VALLEY OF THE DEAD (2020) Reviews of Spanish Civil War zombie movie on Netflix

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Valley of the Dead is a 2020 Spanish action horror film in which opposing soldiers band together when they encounter Nazi-created zombies.

Directed by Alberto de Toro and Javier Ruiz Caldera (Superlópez; Anacleto: Agente secreto) from a screenplay co-written by Jaime Marques and Cristian Conti, based on the novel Noche de Difuntos del 38 by Manuel Martín Ferreras.

The movie stars Miki Esparbé, Aura Garrido, Luis Callejo, Álvaro Cervantes (Offering to the Storm), Jesús Carroza, Dafnis Balduz, Sergio Torrico, Manel Llunell, María Botto, Mouad Ghazouan, Francisco Reyes and Manuel Morón.

Plot:
Months of bloody fighting in the Spanish Civil War have left behind thousands of dead in the trenches. Jan Lozano, captain of the fifth brigade, is taken, prisoner. The only possibility of escaping the sentence of death is to face an impossible mission in the enemy camp.

However, a greater than expected danger will force the rival sides to unite against a new and unknown adversary. They’ll have to put aside the hate mutual to avoid becoming zombies…

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Reviews:
“In many ways, Valley of the Dead also has a lot going for it. Unfortunately, the pace and (especially) the focus on war and history more than on zombies, don’t work too well for the overall movie-watching experience. I find it fascinating, but for the purpose of making a strong zombie movie, it isn’t good.” Heaven of Horror

“The zombie swarms are OK, if nothing new, and the head-burst/cranial spray effects are digital and kind of “meh.” The acting is pretty good, but the screenplay lacks the jokes and sight gags that would make this sing. The entire enterprise feels somewhat flat-footed much of the time. It’s never remotely as scary or visceral as 28 Days Later or laugh-out-loud funny at the other extreme, Zombieland. 2 out of 4, Movie Nation

” …a film chock full of cliches. We still have the “evil Nazis” trope, the unstoppable undead only stopped by a bullet to the brain, and a McGuffin needed to fix everything.  If you’re looking for something simple and easy to watch though, this film will certainly scratch that itch.” 6.5 out of 10, The Review Geek

YouTube reviews:

Trailer [no English subs]:

Release:
The film had its world premiere at the Sitges Film Festival on October 8, 2020. It became available for streaming on Netflix on July 12, 2022.

Notes:
There is a video game based on the same story.

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Cast and characters:
Miki Esparbé … Jan
Aura Garrido … Matacuras
Luis Callejo … Sargento
Álvaro Cervantes … Mecha
Jesús Carroza … Jurel
Dafnis Balduz … Comisario Político
Sergio Torrico … Brodsky
Manel Llunell … Decruz
Mouad Ghazouan … Rafir
María Botto … Sor Flor
Manuel Morón … General Lozano
Francisco Reyes … SS Commander
Frank Feys … SS Official
Ken Appledorn … The American
Oriol Ramis … Carlos
José Pérez Ocaña … Montoya
Asia Ortega … Ana, Novia Pueblo
Òscar Intente … Oficial Pelotón
Oscar Onrubia … Paracaidista
Pol Corominas … Novio Boda
Sanna Toivanen … Ochoa
Christian Stamm … Nazi General
Julius Cotter … American General

Production companies:
Malnazidos, A.I.E.
Cactus Flower Producciones
Ikiru Films
Telecinco Cinema
La Terraza Films

Original title:
Malnazidos

Technical details:
1 hour 41 minutes

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