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American paratroopers think they’re investigating an old Nazi-occupied village. Things take a twisted turn when they discover an underground lab.
USA TODAY

Just when you think the scary movie season is over, here comes a bunch of undead Nazi experiments to liven up the box office.

Directed by Julius Avery (“Son of a Gun”) and produced by J.J. Abrams, “Overlord” (in theaters Friday) is a two-fisted, flame-throwing World War II action-adventure horror film set in June 1944 that follows a bunch of American paratroopers on their most deadly mission yet: taking on a secret German lab in a French village church that’s ground zero for unstoppable zombies and other misshapen creatures.

We know you might have a few burning questions about “Overlord,” so here are some (mostly) helpful answers.

Boyce (Jovan Adepo) investigates horrifying Nazi experiments in the World War II horror action film “Overlord.” (Photo: PETER MOUNTAIN)

What’s the backstory on this movie?

Because it was a secretive project from Abrams’ Bad Robot production company, a lot of people assumed it was the next “Cloverfield” movie. It is not, though this could conceivably be the same film universe that’s invaded by rampaging alien monsters decades later. 

What’s the least we need to know going in?

The night before D-Day, a group of G.I.s – including the very green private Boyce (Jovan Adepo) and explosives expert Ford (Wyatt Russell) – are dropped into occupied France to knock out a Nazi radio tower so their boys on the beaches at Normandy can get enough air support. What they find, though – with the help of local French woman Chloe (Mathilde Ollivier) – is that the Nazis are using a serum to turn dead villagers and others into hard-to-kill, super-strong zombies. Heroism ensues.

Wyatt Russell stars as explosives expert Ford in “Overlord.” (Photo: PETER MOUNTAIN)

Is it historically accurate in any way?

Well, D-Day actually happened, so there’s that. Nazis also did horrific experiments on people and Hitler was interested in the occult, which has inspired everything from “Raiders of the Lost Ark” to the video game “Wolfenstein.”

That Wyatt Russell dude looks familiar. What’s his deal?

Glad you asked: He’s the rising-star son of Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn, who’s appeared in “22 Jump Street,” “Everybody Wants Some!!” and “Black Mirror.” He’s shown shades of his action-hero dad a little here and there, but “Overlord” has some scenes that prove the Russell swagger is definitely genetic. (And like his father, he has a knack for macho one-liners.)

Iain De Caestecker co-stars as war photographer Chase in “Overlord.” (Photo: PETER MOUNTAIN)

Who else is in this movie we might know?

Adepo is a British actor who starred opposite Denzel Washington in “Fences,” and he was also a regular on “The Leftovers.” John Magaro, who plays American soldier Tibbet, had roles in “The Big Short” and “Carol,” while Marvel fans know Iain De Caestecker (as war photographer Chase) as Leo Fitz from “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” And Pilou Asbaek, who co-stars as primary Nazi villain Wafner, is best known as Euron Greyjoy from “Game of Thrones.”

What does “Overlord” add to the zombie-movie genre?

These aren’t your usual shambling types. These guys are superpowered and more like the freaky fast zombies from “28 Days Later,” all quick and twitchy and a pain to get rid of since headshots don’t automatically eliminate some of them.

Pilou Asbaek co-stars as main Nazi antagonist Wafner in “Overlord.” (Photo: PETER MOUNTAIN)

How gory is this thing?

Let’s put it this way: The new “Halloween” is like a Pixar film in comparison. There’s lots of war death (heads and limbs blown off) and buckets of blood, yet also some seriously effective body horror, as one dude in particular is resurrected in all his bone-popping glory. Then there’s Wafner who gets half his face blown off and turns into a creepy supervillain. (When the serum gets put in a living person, look out.)

But does it overtake ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’ in terms of creative Nazi deaths?

That’s a high bar, guys. There’s one scene involving a grenade and a place it doesn’t belong that’s cool, plus plenty of Germans torn up by bullets, yet nothing comes close to the unholy face-melting of “Raiders.”

Chloe (Mathilde Ollivier) takes flamethrower to a zombie in “Overlord.” (Photo: PETER MOUNTAIN)

Is this OK for my kids to see?

Nope. Teenagers into video games will probably really want to see it, however. (Ask your mom and dad first, youngsters!)

So is the movie any good?

It helps to be in the mood for a period Nazi zombie shoot-’em-up but it’s very successful at being a bit of fun and bloody counterprogramming. It offers plenty of black humor with grindhouse style and sensibility, on-point jump scares, hyperrealistic wartime action, and the kind of gritty period vibe that would be perfect for a modern-day “Indiana Jones” reboot.

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Author : USA TODAY

Publish date : 2018-11-09 00:01:04