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Friday, October 4, 2019

The Devil’s Rock (2011)




So here is a movie that I avoided because of the generic art that appeared on both on the DVD and later streaming services. It just didn’t inspire me to dive in, but here is a prime example of a movie not being represented by the cover. Check out the generic cover and the proper cover to the left of the text. Yeah that second one would have sold me right away on The Devil’s Rock.

The movie starts off with a text crawl that lets us know that on the eve of the invasion of Normandy commandos were sent out to destroy threats to the invasion as well as distract the German defenders. There are some Channel Islands between England and France that have German occupation forces on them. Our movie is about a two-man team that is sent to destroy a naval gun by sabotage. They set their charges but then investigate some screams from the creepy bunker nearby. Probably not the best idea since they keep finding bodies in various states of being butchered. One of them, Grogan, ends up captured by a crazy Nazi who tortures him trying to figure out his mission. But that is only the start of the fun.

Eventually the German identifies himself as an SS Colonel and explains that the garrison had found a spell book on the island. Desperate for a weapon to use against the Allies they summoned a Demon that then started killing everyone. She is the cause of all the strange noises and is trying to get loose. Grogan and the Nazi have to team up to unsummon her since she is uncontrollable and killing everyone, thus a threat to anyone on the island. But can you trust a Nazi? Well if the movies have taught us anything…

I enjoyed this movie much more than I expected to. Again, I had very low expectations because of the cover and thought we would get some generic low budget supernatural Nazi flick. But what we got was a rather gruesome Demon summoning story. The gore is plentiful, and the movie has a lot of atmosphere. I wouldn’t say it was scary, but it does a fine job of building tension. The story helps with that since it is filled with twists and turns that don’t feel forced but occur naturally. There isn’t a wasted scene and it seemed like every line of dialogue was important. You really need to pay attention to The Devil’s Rock or you’ll miss something crucial.  

Some good gore
The cast is small, and we spend most of our time with just two characters, the Nazi and Grogan. Both actors, Matthew Sunderland and Craig Hall, do a fantastic job. They have onscreen chemistry and play off of each other perfectly. These guys are the heart and soul of the movie and carry it nicely. I would be remiss if I didn’t point out Gina Varela who plays (but doesn’t voice) the demon. She is very creepy and gives a performance that shines even under the heavy makeup.

I keep mentioning the makeup. We get a lot of bodies and body parts. This is all practical effects work and is executed nicely. Not only that but we get bodies hacked up and butchered onscreen to feed the Demon. It is nice to see someone putting some effort into bringing this to the screen. I do love me some latex appliances. Speaking of that the Demon is amazing looking. They did a great job on it which is good since the creature gets a lot of screen time. They clearly were proud of the work and rightly so.

This is a great movie. I had a blast with it and am kicking myself for taking so long to watch. Don’t make my mistake and track down a copy of The Devil’s Rock.


© Copyright 2019 John Shatzer

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