The latest by producer J.J. Abrams, Overlord, sees its group of American paratroopers fall behind enemy lines on D-Day and uncover a terrifying secret under a church in a nearby village. Overlord is hardly the first to cross World War II with the zombie/monster sub-genre, though; the Nazi has always been the ultimate villain in cinema. What better way to enhance their evil by turning them into a literal monster? Ahead of Overlord’s release, here are 5 Nazi zombie movies that bring the horror and often the middle finger to political correctness.
Directed and co-written by Ken Wiederhorn (Return of the Living Dead Part II, Eyes of a Stranger), Shock Waves features aquatic Nazi zombies. It may be lacking on the typical gore found on zombie films, but it makes up for it in creativity and creepiness. Peter Cushing appears as SS Commander, a former Nazi commander who isolated himself on an island after Germany lost the war. He was in charge of a special group of experimental soldiers, only, he wasn’t able to control them. Which sucks for the group of tourists marooned on his island. You guys. Aquatic zombies.
While the sequel, with its bigger budget and international appeal, may arguably be better; start here. Directed and co-written by Tommy Wirkola, this splatter film centers around a group of students hoping for a fun ski getaway in the mountains of Norway and contend with an onslaught of Nazi zombies instead. These zombies are Nazis first and foremost, and revel in their slaughter. For those that love gore in their zombie films, this is for you.
Puppet Master III: Toulon’s Revenge
This time the reanimated dead are Andre Toulon’s puppets, and the Nazis are willing to do anything to obtain Toulon’s secret formula. In other words, these “zombies” are the good guys this time. A prequel that delves into the murderous puppets’ origin, Guy Rolfe stars as Toulon as he tries to evade the Nazis in World War II Berlin. Richard Lynch plays Major Kraus, one evil Nazi and the primary antagonist. This prequel/sequel features the best death scene of all in Charles Band’s Puppet Master series.
In a similar setup to Overlord, this 2008 British horror film revolves around a scientist who hires a group of mercenaries to escort him into no man’s land to scope out an old World War II bunker in Eastern Europe. They find it and the remnants of brutal Nazi occult experiments in which they attempted to create invincible super soldiers. The mercenaries begin getting picked off one by one. Atmospheric and with some decent scares, Outpost feels like a spiritual sibling to Dog Soldiers in a lot of ways. The film stars Richard Coyle, Richard Brake, and Ray Stevenson.
Russian soldiers pushing into eastern Germany near the end of World War II find a secret Nazi lab. Of course, the lab is home to bizarre experiments that pieces together dead soldiers to create monstrous super soldiers. Never mind that this inexplicably utilizes the found footage format in World War II, and that it can get frustratingly shaky-cam as a result. Frankenstein’s Army wins major points for fun creature designs. Sometimes all you need is a bunch of rampaging monsters, and this one delivers.