|Director:||David B. Stewart III|
|Writer(s):||David B. Stewart III|
|Cast:||David B. Stewart III, Angelina Leigh, Chuck Maher, Martin Slamon, John Martineau, Tina Krause, Tammy Jean|
|Genre(s):||Drama, Horror, Mystery|
|Release Date:||November 25, 2015|
Reichsfuhrer-SS is a 2015 horror film Directed by David B. Stewart III. We follow a fictional re-telling of the events leading up to infamous Nazi Commander Heinrich Himmler’s role in the horrendous persecution of millions of innocents, and a fictional take on the events after the Reichsfurer’s suicide on the 29th of April 1945. The film boasts a small cast of a select few Officers in the leading Nazi ranks, The title role being brought to life by Director Stewart, and one captured Polish P.O.W. portrayed by Angelina Leigh.
This film could easily be rather confronting to some individuals, and likely not for the reasons you’d expect. Yes, there are a few littered (and well done) scenes of graphic nature, and classic Nazisploitation sexual innuendo. However one of the more confronting ideas behind the film is far more psychological. It’s the humanizing, and sympathy pulling of Himmler that would surely ruffle feathers were this a much larger scale film. I’m just not entirely sure on what it is that the film is attempting to achieve. Basing the majority of it’s characters on real life, historical people, but doing somewhat of a back flip on their morals, and qualities. In the film, Himmler is being assessed on his ability to take orders, and to execute another living being. Something which history isn’t isn’t totally sure on, there are sources that state Himmler once became nauseous during a large scale execution. Whether he would personally struggle to pull the trigger simply one person is an entirely different ball park. Yet it is open to interpretation. The film is mostly about his struggle to come to terms with a life he must take. In which he has limited time to accomplish. The film also makes it rather clear that it again diverts from Himmlers beliefs. In a scene where the P.O.W. is speaking to her God, Himmler finds it laughable, and somewhat mocks her for believing in such things. Now, in reality, Himmler was a man of great faith, and original a devote Christian, who later became indulged in Germanic Paganism, whether he’d laugh at another Christian faith is still doubtful, as he did still believe in the bibles stories. Which is shown through his real life searches for Holy relics, secretly funding excavations during the war to locate artefacts, such as the Holy Grail.
I’m well aware of the fictional nature of this film, but it just seems to be at war with itself in showing these once real people, in a light that they weren’t ever standing in. Whether this was concious or not, is not clear, but giving the scenes of Himmler post death, I think it’s safe to assume the film is to be taken with a light grain of salt. The film diverts from present to past, the ‘present’ being Himmler awakening in a room at the threshold of Hell. This is actually done very creatively, as the room in which Himmler awaits his sentencing looks strikingly similar to that of one of the death camps gas chambers. A subtle but very effective back drop. These scenes sprinkled throughout offer some great visuals. The two Demonic entities in this cell with our title character are wonderfully brought to life. The make-up effects for a film of this size and budget are truly remarkable. They look great. They employ various techniques to jog Himmlers memory of his sins, which again, the effect work is very impressive.
Though the film is considerably impressive visually. It does lack on another front other than it’s conflicting themes. The acting is generally rather dry and stale, though Stewart does have some blinder scenes. Particularity those centred in the Demonic realm are his stand-outs. There are few of these however. One thing that bugged me throughout was these Germans are talking perfect English, now I know in film a lot of the time that happens. Though at least it’s normally with a German accent, well, not here. Except for one character, at least one predominately doing it. As to why you’d have one actor speaking with the accent, and none of the others? I’m not sure. Rest assured, it was distracting.
Overall we’re all aware the limits films like this have, being independent. The Direction is solid. The concept, original, even if it tends to interpret certain events in a somewhat conflicting manner. The acting is it’s biggest let down overall, but that is also countered by it’s well above average effect work and creature design, which is very effective. This films is obviously hitting a narrow market for fans of the Nazisplotation days of old, and those interested in independent film as well. As the credits roll, you can’t help but admire the vision here, and the amount of effort that’s been put in by all. However it’s shortcomings hold it back from being anything super memorable, but they surely aren’t enough to avoid seeing it if these types of films are for you, and you’re looking for something to slap on one dull night, it’s sure to deliver its share of kicks.
I’ll give this 7 freedom flying Swastika’s out of 10, as it’s above average with ease, but short on being something to move to the top of your watch list.