Two friends have heard of a lost treasure in an old WWII bunker and decide to sneak past the recent resurge of military security in the area. While one of them gets appropriately geared with a body suit and a camera strapped to the head, the other sits in a car and guides his friend through a screen. In the bunker they realize that this was no normal bunker, but a place for research... and the living results of the test are still down there.
It comes as no surprise that after many years of found footage films, that now when cameras get better and smaller, movies try to go for the first person angle rather than the typical "holding a camera and shaking all over the place". This style has nearly been perfected by a filmmaker named Ilya Naishuller, who created the very popular music video "Bad Motherfucker" for his band Biting Elbows, and who has a new movie called "Hardcore Henry" (originally "Hardcore"). Another filmmaker who is attempting something similar is Matthias Olof Eich, who has created this absolutely stinker of a Nazi-zombie flick called "Bunker of the Dead". The movie which you are here to read about...
Two friends, Markus and Thomas, are seeking the Nazi gold that they read about in an old Jewish diary. The treasure is somewhere in a large underground bunker in the Bavarian town Oberammergau. The friends put their talents together to sneak into the bunker without being noticed by the patrolling army outside. Thomas has the technical skills and Markus is the leaner, more agile guy. Markus is sent in equipped with a camera, while Thomas sits in the car and watching it all on the screen, helping Markus find the way to the treasure. The bunker turns out to be an old research facility where weird experiments were done. As Markus sneaks around in the darkness of the bunker, with the US military looking for him outside, he runs into the old workers of the facility - undead and hungry.
"Bunker of the Dead" is a hard movie to enjoy for me because so many odd decisions seem to have been made in the production. The two things that the movie has going for it, is the large video game-esque location, and that it somehow conveys a different feeling than other found footage horrors because it is all done from a camera mounted on the head of the lead. Yes, tacky as that idea actually is when it comes to the film form, there is still a bit of a thrill to watch a movie "literally" from the eyes of the characters. At times the movie does make it feel like we are actually part of the exploration of an old underground facility, and that's when the idea behind the movie works somewhat.
Unfortunately for "Bunker of the Dead", the good things end there. The movie tries to lighten the mood with humor that is just awkward. Imagine someone who doesn't understand a joke, but tries to retell it to his friends (while pretending he understood it). There's a stupidity to it that just drags the movie down every time it tries to be funny. One example is when the lead character hides in a bush, and a soldier pisses on him. It's funny because it's first person, so it's like you are getting the piss on you! Right!? Absolutely brilliant! Let's not forget that this is yet another Nazi-zombie movie, a concept that has been brought back up a few too many times. Remember "Shock Waves" from 1977? Entertaining as it was, I'm not sure we needed any more after that. Then there is the fact that the acting isn't great, but the dubbing makes it even worse. The few good things you can find here are quickly forgotten about. What I can see here is a bad script executed even worse. Did I mention it's a 3D movie? I watched the 2D version, but I doubt another dimension would help.