The Zombie Sci-Fi Horror Epic That Takes Over Another Blockbuster Genre

By Jason Collins | Updated

While Saving Private Ryan and Apocalypse Now remain among the greatest war movie classics, 2018’s Overlord remains a hidden gem of cinematography that could potentially give the aforementioned titles a run for their money. In fact, it could easily match other war movies, but its genre actually lies somewhere else.

Overlord Brings Zombies To World War II

For those who haven’t seen Overlord, the movie follows several American soldiers who are dropped behind enemy lines the day before D-Day, only to discover terrifying Nazi experiments. Not only does the movie challenge other war films with its cinematography, but what separates it from the rest of the flock are zombies.

But not just any zombies, no; Overlord also features Nazi zombies—as if being either of those isn’t bad enough—which make the movie into a masterfully-done WWII film, an accomplished zombie movie, and a master of both genres.

The Plot Sounds Like Wolfenstein

At first, Overlord sounds much like a Wolfenstein (a very popular first-person shooter gaming series) adaptation at first, but it isn’t the first movie to feature the Nazi undead, which was popularized by the original Hellboy movie, and a bunch of different video game franchises.

However, no other movie mixes classical WWII storytelling and zombies as well as Overlord. The film’s plot takes place in an alternate version of 1944, in which the main character and the rest of his unit are sent to investigate an underground Nazi compound that’s suspected of conducting experiments on civilians.

A Tonal Shift

This is a great start because the first third of Overlord is just a classical WWII movie in which the Allies go against the Axle, raining down divine justice on the latter’s unholy experimentation and fascination with the occult. However, the movie makes a complete tonal U-turn and makes the movie feel more like From Dusk Till Dawn, but way better, as it masterfully blends sci-fi with war. It does so in a manner that’s devoid of humor and classical parodying, thus bending both genres in a rather unique and somewhat novel way.

The Slow Build Is Worth It

It does so by focusing more on the interpersonal relationships of its characters, and not primarily the zombies as an element, to slowly build up the tension. By the time the sci-fi horror element manifests itself, even those who aren’t fans of zombie movies become so invested in the personal interplay between characters that the movie captivates them. Overlord emphasizes human drama, much like all other war movies do, even when it shifts the attention from the real depictions of war to near-pure fantasy.

Streaming Through Video On Demand

Overlord includes two stars who both went on to join the Marvel universe, with Wyatt Russell (The Falcon And The Winter Soldier) and Joseph Quinn (Fantastic Four) taking part.

Ultimately, this recipe made Overlord insanely popular among fans of not just zombie flicks but also beyond, with many calling it an A-level fun offered by a B-level movie. Its Rotten Tomatoes score from the critics of 81 percent and an audience rating of 67 percent attest to the movie’s greatness, despite the fact that it’s the Jack of all genres but the master of none. Those interested in watching this peculiar and rather interesting movie can check Overlord through video on demand using Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, YouTube, and Vudu.