Virus Undead – also known as Beast Within – is a 2008 German science fiction horror film directed by Wolf Wolff and Ohmuthi from a screenplay by co-producer Wolf Jahnke.
The movie stars Philipp Danne, Birthe Wolter, Anna Breuer, Nikolas Jürgens, and Marvin Gronen.
Professor Bergen, a famous medical researcher, discovers a vaccine to an H5N1-like viral pandemic. However, his research indicates that the virus has mutated and caused increased aggression in the local birds. While researching this phenomenon, he is attacked and killed by his test subjects, a flock of violent birds.
After missing the funeral, Robert, a medical student, returns to his childhood home to settle his grandfather’s affairs. He takes two friends along with him, fellow medical students Eugen and Patrick, who have an antagonistic relationship. When they arrive, Robert’s ex-girlfriend, Marlene, confronts him and demands to know why he dumped her and left town. As Robert and Marlene talk, Eugen and Patrick flirt with Marlene’s friend, Vanessa. Patrick invites the women to a party later that night.
Later, the trio are harassed in turn by Bollman, the town bully, and Lieutenant Lehmann, an unfriendly cop. When they finally arrive at Professor Bergen’s mansion, they discover the place is in near ruins…
“The makeup effects are high quality and the visual style of the film is superb. The muted colors and shadows work very well with the impressive locations. The house of Robert’s grandfather is especially apt. It looks like just the place for twisted experiments and unspeakable acts. The performances are good, aside from the above mentioned halting quality which rises up now and again. The characters are distinct, and realistic, not the cardboard cutouts that are standard for this type of film.” Jeremy Biltz, DVD Talk
“It sort of reminded me of Dead Snow a bit, in that it’s actually structured very much like a slasher movie … and then all of a sudden, I’m waiting for killer birds to show up, and BAM! some zombies are biting our heroes and trying to invade the house where they are holed up. Then the birds do show up on top of that. I mean, it’s not a particularly great movie, but the largely successful combination of genres was a nice surprise.” Brian W Collins, Horror Movie a Day
” … the zombies have surrounded the mansion, trapping the partying kids inside and blahblahblah, tepid sex scenes, predictable deaths, Cabin Fever meets The Birds meets Night of the Living Dead, but despite all of its lofty ambitions, it still manages to be one of the stupider and more boring zombie films I’ve sat through since I made the mistake of ‘flixing Platoon of the Dead last summer.” Annie Riordan, Brutal As Hell
“It’s a cut above your usual low-budget zombie affair, with professional pyrotechnics and CGI. But the characters are over-written and unconvincing, and anyway it’s always odd to watch these movies set in Germany but with the actors speaking in English.” Peter Dendle, The Zombie Movie Encyclopedia
“Beast Within isn’t anything spectacular nor does it aspire to be. It is a decent time though when there isn’t anything on the tube. I’m not sure I agree with the films’ final edit, with a little tweaking it may have turned out to be a stronger film. It was fun at times and frustrating at others but Mr. Wolf Wolff is a talented director with an eye for the macabre and a future in the biz. Not a great film but it’s worth a view.” Corey Danna, HorrorNews.net
Cast and characters:
- Philipp Danne … Robert Hansen
- Birthe Wolter … Marlene Vogt
- Anna Breuer … Vanessa Lux
- Nikolas Jürgens … Eugen Friedrich
- Marvin Gronen … Patrick Schubert
- Ski … Bollmann
- Axel Strothmann … Polizist Lehmann
- Joost Siedhoff … Professor Bergen
Berlin and Wandlitz, Brandenburg, Germany