against? The idea is almost lost in the murkiness of the plot that seems to want to explore multiple avenues when it should have focused on just one and perfected it. Still, it is a powerful, introspective question you might find yourself pondering after the credits roll.
War films are a difficult genre to create, as viewers often want accuracies, but exploring a what if scenario mostly exempts the film from that. The ideas in Nazi Overlord are interesting, if not too many and too over the top for the average viewer. If the viewer approaches this film without expectations it will be a pleasurable experience. For these reasons, Cryptic Rock gives Nazi Overlord a generous 3 out of 5 stars.