Werewolves of the Third Reich (2017) starring Lee Bane, David France and Annabelle Lanyon. Directed by Andrew Jones.
This film commits one of the biggest crimes in horror: misleading marketing or as I like to call it, the old bait-and-switch! Like when Halloween III didn’t have Michael Myers in it. Except that was a good movie, but whatever, nobody was cool enough to realise what a great movie it was at the time, we were all super pissed,leading hordes of angry villagers with flaming torches and pitchforks to descend upon helpless video stores across the land.
With a title like Werewolves of the Third Reich and with a poster boasting an actual Nazi werewolf, complete with hair and fangs, I was expecting an army of goose stepping swastika loving werewolves terrifying peasants during the Second World War.
What I got was something so different.
I knew I was off to a rocky start with the opening dialogue,
‘What the fuck are you guys doing? You don’t have permission to leave the base…Mad Dog!’
‘Don’t call me…Mad Dog.’
And so begins the tale of four Allied misfits who after escaping capture by the Germans stumble upon a Death Camp where Josef Mengele and his wife, The Bitch of Buchenwald, are performing experiments on morbidly obese Jewish prisoners with American accents, to create Hitler’s Hybrid Heroes. I’m not even making that up.
I should point out that at this point in the movie, we’re fifty-two minutes in and not one scent of a goddam werewolf! Ah well, here’s some more dialogue,
Bitch of Buchenwald, ‘Dinner iz cold.’
Josef Mengele, ‘Ve are on ze greatest breakthrough in modern medicine. I’m afraid ze chicken vill have to wait.’
Bitch of Buchenwald: Long pause.‘It voz beef’.
Anyways, turns out one of the S.S. officers is banging The Bitch behind Mengele’s back and when he finds out, boy is he pissed. So much so that he injects the officer with his serum to transform him into a werewolf! Finally! About goddam time! I mean, it’s not like we’re only sixty-five minutes into a ninety minute movie. Jeez.
Well, don’t get too excited because this has to be one of the laziest werewolves in horror history. Basically cheap prosthetics slapped onto the actor’s face and – job done! Instant werewolf! Not only does he retain his military buzz cut, the dude’s body doesn’t even have any hair on it. And the face doesn’t even resemble a wolf, nothing like the guy on the poster.He looks like an alien from Babylon 5 or whatever the fuck those science fiction programs are called.
Ok so The Bitch is horrified to discover what has befallen her lover and injects herself with the same serum. Basically it’s like Romeo and Juliet. Except if Romeo and Juliet were Nazis living in a concentration camp.
Well with ten minutes of the movie remaining there’s a climactic showdown with all the major characters, five minutes of which is a prologue. Absolutely terrible. I mean, don’t call your movie Werewolves of the Third Reich when there are only two werewolves and the werewolves don’t even look like werewolves and have a total screen time of less than five goddamn minutes! As Johnny Rotten once asked, ‘Ever had the feeling you’ve been cheated?’
Steve Barnard lurks in the Stygian swamps of South America. He divides his time between scouring ancient jungles for the lost City of the Monkey Children and watching horror movies. Literally any horror movie he can get his hands on. Especially Japanese ones.