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Trench 11 (DVD) Review

September 5, 2018 | Posted by Bryan Kristopowitz
Trench 11
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Trench 11 (DVD) Review  

Trench 11 (DVD) Review


Rossif Sutherland– Berton
Charlie Carrick– Dr. Priest
Ted Atherton– Jennings
Robert Stadlober– Reiner
Luke Humphrey– Budman
Adam Hurtig– Kelly
Shaun Benson– Muller
Karine Vanasse– Veronique

Directed by Leo Scherman
Screenplay by Matt Booi and Leo Scherman

Distributed by RLJE Films

Runtime– 91 minutes

Buy it here

Trench 11, directed and co-written by Leo Scherman, is a World War I set horror flick, a rarity in period horror flicks (World War II tends to be a more popular setting. It’s probably the whole Nazi thing). The ending is a bit of a letdown, but the build to that ending is pretty good. The movie also features some absolutely disgusting practical special effects.

The movie stars Rossif Sutherland as Berton, an American tunneler who is loaned out to a British officer (Jennings, as played by Ted Atherton) and doctor named Priest (Charlie Carrick) who are about to embark on a super-secret mission to investigate an abandoned German bunker. The Germans are believed to have left a terrible weapon inside the bunker, and Jennings and the British army want it. Now, Jennings and Priest don’t tell Berton or the other soldiers loaned out to them (I believe one of them is a Canadian, the others are Americans) what they’re going to the bunker for. The mission is top secret for a reason. Berton doesn’t want to go. He’s on leave, he has a hot young girlfriend, and would much rather stay with her and get drunk off his ass. Berton has no choice but to go, though.

At the same time all of that is happening, the German army wants to go back to the abandoned bunker and make sure that the weapon inside is completely destroyed. The German army is on the ropes and is very close to losing the war. The government would rather not have its enemies (and soon-to-be conquerors) find the weapon. The weapon is horrible, and the Germans don’t want to be in any more trouble than they’re already in.

So both sides head out for the bunker. The movie spends most of its time with the British-American-Canadian side of things as they make their way to the bunker, which is behind enemy lines. No one likes Jennings (he’s a bit of an asshole. He has a full sterling silver tea set out in the field. Who the hell does that?), but they’ve got a job to do, and the quicker they get to the bunker the quicker they’ll be able to leave. Getting to the bunker, while not exactly easy, is simple compared to the actual bunker itself. The bunker is a dark, dank hellhole, and that’s before the wacked out psychos wandering the tunnels show up and try to kill them. And if they’re not careful, the psychos will kill the Americans and Canadians and the British and anyone else who shows up. The psychos, while they look human, are not exactly human anymore.

Not exactly human? What the hell were the Germans working on in the bunker?

Well, the best way to explain it is it’s an offshoot of the chemical weapons that were developed and used by the Germans during the war. However, this particular chemical weapon is by and large more complex and more devastating than any mustard gas or chlorine gas. It’s not even really a chemical weapon. It’s something else.

It’s a parasite. A manufactured parasite. And when the parasite shows up and infects its host, it completely takes over its victims and they become something similar to zombies. And if you’re in the same room as one of these parasite zombie things you want to get the hell out as soon as possible. If you don’t get out, man, it isn’t going to end well for you.

The best things about Trench 11 are its period detail and its nastiness. The costumes and weaponry and technology all look appropriately turn of the century. There’s also a kind of “steampunk” quality to some of the weaponry, including this great looking German armor sequence that’s terrifying because the guy with the armor and machine gun looks like a goddamn robot. If you saw that guy break into your house you’d freak the fuck out.

As for the nastiness, the make-up and special effects are all gross as hell. There’s a scene where a character loses his nose and the aftermath of it will make you queasy. There’s also a golden haze to everything that just amps up the gross. And that’s before the fucking parasite worms show up, and, Jesus Christ, when those things show up it’s barf city. You will no doubt avoid angel hair spaghetti and ramen noodles for a while after seeing these parasites in action (lo mein will become your enemy).

Rossif Sutherland does a fine job as the grizzled tunneler Berton. He doesn’t seem like the kind of guy who would be a tunnel expert (for one thing he looks to be too big, physically, for the job), but he convinces you that he’s an expert.

Charlie Carrick is also fabulous as the British doctor Priest. He’s the voice of reason throughout most of the movie, and it’s a damn shame what happens to him. I was really hoping he’d get to show up in a sequel. Ted Atherton plays Jennings as the kind of guy you just want to punch repeatedly.
And Robert Stadlober is fantastic as the diabolical Reiner, the German scientist that created the parasite and who has no intention of actually destroying the parasite. He’s just so awful that you wish that something even more horrible would happen to him.

The movie’s music, by Mark Domitric, Kevin Krouglow, Ryan McLarnon, and Tom Westin, is bizarre but somehow works. The end title theme is something you won’t soon forget.

Trench 11 could use a few more infected zombie people. And while the tunnel sets are cool to look at, the movie doesn’t really do enough with them. Where is the suspense? And the ending could be a little clearer because, well, I have no idea what the hell happens. The movie just sort of ends.

Still, even with those minimal deficiencies, Trench 11 is a decent, nasty bit of period set horror cinema. It will be interesting to see if this movie leads to more nastiness in the future. You know, people are always finding unexploded World War II bombs. Why can’t the contents of trench 11 keep showing up again and again in the future? It’s something worth exploring.

Well, I think it’s worth exploring.

See Trench 11. See it, see it, see it.

So what do we have here?

Dead bodies: 10+

Undead bodies: Who knows?

Explosions: A few.

Nudity?: None.

Doobage: Hole digging, a very dead dead body, a tunnel collapse, a fat British general, a very French girlfriend, snow, serious drug taking, drinking booze in the field, walking through the snowy forest, a shotgun with a bayonet, cocaine chewing, a trail of smeared blood, a wolf, more dead bodies, Germans talking German, bloody handprints, face punching, shotgun blast to the head with exploding head (and we see it Dolph Lundgren shotgun blast to the head award winner, serious barfing into a guy’s face, grenade hooey, chalk, multiple instances of stethoscope hooey, multiple stabbings, a worm moves into a bloody wound, gauze city, an autopsy that is absolutely disgusting, breast bone sawing, a standoff, an armored German machine gunner that looks like a robot, serious wine drinking, an interrogation, serious nose biting, serious racism, off screen torture, teeth removal, eye removal, a depressing German war story, chlorine gas attack, leg breaking, explosives hooey, serious choking, glass vial through the eye, debris, and a weird ending.

Kim Richards?: None.

Gratuitous: World War I, British intelligence, talk about drinking, Americans leading the way, completely understandable racism (it’s not col but understandable), cocaine chewing, zombie attacks, a rib spreader, an open love of French food and a general hatred of German food, a record player, a depressing German war story, personal sacrifice, and a weird ending.

Best lines: “I don’t hear anything,” “Reiner, that little bastard,” “I can’t wait for this war to be over,” “Fucking limeys,” You ever eat rat, Major?,” “Captain Cooper. Yes, sir. Control your men. Or I will,” “Watch your step, doc,” “He says if we open the door we’re all going to die,” “Abandoned my ass. Who the fuck was that?,” “What’s a hospital doing down here?,” “This disease was engineered,” “You ever get scared down here?,” “This is mutiny,” “I ain’t dying down here so this prick can make colonel!,” “You’re very tall for a tunneler,” “Leave the chatty one with me,” “It has been quite a week for the democracies, eh?,” “You and I don’t practice the same science,” “Hey, easy, Fritz!,” “Give me the map!,” “German beer. You like?,” “You know they say this disease drives men insane,” and “Thank God for German engineering.”

Movie rating: 8.0/10.0

DVD Info

Audio/Visual Info: Trench 11 is presented in 2.35:1 Widescreen with 5.1 Dolby Digital sound. Everything looks clean and sounds fantastic.

Special Features

Trailers: We get trailers for Aftermath, Cabin Fever: Patient Zero, and something called Condemned that has Nick Damici in it.

It’s a shame we don’t get a behind the scenes documentary or a director’s commentary of some sort. I bet people would love to know what it took to make a World War I horror movie.

The final score: review Good
The 411
Trench 11 is a worthwhile World War I set horror flick. It’s nasty and gross and its setting gives it an edge (because, really, how often do we see World War I set horror movies?). The ending is seriously lacking and the movie could have used more suspense, especially in the tunnels of the bunker that’s the main setting of the movie, but in an overall sense those are merely minor quibbles. Trench 11 is pretty damn good and is something you should absolutely check out.

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Trench 11, Bryan Kristopowitz