The Devil’s Rock. DVD review

The Devil’s Rock. Written by Paul Campion, Paul Finch & Brett Ihaka. Directed by Paul Campion

Reviewed by Mike Chinn

The eve of D-Day. Two New Zealand commandos land on the small island of Forau; their mission: to sabotage the Nazi gun emplacement and contribute to the Allies’ misdirection campaign ‘ making Hitler believe the invasion was coming through the Channel Islands. Pausing only to establish that Ben Grogan (Craig Hall) is still mourning his wife Helena, and his partner Joe Tane (Karlos Drinkwater) has a hot date waiting back in Blighty, they creep into the ominous concrete bunker. Where all is not well.

The interior is a claustrophobic nightmare: narrow corridors that terminate in impenetrable shadow; tight, grimy rooms strewn with dismembered dead; all filled by echoes of screams and indistinct voices. There is just one German left alive: Colonel Meyer (Matthew Sunderland) ‘ and a young girl (Gina Varela), shackled to a wall in a locked room. Has Meyer gone mad, murdered all of his comrades just to have the girl to himself? Or is there something much worse going on?

Sunderland and Hall work well in what is essentially an intimate two-header. Director Campion mostly goes for the less is more approach ‘ leaving the bunker’s dark and cramped atmosphere to scrape at the nerves. There are even cheeky nods to Raiders of the Lost Ark and Lovecraftian Mythos.

I have some reservations: Sunderland’s German accent is noticable by its absence, and the New Zealand locations don’t look anything like the Channel Islands (black volcanic sand?) ‘ but perhaps the slight wrongness contributes to the film’s overall atmosphere. There are the usual interviews and shots of set-building among the extras (though the sound quality during Paul Finch’s snippets is shocking.)

Overall, a film that works very well within its restrictions. Recommended.

We have three copies of The Devil’s Rock looking for good homes. To be in with a chance of winning simply send an email to news@britishfantasysociety.org  with the subject line DEVILS ROCK. The competition is open to BFS members only (and over 18). Competition deadline is 28 July 2011.

The Devil’s Rock. Written by Paul Campion, Paul Finch & Brett Ihaka. Directed by Paul Campion

Reviewed by Mike Chinn

The eve of D-Day. Two New Zealand commandos land on the small island of Forau; their mission: to sabotage the Nazi gun emplacement and contribute to the Allies’ misdirection campaign ‘ making Hitler believe the invasion was coming through the Channel Islands. Pausing only to establish that Ben Grogan (Craig Hall) is still mourning his wife Helena, and his partner Joe Tane (Karlos Drinkwater) has a hot date waiting back in Blighty, they creep into the ominous concrete bunker. Where all is not well.

The interior is a claustrophobic nightmare: narrow corridors that terminate in impenetrable shadow; tight, grimy rooms strewn with dismembered dead; all filled by echoes of screams and indistinct voices. There is just one German left alive: Colonel Meyer (Matthew Sunderland) ‘ and a young girl (Gina Varela), shackled to a wall in a locked room. Has Meyer gone mad, murdered all of his comrades just to have the girl to himself? Or is there something much worse going on?

Sunderland and Hall work well in what is essentially an intimate two-header. Director Campion mostly goes for the less is more approach ‘ leaving the bunker’s dark and cramped atmosphere to scrape at the nerves. There are even cheeky nods to Raiders of the Lost Ark and Lovecraftian Mythos.

I have some reservations: Sunderland’s German accent is noticable by its absence, and the New Zealand locations don’t look anything like the Channel Islands (black volcanic sand?) ‘ but perhaps the slight wrongness contributes to the film’s overall atmosphere. There are the usual interviews and shots of set-building among the extras (though the sound quality during Paul Finch’s snippets is shocking.)

Overall, a film that works very well within its restrictions. Recommended.

We have three copies of The Devil’s Rock looking for good homes. To be in with a chance of winning simply send an email to news@britishfantasysociety.org  with the subject line DEVILS ROCK. The competition is open to BFS members only (and over 18). Competition deadline is 28 July 2011.