A Chance In Hell Movie Review
Written and directed by Tony Wash
2010, 32 minutes, Not Rated
DVD released on November 16th, 2012
Kyle Anthony Silviera as Sgt. Draper
Kevin Zaideman as Burke
Doug Heier as Pvt. Jesser
Chad Meyer as Dr. Bucher
Kendly Lynch as #32
Nazi Dr. Bucher conducts experiments on more than two dozen people before he introduces a young girl identified only as “Number 32”. It is difficult to gauge how successful these tests are, unless the goal is to create an uncontrollable zombie outbreak…and if so, then mission accomplished. The carnage that follows removes all life from the facility and things finally settle down, until a group of Allied soldiers are chased inside the building by a bunch of Nazi zombies. The Americans waste little time bothering with the details of what is happening and why and instead focus on how to escape this hell and summon reinforcements. The soldiers split up into smaller groups to expedite the searches for the main power box and the location of a radio. Zombies pursue and eat many of them as mayhem ensues.
A Chance in Hell is a half hour film from writer/ director Tony Wash (It’s My Party and I’ll Die If I Want To) that can easily be expanded into a feature length piece, which may be the goal, but I could not independently verify this. There are many elements on display here that elevate the material above the rail-thin premise. The high concept “Nazi Zombies” pitch has been around for a while, perhaps best represented by both Shock Waves (1977) and Dead Snow (2008) and Wash takes his own impressive stab at the material here. It is most welcoming that his efforts focus on the atmosphere of the tale, and time is taken to explore the claustrophobic nature of the location, building a sense of dread.
The pre-credit sequence with the doctor unfolds at a deliberate pace, with the young patient unaware of what is in store for her. The Nazi seems forlorn at the state of things as he catches a glimpse of a corpse being carried through the snow outside his office window. Once things take the horrific turn, the audience is quickly thrust into the action with a nice sequence presented in first-person POV. While this trick of perspective works well as an introduction to this chaotic series of events, it also creates a tone reminiscent of a video game.
A Chance in Hell benefits from some fantastic production design, an effective sound mix and the cinematography of Mitch Martinez. Director Wash takes the time to let the camera investigate the fantastic locations before releasing the mayhem. The cast led by Kyle Anthony Silviera as Sgt. Draper is surprisingly strong and keeps things anchored in reality even when zombies are running everywhere. The weakest element of the film is the script that stumbles through a few bumpy points and tries to distract away any confusion by throwing blood as the solution. The zombies also grow a bit tiresome as they fill the genre stereotype without too much nuance.
There are a lot of good things on display here, but if this is to be expanded into a longer work it needs to be leaner. As it stands, the script overstays its welcome by about five minutes. There is also the unfortunate choice to grant the child zombie more screen time than necessary, in that the character appears in multiple locations without reason, unless these are teleporting Nazi zombies, in which case we are all in a world of hurt. Copies of the film and more information on the production can be found on the official website or on Facebook.
Video, Audio and Special Features:
Video, audio and special features will not be graded as this was a screener.
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