In the seemingly endless mutations and permutations of campy, low-budget zombie movies, “War of the Dead” (due out on DVD Tuesday) offers up a fairly unusual twist. It's a straight-up, largely unironic action movie featuring a ghoulish army of flesh-eating Nazis.
Shot in Lithuania (reportedly the most expensive movie ever made in that country), the film took nearly eight years to complete. It was originally titled “Stone's War” and featured James Van Der Beek in the title role. But after many delays and major cast changes, it was finally completed in 2007 and, due to financial difficulties, its initial release was delayed until 2011.
Directed by first-time Finnish filmmaker Marko Makilaakso, the story is set during World War II on the Soviet/Finnish border and follows American Army Capt. Stone (Andrew Tiernan) and his platoon on a mission to locate a bunker held by the Germans. In the course things, they uncover the remnants of an abandoned Nazi medical experiment designed to kill captured Russian soldiers and then reanimate them as “undead” Nazi warriors.
When Capt. Stone and his troops encounter renegade bands of these zombie Nazi soldiers they are in for the fight of their lives.
In an unusual twist on the traditional zombie custom, these flesh-eating ghouls are not rambling, stumbling, slow-plodding monsters. Instead, they're tough, trained, hard-core soldiers back from the dead and intent on engaging their enemies with gnashing teeth instead of blazing guns.
— Dennis King