Devils of War DVD Review
Written by Joel Harley
DVD released by Signature Entertainment
Written and directed by Eli Dorsey
2013, Region 2 (PAL), 74 minutes, Rated 15 (UK)
DVD released on 15th April 2013
Jerry L. Buxbaum as William Baldy
Laurence Anthony as Adam Wall
Jeremiah Grace as Jasper Linnerooth
Carly Kingston as Claudia Klum
Apple Lee as Solvig Von Bosch
Tim Harrold as Nazi Officer/Demon
A crack team of allied soldiers hunker down behind enemy lines in Nazi occupied Poland, hoping to put a stop to the Third Reich occultist experiments being carried out there. The Nazis' plan? To get their own men possessed by actual demons, thereby creating super soldiers and winning World War II. Those Nazis and their super soldiers. Talk about pinning your hopes on one idea.
In the absence of Captain America, the allies' hopes rest on a lapsed preacher, a nice-but-dim cannon fodder guy, a racist Hillbilly and a black dude who carries a Samurai sword and wears a kamikaze headband. Director Eli Dorsey is obviously aiming for an Iron Sky meets Hobo With a Shotgun vibe, but struggles to pull it off. After all, those movies had Udo Kier and Rutger Hauer. Devils of War has a group of actors who make porno performers look like seasoned thespians. The script isn't much better either. With such dialogue exchanges as “are you a virgin? I must examine your virtue” and “get out and get me more virgins” you'd be forgiven for thinking Devils of War a particularly tasteless pornography. There's even a scene in which the main character offers to 'save' a young woman using his penis as salvation. Much to his disappointment, she chooses the Hillbilly instead. In a fit of jealousy, the two soldiers wind up punching one another in a barn, while the racist espouses his views on mixed-race relationships. I'm sure that there is room for a film to be made about wartime racism and demonic possession, but this isn't it.
Which is a shame, because the action sequences are remarkably coherent. The special effects are decent, the CGI isn't too excessive, and the gunfire actually looks like real gunfire. The filmmakers must have been particularly proud of their gunfire, since there's a ten minute sequence in which the squaddies hide behind a tree as one of the Nazis blasts away at them with a gatling gun. There are plenty of Nazis and gory gun battles, but disappointingly little of the demons or zombies, or however else you want to describe the titular Devils of War.
The supernatural Nazi horror movie is an enduringly popular subgenre, but we've yet to see a classic. So far, the best of the lot is the massively flawed Dead Snow, which is incredibly gory but nowhere near as funny or clever as it thinks it is. It's still better than Devils of War though, which ranks among the worst of the subgenre. It's of the same standard as Uwe Boll's Blubberella or Bloodrayne: The Third Reich, all ironic winks and faux-offensiveness.
Making a purposefully bad movie is fine enough if you have the wit and style to pull it off. Unfortunately, Devils of War has none of that, and is just a bad movie. War is hell, and so is watching this film.
Video and Audio:
It looks a lot brighter than most low-budget horror films, which is a nice change from gloomy rooms and pich-black forests. This results in a cheap aesthetic, but at least you can tell what's going on. Do you really want to know, though? Aside from the dodgy music, it sounds fine.
There are no special features on this disc.