Valley of the Dead (2022)

Directed by Javier Ruiz Caldera and Alberto de Toro. Written by Jaime Marques Olarreaga, Cristian Conti and Alberto Fernandez Arregui. Starring Miki Esparbe, Aura Garrido, Luis Callejo, Manel Llunell, Alvaro Cervantes, Maria Botto, Jesus Carroza and Mouad Ghazouan.

Plot: during the Spanish Civil War, camps of enemies must work together to survive zombies created with Nazi experiments.

Based on the novel Noche de Difuntos del 38 (roughly, Night of the Dead of ’38), this movie follows Captain Lozano (Esparbe) as he starts a dangerous mission during the Spanish Civil War. He has to deliever an envelope to someone in the Sixth, but apparently no one makes it out of there alive. He’s in trouble though, and he has to succeed to stop from being executed. Another soldier, Private Decruz (Llunell), who is also in trouble for going AWOL, acts as Lozano’s driver since Lozano can’t drive.

The whole story picks up when Lozano and Decruz are captured by rebels who aren’t too keen on facists. When they’re all together, that’s when the first of them is attacked by someone they thought was dead only seconds before. Later, other zombies attack, some people are killed, so the rest of them decide to work together to find out exactly what’s going on. A lot of them die and sometimes it’s quite sad. We were caught off-guard by just how emotional a couple of the death scenes were. Especially since so many of them die saving others, even people on the opposite side of the war.

I think the movie started out a little strange, but DJ liked the opening well enough. We kept watching and I’m telling you to give it a shot. It’s a pretty good story. It was also funny, original and realistic. The script was amusing, the cast was lovely and the specials were good, too. What we really liked was how we learned to love the peole we were following. Even the facists became sympathetic. We didn’t love the ending, but – not giving away too much – that was because we liked them all so much. Overall, it was a pretty cool movie and we recommend.

Our score: 76.

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