Legion of the Dead
Dir: Olaf Ittenbach
Star: Michael Carr, Russell Friedenberg, Kimberly Liebe, Matthias Hues
Cert / Year: 18 / 2001
Format: DVD R2

William and Luke are two buddies hitchhiking across California, and a serial killer has just picked them up. Meanwhile a tall blond immortal being called Togaio is filling his endless existence by looking for his lost love and creating a Legion of Dead. Geena is the Demon who is Togaio's lost love she is hiding out as a waitress in a small town, the same town in which Jeff and Nicolas Togaio's henchmen are creating his Legion. When William and Luke escape the killer guess which town they end up in, just in time for the showdown between the humans and the Legion of the Dead.

As you can see from the above description there is a lot going on in this movie, and it would have needed a clever script and smart direction to keep control over it all. Unfortunately Olaf Ittenbach can provide neither. This is an unmitigated mess of ideas; some good some bad, and shock gore effects. The story threads are barely tied together and calumniate in a most unsatisfactory From Dusk till Dawn rip off. This is strange stuff indeed in a way that only European horror can be.

As I mentioned in amongst this mess there are a few good ideas. At the beginning of the film Jeff and Nicolas the two hapless, bickering, undead henchmen in charge of recruiting the legion provide some great humor. The characters are original and well complimented, but while they are fun to watch they are ultimately wasted, as they don't really fit into the second part of the film. The same can be said for William and Luke's experiences with the serial killer. It is fun and pretty scary but is ultimately pointless.

It is the third element of the film, the story of Togaio and Geena, where things become majorly unstuck. Bland performances of Matthias Hues and Kimberly Liebe , and their story being plain bad, combine to drag the more promising elements of the film down. When things become centered on the diner the film falls to pieces completely. It is obvious that Olaf Ittenbach has watched both From Dusk till Dawn and Demon Knight as this section comes across as a poorly written clone. I have no i dea what is meant to be happening in this section, and you have to wonder whether Olaf did, or whether it was just an excuse for the myriad of gore effects.

Don't get me wrong the gore effects are very good, with a nice mix of CG effects and traditional methods used. The problem is that there is literally no reason for most of them, as reality and common sense are sacrificed in a pool of blood and guts. This is a real shame as some of the earlier good work is ruined completely.

Legion of the Dead is a film that just doesn't work. There is just too much going on for it to make any sense. Unfortunately Olaf and his German buddies just didn't know where to stop with the script and ruined an initially promising start that they had. In the moments of early promise there are moments when things do work, but the end of the film is a total muddle. When the blood started to flow any attempt at telling a story that makes any sense is abandoned, and the end result is rather unwatchable.

Rating: 1 out of 5

Picture 1.85:1 Anamorphic Prefectly acceptable quality.
Audio Dolby Digital 5.1 Pretty good.
Features Interesting 'Making Of' featurette
Audio Commentary
Production notes and Press articles
Verdict A good quality transfer and an impressive selection does not make up for the poor movie.

Rating: 2 out of 5

Reviewed by Glitz Back Top Home