Label: Paramount Pictures
Region Code: Region-FREE
Duration: 109 Minutes
Audio: Dolby Atmos, Dolby TrueHD 7.1 with Optional English Subtitles
Video: 2160 4K UltraHD Widescreen (2.40:1), 1080p HD Widescreen (2.40:1)
Director: Julius Avery
Cast: Pilou Asbaek, John Magaro, Wyatt Russell
World War II horror-fantasy film Overlord (2018) opens hours before the D-Day invasion in '44, with a paratrooper squad being sent into Nazi occupied France to destroy a strategic communications tower located in an old church. Flying in the aircraft comes under heavy ground artillery fire, the opening scene is a pumped-up thrill ride with scenes of the aircraft being strafed with gunfire and blowing up in the sky, there's fireballs, shrapnel and blood flying everywhere.
When all is said and done only four of the squad remain alive on the ground, we have Private First Class Ed Boyce (Jovan Adepo, The Leftovers), Private Morton Chase (Iain De Caestecker, Lost River), Corporal Ford (Wyatt Russell), Private First Class Frank Tibbe (John Magaro, Orange Is The New Black), all landing off target, regrouping and making their way towards the small village where their target is located. Along the way they meet a French woman named Chloe (Mathilde Ollivier) from that village who agrees to help them. She sneaks them into her home where she lives with her younger brother Paul (Gianny Taufer) and her aunt who seems to have been the victim of Nazi experiments, she's heard wheezing heavily from her attic bedroom, seen only partially through a door, mutated and strangely disfigured, foreshadowing where the film is headed.
While the soldiers are hiding in the attic planning their next move the home is visited upon by a Nazi patrol lead by Captain Wafner (Pilou Asbæk, Game Of Thrones) who attempts to rape Chloe, but he is stopped and captured by the American soldiers who brutally interrogate him, before launching an offensive on the Church tower. What they discover inside is beyond their wildest nightmares, an underground labyrinth of labs where Nazi scientist Dr. Schmidt (Erich Redman, Captain America: The First Avenger)
carries out experiments on French villagers aimed at creating an unstoppable Nazi super soldiers, adding a layer of fantasy-horror to this grim and gritty WW2 actioner!
Overlord (2018) was a fun watch, I dig Third Reich horror films, we don't see many big-budget versions of this sort of thing, and this is a solid bit of WW2 Nazi super-soldier horror, though it was hard for the film to live up to that amped-up opening scene of the paratroopers flying into France, a scene that totally brought to mind the "B-17" segment from the animated anthology film Heavy Metal (1981)
Jovan Adepo is solid here in what amounts to lead status, the well-meaning good guy who must find his inner hero in the face of Nazi awfulness. The big surprise here for me was a mean-spirited turn from Wyatt Russell as Corp. Ford. He's an I mostly know from Everybody Wants Some (2016) and the TV show Lodge 49 as dippy SoCal dude "Dud", a kind soul. But here he's a total hard-ass, an American soldier who's not above torturing some Nazis to get some solid intel, I was shocked to see him be so scary, it's a side of him I haven't seen till now.
The film starts of with a bang, the opening stuff is an overwhelming mix action and violence, then settles into a bit of a sluggish middle section before once again turning up the dial with a final stretch that lives up to the intro with all sorts of gory Nazi weirdness and WW2 action. The special effects are a good mix of practical and digital, all of it pretty damn good looking, it looks like they used the digital to enhance the practical stuff, thankfully not looking like a cut scene from a damn video game.
Overlord is a pulpy slice of WW2 fantasy horror, we get just enough non-fiction to anchor the film's wild ride of Nazi experimentation and super soldier serum gone wrong lunacy. There's not much depth of character being developed here, and the film doesn't need it, it's all superficial fun, and I'm down with that. Nazi are bad, we root for the American good guys, everything else is just gory, action-packed WW2 carnage - hell yeah!
Audio/Video: Overlord (2018) arrives on 2160 4K UltraHD framed in (2.40:1)widescreen from Paramount Pictures. The 4K looks awesome, the colors are a bit on the muted side with a lot of earth tones, bit on occasion reds and greens get occasion to shine. The digitally shot film is crisp and well resolved, scenes of fireballs lighting up the night sky look pretty darn spiffy, and when the gore arrives it looks wonderfully detailed and gross. Fine detail looks impressive in the close-ups throughout, and blacks are generally very deep and inky.
The Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1) audio is an auditory thrill ride throughout, from the opening scenes of plane engines roaring in the night sky with strafing gun fire and shrapnel bouncing around the fuselage, it's exquisite stuff. It's not all bombast though, there's some nice atmospheric use of the surrounds in the quieter and creepier moments that help the film get under your skin, this is one of the more impressive audio experiences I've has with 4K, very impressive and wall rattling stuff! The score from Jed Kurzel (The Babadook) is also terrific and well represented in the mix with a robust and powerful presence, optional English subtitles are provided.
Looking at the extras listed on the box it doesn't look like a lot, but the one extras is actually a six-part documentary coming in at about 51-min that goes in-depth into the making of the film. This extra is on the Blu-ray disc, the best stuff for me was the dissection of the thrilling opening scene and a look at the special effects and creature design.
The 2-disc release comes housed in a black 4K keepcase with a one-sided sleeve of artwork, inside you will find the 4K and Blu-ray discs as well as the digital redemption code for the film. This release also includes a slipcover with the same key art on the front and back.
Overlord (2018) is a wild ride of Nazi strangeness, coming in somewhere along the lines of Re-Animator (1985) by way of Frankenstein's Army (2013), a bad-ass slice of pulpy WW2 horror fantasy that looks and sounds impressive on 4K UltraHD, highly recommended!