31 Days of the Undead: Rammbock | Screen | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

31 Days of the Undead: Rammbock

In honor of Romero Lives!, the city's month-long George A. Romero tribute, Pittsburgh City Paper presents 31 Days of the Undead, a series of reviews and essays about zombie media. Look for new posts going up every day from now through Oct. 31.


There's no reason to believe that zombies wouldn't be a world-wide problem, but the undead seem to favor breaking out in the United States. In Marvin Kren's economical thriller Rammbock, though, we see how it looks when Germany is under siege. If you guessed that the Teutonic response to marauding zombies would be organized, thought-out, and generally free from hysterics, you'd be right.

Michael drops by his ex-girlfriend's apartment to return her keys. Instead, he finds her flat occupied by a teen-age boy and — well, nobody calls them out by name, but we know it's a zombie. The two guys barricade themselves in, and quickly realize they are trapped, as angry, ravenous undead patrol the courtyard. (These zombies are of the fast-moving ilk.)

Kren is working with a small budget, but the compact set serves the story's claustrophobia well and he doesn't waste money on shock-value gore effects. (I was more weirded out by a bear suit.) Rammbock hits most of the genre's tropes: news broadcasts of a mysterious sickness; being trapped; improvising weapons; having a loved one turn; and (hopefully) out-smarting the zombies long enough to at least get away. The film does create some new ways to keep the flesh-munchers at bay. In German, with subtitles.

Rammbock is available for streaming on Amazon Prime, YouTube, and iTunes.

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