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Fantastic Fest 2010: Rammbock

Directed by Marvin Krenn

Rammbock is a little German zombie movie set entirely in one apartment complex and featuring–bear with me, zombie fanatics–virtually no gore. Instead, like all the best epidemic movies, Rammbock is a story about survivors.  Our main survivor is Kai (Sebastian Achilles), a dopey, kind man who is in Berlin to hand-deliver house keys to his ex-girlfriend and maybe, just maybe, win her back. He arrives at her apartment and low and behold: zombie outbreak.  So he hunkers down there with the mechanic’s assistant (the mechanic being otherwise disposed), and wonders whether his girlfriend is alive.  The apartment complex is situated Rear Window style, so throughout the film neighbors make connections, plot escapes and ask for sedatives and so on.

The title comes from a scene in the middle of the film where Kai and his mechanic buddy construct a battering ram–or rammbock–to break through into the neighbors apartment.  This scene was originally the story of the film–assumedly conceived as a short–but it neatly sums up the crux of the feature: it is about people, in times of struggle, using their wits and tools to survive and stay together.  The actors here all do a good job, and Kai makes a refreshing lead as a man with not much going for him except his good heart.  There are some good twists and turns, as well as a sense of humor and inventiveness, which won’t be spoiled here, but Rammbock comes highly recommended to fans of the genre looking for a new take on the classic outbreak story.

Emmett Duff

Visit the official website for Fantastic Fest 2010