The Devil’s Rock (2011) | This demonic wartime action horror is short on thrills, shocks or surprises
It’s long been assumed that the Nazis were secretly involved in the occult during World War II. True or not, it makes for a great story, remember Raiders of the Lost Ark and The Keep? Well, here’s another one, shot in New Zealand, by British visual effects designer turned director Paul Campion.
On the eve of the D-Day landings, two soldiers on a mission to blow up Nazi gun installations in the occupied Channel Islands decide to undertake a rescue mission on a bunker where they believe people are being tortured. But they discover something far more frightening… a Gestapo officer (tasked with raising the forces of Hell to fight for the Nazi cause) and his demon slave (which is trying to break free from its bonds). What follows is a wordy battle of wits as the men try to dispatch the manipulative satantic creature. To quote one of the Kiwi soldiers: ‘There’s bad sheeet going on here!’.
The Devil’s Rock is beautifully shot and well-acted, but is devoid of depth and decidedly short on action, thrills, shocks or surprises. Most of the film is made up of wordplay about faith and politics making it better suited to a radio play or, if shortened, an episode in a horror anthology TV series. Gorehounds will also be disappointed to find only one cool sfx scene (involving a head being swallowed), plus the film is begging a proper soundtrack.
The 2011 UK DVD release includes an interesting making-of featurette in which the director, who mortgaged his house to fund the project, explains how he went about making the film (the creation of the gunshot sound effects is a highlight).
The Devil’s Rock also screens on The Horror Channel (Sky 319, Virgin 149, Freesat 138) with the next screening on Monday 17 February at 11.pm.[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aA14m8ydRUM%5D