Overlord, being a movie centered around Nazi zombies and all, is full of the kind of over the top violence one would expect from such a premise. But some of the most gruesome deaths aren’t even done by zombies, or to zombies. Some of the most gory moments in the film come from the actions men take against one another.
The Paratrooper Massacre
The movie opens with a tired and true war film trope: Introducing the various soldiers as they fly towards Europe. It’s a quick introduction to the various soldiers we’ll be joining for the duration of the film. Well, at least some of them. Many of the men aboard the plane are killed before they even manage to get on the ground. A quick succession of events on the plane ratchet up the death count in unique ways.
Some men are shot from below and bleed out on the floor of the plane. Another is blasted into the wall of the plane when an explosion sends everyone flying. But the most horrifying is the fate that befalls the men in the back of the plane, and almost the movie’s main hero, Boyce. The back of the plane is blasted away, and men are sucked through a flaming hole in the back and out the remnants of the plane. It’s evocative of being killed and sent to hell, and is a great thematic start to the movie.
Getting A-Head Of Herself
The villagers who had been brought into the secret laboratory did not end up having a good time. Boyce gets the chance to explore the lab and finds all sorts of terrifying sights he could never prepare himself for. And considering he got in by riding in a truck just full of corpses, that’s saying something. He comes across a number of corpses, many of them mid-experiment. The most shocking, though, is a woman who has been reduced to just a head and a spinal column.
This one is a little bit of a cheat though, because the twist is that she’s not completely dead. With the Nazi serum pumping through her and keeping her dismembered head alive, she’s able to feebly beg Boyce for help. He’s not really prepared to (or to even just see a woman with just a spinal cord speaking to him), and he’s forced to leave her behind when he finds fellow American soldier Rosenfeld. But she’s definitely killed by the end of the movie, so we can call it a pass.
Possibly the single most horrific part of the movie comes after the death of Chase. He’s been shot in an escape attempt by the captured Nazi leader Wafner. Although his compatriots try to save him, there’s just nothing they can do. He dies, clutching his camera. The problem is that Boyce, in an attempt to save his friend, injects him with the stolen Nazi formula.
While the formula seems successful at first, it soon begins to mutate Chase. His strength increases tenfold, allowing him throw his compatriots around like ragdolls. His bones grow and stretch against his skin, which even rips in places. He shrieks, and his veins pump with the serum. It’s not pretty, and neither is the only way they can find to dispatch him once and for all. A hail of bullets can’t put him down, so Boyce surprises him with the butt of his gun, and proceeds to beat his skull until it’s just a pile of gore on the ground. It feels heavily inspired by the works of John Carpenter (The Thing), especially when Chases’ spine breaks backwards. It’s shocking, in the best way.
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