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Horrors of War (V)

Paintball nerds have a horror movie to hold close to their hearts…

This straight to DVD film shot in and around the Youngstown/Columbus Ohio area takes place at the turning point of the second World War. You know, 1944-1945? Right about the time Hitler was feeling the pressure from the US and other European nations. When he had a lone remote scientist in the woods develop the super-soldier – a zombie like humanoid creature with extraordinary stamina and strength. Send in some Allied troops behind enemy lines led by a sergeant with teeth so bleached a blind person could see him and – what the hell – throw in a werewolf while we’re at it – and you’ve got 2006′s two dimensional wonder, Horrors of War.

Horrors of War starts in 1945, with troops advancing on German strongholds behind enemy lines. Soon from the German positions, a super soldier emerges, taking two bullets in the eyes and several others in the torso before it finally falls. Upon closer investigation it begins to get up… Sound interesting? Well that part is over my friends, five minutes into the film. Its time for the title sequence, “Dawn of the Dead 2004 style”, with lots of digital effects and editing. Looks like 99 percent of the film’s professionalism lies here – from an outside company hired to develop the material.

Back to the film, which screeches to a near halt and goes back a year in time to explain the super soldier. You will now watch endless arrays of indiscernible troops running to and fro, in the bushes and behind trees (was that somebody’s home there on the horizon?), shooting bullets and taking cover. Loop this several times until the end, when the German madman scientist is located – along with his “re-animating agent” – a glowing green formula administered via syringe. Sound familiar? Top this magnificence with a climactic battle between bad over-acting characters, zombie super-soldiers, and a barely mentioned French private that just happens to be a lycanthrope, and there’s your film. Leave ending open for sequel and serve.

Is it a war movie? Yes. Zombie flick? If you want to call them that – I suppose, but hardly at all. Monster movie? No. Then why is a werewolf Kung Fu’ing it out with an undead super-soldier at the end? Your guess is as good as mine. Horrors of War doesn’t really offer anything to the seasoned horror community. War buffs, perhaps. Or maybe the unconditional zombie film fan that fancy paintball on the weekends. Expect lots of people that look the same, running in circles, going back in time, shredding stories for all they’re worth. Realism wise, anyone in the military or from such families will just laugh outright at the tactics used as these actors maneuver their way through the forest against the enemy. Horrors of War is weird and monotonous, all the while being fragmented as hell.

This is another unmemorable super-low budget horror indie-fest that does very little to stimulate anyone but the paintball nerd down the street from you. Its amateurish in production and acting quality, straining for the couple of moments that keep it from hitting rock bottom. If your tastes lie in highly produced, big-name schticks, this isn’t for you. Admittedly, it took about three attempts to generate any spark of attention. The high body count is mostly bodies dropping from bullets during the war, the creatures almost look like they’re wearing rubber Halloween masks, and only one or two moments are truly “bloody”. Horrors of War is a wasted effort war flick trying to be something of supernatural interest, going so far as to mix in a bit of campy old-day “monsters” and German “mad scientists”. If that sounds like your thing, and you frequent the dollar store – hang in there, you may find it in the DVD rack soon.

Official Score