The Spanish zombie horror film ‘Valley of The Dead’ ( Original title – Malnazidos ) is a comedic-period piece that will only amuse zombie-horror fans. So I was amused and entertained.
Directed by Alberto De Toro and Javier Ruiz Caldera, ‘Malnazidos’ is set sometime during the Spanish Civil War and starts off with a wedding horribly gone wrong. A community is gathered outside a church to celebrate a wedding in their small Spanish village, when a band of Nazis arrive at the scene and gun them down. Meanwhile, Captain Jan Lozano (Miki Esparbe) is sent on a dangerous mission with a young soldier and the two land in the hands of enemy soldiers on their way, but they have a bigger problem – zombies. Rival soldiers are forced to unite against diseased men & women who rise back from their deaths to eat those alive.
The plot-line is intriguing to say the least, there are enough zombie flicks out there, but ‘Malnazidos’ makes things crazy by setting the plot during the Spanish civil war, a time when soldiers would’ve never thought they’d encounter something worse than blood-thirty Nazis. What’s worse than a Nazi? A zombie Nazi! In large parts, the film is breezy in tone, it doesn’t get too serious, but is not an out and out horror comedy either.
For a timeline where people weren’t as familiar with zombies the characters in the film are quick on their feet and don’t make dumb decisions, despite struggling to understand what they are dealing with. And most characters are soldiers, they sure know how to work a gun and kill a walking dead person. (Reminds me of how irritated I was with some characters in the series ‘All Of Us Are Dead’, especially because they literally mention ‘Train To Busan’, yet not behave like they are in a life-and-death situation).
Unfortunately, this a very generic zombie flick, with little suspense and close to zero nail-biting scenes. While stories that explain the origins of a zombie outbreak tend to feel more satisfactory, ‘Malnazidos’ would’ve been better off keeping it a mystery. Overall, it’s a decent watch for horror fans.
For a zombie flick, it’s a 6/10 from me. You can stream it on Netflix.
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Listen to Ep 39 -15 Horror Films You Might Want To Skip