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3.9 out of 5 stars
54
3.9 out of 5 stars
Siege of the Dead [DVD]
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Showing 1-10 of 16 reviews(4 star). See all 54 reviews
on 9 September 2013
The movie defaults to German. I had to set up the English language. I also did the English subtitles which didn't match the spoken language. Apparently two different people did the translating without consultation.

Michael arrives in Berlin to see his gf or ex-gf Gabi. In her apartment he finds an infected Toj Johnson type fellow who attacks. He manages to save himself along with a young man named Harper. They are in contact with other people locked in their apartments via shouting out the windows, which is not good because it attracts Olympic sprinting zombies. From the radio broadcast we find out that this is a rabies style virus and adrenaline causes the virus to go to the brain and make one a zombie. If bit, stay calm and take a sedative. (I can see NORML launching a campaign now.) The movie is about their survival and what one will do to survive.

Michael is torn between the microcosm of finding his gf and saving her forks from harm and the macrocosm of the enormity of the situation. It examines the spectrum of human emotions and what we would do when faced with a full blown viral zombie infection.

This movie also needlessly deals with "where do we go to the bathroom" issue. Clearly this is the German mind at work, attempting to place realism in a zombie flick.

The ending was unexpected which is why I liked this movie. Kudos.

No f-bombs, no nudity, no sex. The blood was minimal.
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on 22 July 2012
Christmastime has seen my nearest and dearest furnish me with a stack of new horror DVDs and so, I started working my way through them with 2010's Siege of the Dead, which (to my knowledge) is a first for me since I have never watched a German zombie film before.

Within the first few minutes of the film, I was worried. Worried that what I was watching would simply turn out to be a German rip-off of excellent Spanish horror REC, which was regurgitated almost scene for scene for Western audiences in Quarantine. Thankfully, my fears were allayed and Siege of the Dead proved to be considerably more realistic than many zombie films, in that these survivors don't find themselves conveniently holed up in a shopping mall, which happens to be replete with gun stores and so on; these very ordinary people are in their own homes and forced to utilise whatever they have to hand in order to keep the undead at bay.

The zombies are of the 28 Days Later ilk rather than your Romeroesque undead but due to the location of where the survivors find themselves trapped, there is a distinctly claustrophobic feel to proceedings that is missing from many other larger budget zombie affairs and the characters attempt to negotiate the flats that were once their homes and is now effectively their coffin. Also, I quite enjoyed the novel take on the infected provided by this film, something that I will not reveal and leave you to discover!

Unfortunately, the film is far too short with a running time of only 62 minutes and additionally, the cover is misleading, with an Apache helicopter launching rocket strikes on a zombie horde... a scene which never occurs in the movie! Also, I would suggest that the final line of the synopsis is not simply hyping up the movie but is clearly untrue. This film does not have "astonishing special effects", most definitely not a "gorefest" and is not "laced with pitch-black humour". What Siege of the Dead is though, is a competent little zombie flick with something missing from many genre films, characters that you genuinely care about their plight and are interested to see the outcome of proceedings for them. Michael Fuith and Theo Trebs work very well as the protagonists thrown together by this unforeseen zombie apocalypse and there's certainly worse ways to spend a little over an hour than by watching this!
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on 13 March 2011
**** This review contains some slight spoilers ****

The current craze for fast running zombies spreads to Germany with Siege of the Dead, a.k.a. Rammbock, another slice of Zombie mayhem that marks the debut of writer Benjamin Hessler and director Marvin Kren. This nicely shot and entertaining German horror film was rather short but the pacing was really good, there was never a dull moment while the film steadfastly adheres to the new, post-Romero genre rules as laid down by the likes of 28 Days Later and Rec. It also seemed quite different than the more recent zombie flicks. The film starts off with Michael (Michael Fuith) who hitches a ride to Berlin to try to win back his girlfriend Gabi under the pretense of returning his keys to her apartment. Instead of Gabi, he finds a plumber and his apprentice Harper (Theo Trebs) in the apartment.

The plumber suddenly goes nuts and tries to attack Michael and Harper. They manage to get him out into the hallway (where Michael drops his phone) and barricade themselves inside. The two men see further attacks happening in the building's courtyard by white-eyed people foaming at the mouth who have suddenly developed a taste for human flesh. They learn from television that a sudden epidemic has spread rapidly across Germany. The radio also advises them that people who are bitten or wounded need to be sedated to allow their immune systems the chance to fight the disease. The few other survivors are able to communicate from their apartment windows, across the courtyard and one of them offers Michael and Harper food if he can get some sedatives for his wife from the next door apartment of a known addict.

Michael and Harper bust through the brick wall into the next apartment (attracting the attention of the zombies who give chase) and are then separated, will they manage to survive and escape from the growing numbers of undead outside the building?. The feature which runs just over an hour doesn't drag or feel rushed in the relatively short running time, Siege of the Dead also has moments of humor and quirkiness but is no Shaun of the Dead. It takes its cues from 28 Days Later but is much more engaging than that work (although I thought that LA HORDE which was far more better than Siege and is also set in an apartment building overrun by a sudden zombie epidemic). Michael and Harper aren't well-developed characters but they don't need to be (both engage our sympathies through their reactions rather than backstory). The zombies are well-realized but not very original (they're more like the rabid assailants of [REC]) and one potentially silly bit at the end is played for poignancy rather than laughs. I'm not exactly sure if "Romero would be proud" as stated on the cover but SIEGE OF THE DEAD makes for a fun and entertaining hour, check it out.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 3 January 2011
I bought this one simply because it had good reviews from other Amazon shoppers and I agree with them. First if you don't already know, this is a German film with English subtitles so you will have to pay attention. However, it is quite a short film; if you ignore the credits then I think it lasted just under an hour.

Also, this isn't your regular Zombie film and most of the action is running away. There isn't much in the way of Zombie fighting.

The basic plot is some average guy who has been dumped by his girlfriend is going round to her flat to return her keys. When he arrives, the door is open so he walks in but she isn't there. From that point on the situation deteriorates into a Zombie apocalypse focussing on how he & remaining tennants in the other flats are going to escape.

Strictly speaking, I don't think these things are Zombies in the traditional sense. There is nothing to suggest that they are dead, simpy infected with an unknown virus that is spread mainly by biting. In this respect, they are 'infected' rather than 'Zombies' and so, probably have more in common with the infected in '28 Days later'.

Having recently watched 'The horde', I think Siege of the Dead is by far the better film. All the cast are quite plausible, the acting is better, the story is better, the dialog is better and everything progresses at a reasonable pace. There were also some quite nice ideas that expanded on the tested premise that if a Zombie bites you then you will automatically become a Zombie. Not much gore but enough to keep you watching. In fact, it reminded me a bit of '.Rec' but with less action. I might even go as far as saying, some bits were quite thought provoking. Normally I suggest watching Zombie films at night after a few drinks but this one works quite well sober in the middle of the day.

If this is an example of German Zombie horror, then I think I will look around to see what else I can find.
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on 10 February 2011
Cracking take on zombies. Set in suburban Berlin within the confines of a gated block of flats, Seige is a low-key but tense and claustrophobic contribution to the zombie movie epidemic.
I suspect that, much like Channel 4's frenetic Big Brother zombie yarn Dead Set, Siege of the Dead was made for TV. It only runs for one hour and is a fine example of low budget, pared to the bone storytelling. Character backgrounds are sketched out by use of short phone calls, photos left on mobile phones and holed-up inhabitants shouting across a zombie-infected courtyard.
Again, probably due to the limits of its running time and budget, Siege generally doesn't paint a broader picture of terrible chaos. Much like Tom Cruise in War of the Worlds, we only see what is happening through the eyes of the faintly pathetic protagonist, Michael. Only once do we share his true realisation that the world has gone to hell in a handcart when he looks out across the smoking skyline of Berlin. It's the only money shot in the movie but it's used effectively. Interestingly, the same reveal is used in the equally entertaining but overwrought and demented action of The Horde (well worth checking out if you like yer guns and gore).
Anyway, back to Seige - The gentle, chiming theme that punctuates the movie is both charming and eerie. The editing is excellent and the performances are uniformly good. Intelligent zombie fans (Yeah! You!) will enjoy this.
One minor word of warning. Don't be fooled by the completely inappropriate artwork used on the cover. Maybe the misleading Romero-fuelled title of the film was all that was given to the art dept: Blazing skies, burning cop cars, helicopters firing missiles into a sea of skyscraper-wandering zombies. The box blurb is equally inaccurate: " With astonishing special effects...A thrilling gorefest..." I'm not sure which movie these artists and copywriters were watching (maybe The Horde!) but it wasn't this one.
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on 9 March 2012
It's refreshing to see films such as La Horde, The Dead and this, Rammbock (Siege Of The Dead) re-animating a sagging genre. I have been aware of this film for a while but it's taken me til now to watch it. Straight from the start it's apparent that this is a very well photographed and effective looking piece; a washed out grey and bleak world is presented to the audience, no vibrantly saturated environments here. This perfectly conveys the horror and isolation that the few protagonists face and feel. This isn't so much a film that concentrates singularly on the mass un-dead invasion but more a film about surviving and escaping from it. Yes, the undead are in it, but what really draws you in (and makes you start to care about a couple of the characters) is how the besieged survivors are ever going to get out alive.
The film industry is full of bloated over-long releases, many of which could be cut by nearly half to produce a much better film. This is where Rammbock shines (and does a brave thing). The film runs at about one hour, a measly 60 minutes. Is this a bad thing? No! This film has no fluff, no padding to allow it to run to a 'commercially acceptable' time. It's a perfect length and makes you realise how unnecessarily over-long many other films are.
Great script, great cast and for once a great ending.
An excellent German film that deserves a wide audience.
4.5/5
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 7 January 2014
It's widely regarded that most people loved 28 Days Later. Then it spawned an official sequel (28 Weeks Later) and then other countries got in on the `new-look running zombie' action.

The remake of Dawn of the Dead was 28 Days Later in America. La Horde was 28 Days Later in France and now we have Siege of the Dead, which is basically 28 Days Later in Germany.

Now, if we English can just get past the, `Oh, so Germany's overrun by zombies, huh? Well, never mind,' attitude, the film's actually pretty good.

Lovefilm's blurb on Siege of the Dead says it's laced with `humour.' I like to think I have a sense of humour, but I couldn't see any in this. I found it a straight horror - through and through.

It's claustrophobic, tense, good (normal) characters we can relate to, nobody does anything totally crazy and, although it has a small budget, it was put to good use. There's not that much gore, but that's also probably down to the budget.

If you like the 28 Days Later style of zombie movie (and don't mind subtitles and films that are under an hour in length) give this one a go and, if nothing else, you may learn of an interesting new weapon to fight zombies/the infected - click click click.
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on 24 April 2011
Let me be honest up front.. This isn't the best zombiemovie out there, but it does have some things going for it. The story is rather simple but decent. A guy wants to surprise his girlfriend by dropping by unannounced but ends up trapped inside her appartment (he had the keys) with a painter. From there on the film begins to tell the tale of survival. A decent movie with very believable zombies and situations. I recommend giving this one a try :)
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on 25 July 2012
Fairly short film but very enjoyable. Instead of the usual sprawl of a zombie film with streets filled with the hordes of the living dead, this one concentrates, albeit briefly, with the lives of an apartment block (whose story is probably repeated throughout Berlin). Found it a very enjoyable and entertaining zombie film and probably one we could all relate to - how would we defend our small space as increasing zombies whittle away our existence to the space of a few rooms and less.

As usual, bad choices etc result in the usual reduced numbers - still, I felt for the characters even if we really only have a brief snapshot of their existence through windows in other apartments.

A very good addition to the zombie genre.
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on 29 September 2011
There's a lot more going on in this film than some of the reviews might lead you to believe.

OK, so it's subtitled, low budget and only 60 minutes long, but despite the claustrophobic setting of the drab apartment complex and the relatively small cast, there's still enough action to keep you interested and maintain the suspense.

Formulaic Hollywood this is not. It's an understated film containing some nice quirky touches and a few surprises. Plus it's got modest, believable characters that you actually care about, which makes a nice change from the annoying, shallow, hedonistic twentysomethings that seem to populate a lot of horror films.
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