Philadelphia Film Festival Review: ‘Overlord’ is World War II Monster Mess

VANAPHASE™ the Vanadium powerhouse!


It’s June 6, 1944 and Allied forces are preparing to invade the beaches of Normandy. In the air, a team of soldier are preparing to skydive into Nazi territory. They have a simple mission: eliminate a radio tower that is blocking communications. Destruction of that tower will allow Allied forces to have air support for the troops on the ground. The skies run red with the fire of artillery and planes exploding. The plane is hit. Men are pulled from the plane. Few soldiers are able to make their planned jump. Boyce (Jovan Adepo) is flung from the plane, twisting and turning in the air as he struggles to unleash his parachute. The frame centers the falling soldier as the edges of the scene have planes flying, bombs exploding – chaos in the sky above Nazi occupied France. This isn’t the opening scene to a World War II drama. This is the opening to director Julius Avery’s Overlord, a B-movie set during the second world war. Nazi monsters vs. American GIs could be an interesting genre exercise, but Overlord is a clichéd mess that is often tedious and predictable, lacking in wit and imagination.

Upon landing on the ground, Boyce witnesses his platoon’s Sergeant (Bokeem Woodbine in an extended cameo) gunned down by Nazis. Only a few of Boyce’s brothers in arms made it the ground alive. The ragtag team is led by Ford (Wyatt Russell), a gruff, war-hardened explosives expert. Behind Ford is motormouthed New Yorker Tibbet (John Magaro) and the war photographer Rosenfeld (Iain De Caestecker). One edges of a Nazi occupied village, the soldiers encounter Chloe (Mathilde Ollivier), a young woman trying to survive the horrors of the occupation while caring for her younger brother Paul (Gianny Taufer). But this poor young woman is often terrorized by the cruel SS officer Dr. Wafner (Pilou Asbæk). The grim specter of evil hangs over this little village, and the US GIs will soon discover that what’s happening here is spectacularly evil even for Nazis.

The first half of Overlord tries to play it completely straight, as if it’s a standard men on a mission war film. It’s not a convincing impersonation and really seems to be a rehash of numerous much better films. Maybe this attempt an ol’ switcharoo might be convincing if producer JJ Abrams was able to completely utilize his mystery box. But can you sell a World War II monster movie by hiding the monsters? I don’t think so. When the reveals come there’s a sense that it’s about damn time. Just as you think the film is ramping up with its monstrous horrors, transitioning into a full blown twist of war and horror, it really just settles into the clichés that were a part of the set up. Even the film’s attempts at jump scares are so clumsily crafted you know that they’re coming. It’s not scary. It’s not unsettling. It’s just boring.

The evil creations hidden beneath this French village are a breed of super soldiers, or as Dr. Wafner so bluntly put it, “a thousand-year Reich needs thousand-year soldiers.” They’re not quite zombies and they’re not quite terrifying. Even though they’re not effectively frightening creatures, the make effects crew on the film did stellar work – it’s not their fault that Julius Avery can’t do anything with their magnificent creature creations.

I really wanted to like Overlord. I used to play Wolfenstein way back when. The Nazis and their evil experiments provide ample opportunity for tales of terror. And yet the screenplay by Billy Ray and Mark L. Smith leans so heavily on clichés that you can’t find yourself wrapped up in the action. The characters are paper-thin, leaving the actors with little to work with. Overlord is a film with nothing to say aside from Nazis are bad and are literal monsters. Gee, thanks for the history lesson, guys. I guess the truly remarkable thing about Overlord is that you get two bad movies for the price of one.

  • Overall Score


An underwhelming war film collides with an underwhelming horror film in Julius Avery’s Overlord, a derivative attempt at a genre mashup that leans heavily on clichés from both genres.

Leave a Reply

Animation/Anime Interviews Animation/Anime News Animation/Anime Reviews Film/TV Interviews Film/TV News Film/TV Review
The Favourite Review
AFI Fest Review: ‘The Favourite’ is a Devious Period Piece

Those in close proximity to power find themselves pulled in closer...

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald Review
‘Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald’ Loses the Magic

Even though the Harry Potter saga ended seven years ago, there...

Ralph Breaks the Internet Review
A Robust Sense of Humor Makes ‘Ralph Breaks the Internet’ a Superior Sequel

2012’s Wreck-It Ralph was a brazen nostalgia play. Granted, it was...

Event News Event Reviews
Alt 98.7 Presents Big Adventure: Music, Comedy & Comic Con Festival, Nov 3-4 in Orange County

In less than a month, Alt 98.7 Presents Big Adventure makes its debut,...

The 9th Annual Brew HA HA Craft Beer Photo Gallery

Photos by FanboyNation Craft Beer Expert, Dave Warner. Related

Long Beach Comic Con Photo Gallery


Enabled Gaming Gaming News Gaming Reviews
Taco Bell Xbox
The Newest Taco Bell Box is an Xbox – Your Chance to Win a Taco Bell Xbox

Taco Bell and Xbox are partnering up to give fans a chance...

Exclusive Track Premiere from Madden NFL 19!

(July 26, 2018 – Los Angeles, CA) – Lakeshore Records today...

Star Ocean Anamnesis
The Most Intuitively Fun Gameplay of Any Mobile RPG – Star Ocean Anamnesis Review

Star Ocean Anamnesis is hands down the most fun and intuitive gameplay...

Comic Creator Interviews Comic/Graphic Novel News Comic/Graphic Novel Reviews Manga News Manga Reviews Novel/Novella Author Interviews Novel/Novella News Novel/Novella Reviews
Stan Lee, the Co-Creator of the Marvel Universe, Dead at 95

According to reports earlier today, Stanley Martin Lieber aka Stan the...

Five Questions for Gary Morgenstein About ‘A Mound Over Hell’

Gary Morgenstein is a journalist, public relations expert and author with...

Ralph Breaks the Internet Graphic Novel
Dark Horse Disney Ralph Breaks the Internet Graphic Novel Revealed

Dark Horse reveals new original Disney Ralph Breaks the Internet Graphic...

Apparel/Personal Maintenance News Apparel/Personal Maintenance Reviews Entertainment Product News Entertainment Product Reviews Food/Beverage Reviews Hardware News Hardware Reviews Mystery Box News Mystery Box Reviews
Eagle Eyes
Protect Your Eyes with Eagle Eyes Glasses – Eagle Eyes TV Kit Review

Eagle Eyes TV Kit review – Feel the difference and get...

Nooligan Talks About His New DC Collectibles Batman Family Line

Visual Artist Nooligan uses the influences of his First Nation ancestry along...

DC Collectibles Brings Batman Dark Nights: Metal to Life

Straight from the pages of the bestselling DARK NIGHTS: METAL comics series comes...

Arena Football Automotives MMA, Kick Boxing & Boxing Professional Wrestling
LFA 54 Full Results

Legacy Fighting Alliance (LFA) returned  to Costa Mesa, CA for another...

Lion Fight Promotions Logo
Lion Fight 50 Full Results

November 3, 2018 – Los Angeles – Lion Fight Promotions presents...

PFL 9 Lightweight and Light Heavyweight Semi-Final Results From Long Beach

Saturday, October 13, 2018 – Professional Fighters League (PFL) 9 took...

Adult Continuity Comics on the Can Cultural Junk Drawer Future Comic Rock Stars Is That Racist? Revisiting the Reviled THAT'S NOT ROTTEN! The B-Reel The Cantina Scene This Week in Crowdfunding What the HELL Did I just...?
Fantoy Comics presents: Harry Potter and the Cat Conjuring/Behold Tacocat/Harry Potter and the world wide web of lies!

more wacky hijinx with the Hogwarts kids and a tacocat.

Fantoy Comics presents: Harry Potter and the Cat Conjuring/Behold Tacocat!/Harry potter and the web of lies!

The next senses shattering episode of the increasingly subtitled Harry Potter...

Comics on the Can – Super Dinosaur

Comics on the can   Super Dinosaur   Writer – Robert...

Gaming Uncensored Toon-In-Talk
Coastal Commoners Ep 8 – Saying Farewell to Stan Lee

This week the commoner’s say farewell to Marvel Comics legend, Stan...

Coastal Commoners Ep 7 Mid-Term Elections!

Oh the headaches of elections and what can go wrong. We...

Coastal Commoners Ep 6 Synagogue Shooting and Antisemitism

This week on Coastal Commoners, Gary and R.C. discuss the Synagogue...

Music Interviews Music News Music Reviews
Deadpool 2 Vinyl Giveaway!

We are giving away a copy of Deadpool 2 Score Soundtrack on...

Crisis on Earth-X Soundtrack
Blake Neely Behind-the-Scenes Recording of Crisis on Earth-X Soundtrack

Check out this exclusive Behind-The-Scenes video with Blake Neely as he...

Rising Country Music Artist Kaylin Roberson Talks About her work with St. Jude

Kaylin Roberson is a singer, songwriter and pianist from Raleigh, North...

%d bloggers like this: