Devil's Rock (2011 film)
The Devil's Rock (2011), AKA War is a Bitch, Nazi Bitch - War Is Horror
"War is Hell" Set in the Channel Islands on the eve of D Day,two New Zealand commandos, sent to destroy German gun emplacements to distract Hitler's forces away from Normandy, discover a Nazi occult plot to unleash demonic forces to win the war.
- Release Date: 2011
- Country/Language: New Zealand, English
- Genres/Technical: Horror, War
- Setting: Weird World War, 1940s Faroe Islands
- Runtime: 1 hr 23 min
- Starring: Craig Hall, Matthew Sunderland, Gina Varela
- Director: Paul Campion
- Writer: Paul Campion, Paul Finch, Brett Ihaka
- Producer/Production Co: Chameleon Pictures, Chameleon Pictures, Devil's Rock
- View Trailer: (link)
- IMDB Page: (link)
- Rated: (not rated?) (equivalent to a PG-13 or R for Violence, Profanity, and brief Nudity)
A rough measure of how "Lovecraftian" the work is:
- SS___ (Two Tentacles: Barely Lovecraftian; vaguely similar in tone, could be a very loose adaptation)
I found this one sort of interesting from a "Lovecraftian" standpoint: the film isn't very "Lovecraftian" in tone but it's not far off in structure, the story could have been adapted with minimal changes into a Carnacki story with a slightly less cliche'd demon and the use of an "electric pentacle" or other occult-technology; the film seems to imply that it exists in the same universe as both Hellboy (2004 franchise), Wolfenstein 3D, and Indiana Jones (1981 franchise); there's a Lovecraftian-style tome; occult scribbles that look like something from the ridiculous Simon Necronomicon cover the walls; near the end of the film there are references to the Great Old Ones right alongside the Ark of the Covenant and Spear of Destiny and "Lucifer himself!"; and during a ritual I believe I heard a character call upon Nyarlathotep among more traditional demonic names like Abaddon and Samael: in short, the film is sort of a supernatural horror chop-suey....
Note: This rating is not intended as a measure of quality, merely of how closely related to Lovecraftian "Weird" fiction the work is.
- Phil Beresford at Horror Asylum (2.5/5 Stars) (Link) - "It’s certainly worth a look but its on-the-rails plotting and premature revelations mean that you shouldn’t go expecting any great surprises."
- Robert Munro at Eye for Film (2/5 Stars) (Link) - "The film continues to drift aimlessly until its unsatisfying, lethargic (yet expected) conclusion."
- Richard Scheib at The Science Fiction, Horror, and Fantasy Film Review (2.5/5 Stars) (link) "...The Devil's Rock starts well... The only complaint during these [early] sections might be that the score leaps off into cliche devil worship movie cues of atonal choirs the moment Craig Hall starts looking through the occult tomes... The major complaint might be that the film's low budget gets in the way of a more full-blooded film....."
- Y.Whateley: "A better occult-horror film than its cheesy promotion (with posters featuring dubious-looking images of scantily-clad SS-vixens who never appear in the film, and trashy alternate titles like "Nazi Bitch") might hint at: in the end, it turned into a rather tense and understated character-driven supernatural horror film involving just a couple actors in only two or three small rooms. From a 'Lovecraftian' aspect, it's a strange film, name-dropping Nyarlathotep and the Great Old Ones alongside references to "Lucifer himself", Hellboy, Indiana Jones, and Wolfenstein 3D, with a tome of indeterminate origin used to summon a standard-issue little red devil of indeterminate mythology using fairly generic pulp-witchcraft means - the results coming off as sort of an occult horror/Weird World War 'chop-suey'; there's bound to be something that Call of Cthulhu RPG enthusiasts could loot for ideas for a game in a WWII setting. That aside, in the end, I found the film more enjoyable than expected, maybe two out of five stars, perhaps higher if I'm feeling really generous, and worth a look for fans of weird world war type films - this might be one of the better examples."
Spoiler Section (Highlight to Read)
Two New Zealand commandos sneak onto a remote and deserted island in the path of the Normandy D-Day invasion to destroy German gun emplacements and disrupt communications, when they overhear hideous screams of tortured and dying men from inside a bunker. Going inside to investigate, they find the bunker in chaos, and one of the commandos is killed by the lone survivor of a massacre of the German occupants, an SS officer who is on the island to develop an occult wunder-weapon in the form of a shape-shifting demon conjured by witchcraft. The demon takes the forms of its victims' loved ones before tearing them to pieces and eating them, and the Commando and SS officer temporarily team up to perform a ritual to control and banish the demon, before the SS officer turns on the Commando at the last minute to prevent the occult knowledge from falling into Allied hands. The Commando barely survives the officer's back-stabbing attempt and subsequent attempts by the demon at seduction, and leaves the demon on the island as a distraction for a German rescue team....
Comments, Trivia, Dedication
Associated Mythos Elements
- TO DO
- fiction and film: compare/contrast to Carnacki the Ghost-Finder, Hellboy (2004 franchise), and Indiana Jones (1981 franchise), and the Wolfenstein 3D video game series.
- name-dropping: Great Old Ones and Nyarlathotep
- artifacts (briefly mentioned):
- demons: Abaddon, Samael, Lucifer
- setting: Weird World War
- tome: Les Véritables Arts Noirs ("The True Dark Arts")