Premutos, Der Gefallene Engel (1997) 1 brainhalf brain

Alternate Titles:

Premutos: Lord of the Living Dead
Premutos: The Fallen Angel

Until I see a lot more of them, I will probably mentally compare every German zombie film I see to Zombie Doom. I'm happy to say that Premutos redeems Germany's efforts somewhat. First of all, it has a sense of humor. The characters are actually amusing, and although I think there might be a bit of a cultural gap in what seems funny, I found myself chuckling from time to time.

I particularly liked Walter (Christopher Stacey), an overbearing gun nut. It's Walter's birthday, and aside from his wife, the guests include an astoundingly hateful woman and her hen-pecked husband, the husband's old girlfriend, and Walter's suave single buddy. Walter was digging in the garden earlier that day and found an old book and some vials of strange fluid, and while the rest are celebrating, Walter's stepson Christian (Fidelis Atuma), who has been having visions of evil, is in his room examining the book. The book is about Premutos, the archangel that fell even before Lucifer. Reading the book sets off a chain of events that result in zombies spoiling the birthday party.

The director, Olaf Ittenbach, is obviously a genre fan. There are various movie posters on the walls, The Evil Dead among them, and the book of Premutos bears a passing resemblance to the Necronomicon. Some of the camera work definitely shows Raimi's influence, too. (At one point in the movie there is a booger-cam. Don't ask.)

The ideas are good in the film, and if you're looking for gore, you'll get all you want. Sometimes perhaps more, at the expense of moving the movie along, since gore is one thing Ittenbach seems to do well. On the other hand, the pacing jumps back and forth from painfully slow to frenzied activity, and the dubbing is horrible. I wish I knew German so I could listen to the original dialog. Although it's hard to tell with the dubbing, the acting is typical for this level of film, ranging from OK to pure ham. Gore fans will probably get some enjoyment out of this, but if you're not looking for that, it may not be worth the watch.