Soldier of War (aka AUX) Movie Review

Written by Shane D. Keene

Released by Uncork'd Entertainment

Directed by John Adams
Written by John Adams, Peter Adams
2019, 81 minutes, Not Rated
Released on March 3, 2019

John Rhys-Davies as Jack
Rosie Fellner as Samantha
Tristam Summers as Unwin

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What a strange thing I find myself doing here. I went into Soldier of War fully expecting to hate it. And it gave me a bunch of reasons to do so. First off, it marks off a whole bunch of the typical cliches you find in flicks like this: curious but affable kids; an old bunker in the woods; accidentally unleashed monster rampaging willy-nilly across the countryside, ripping off heads and yanking out intestines like rope sausages. And the acting is, with a few notable exceptions, far less than stellar, even for a b-movie creature feature such as this. Add to this the fact it felt like eighty minutes of story with only fifty minutes of plot and I should have come down firmly in favor of hating this fucker. Except I didn’t.

Here’s why: First off, when it comes to creature features, I’m a pretty easy guy to please. Start with hideous beast, add blood, guts, screams, and a foreboding setting and you have pretty much all the pieces you need to satisfy this Pumpkinhead junkie. So, take that into account when considering this film. If the monster and the mayhem are your main draw, then this is your jam. Coupled with that, you also have a pretty decent story about an undead war veteran who thinks the police are Nazis and everyone else is a spy, wantonly murdering and maiming everyone he encounters. And he does so in the most deliciously creative ways. Because he’s intelligent, setting booby traps and sneaky little ambushes, chopping heads and gutting people in gloriously bloody fashion accomplished through the use of superb practical effects. That is the shining gem in what would otherwise be a pile of worthless stones. It seems they blew most of their four million dollar budget on that one aspect of the work and it paid huge dividends for them.

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In addition, the few actors who did show up without cardboard in their mouths, showed up strongly, serving to pretty much carry the others on their performances. John Rhys-Davies’ typical over-the-top orating is a perfect seasoning for this intentionally cheesy piece, and Rosie Fellner and Tristam Summers come in rock solid as the two investigators tasked with catching the killer, managing to inject some moments of true drama in among the schlocky acting that permeates the rest of the film. Those three stars are decently developed, sympathetic characters that helped to keep the story engaging and the action thrumming along at breakneck speeds.

So, yeah. The movie starts out as a two-star rendering and quickly redeems itself, evolving into a solid four that I’ll stand behind. If you like it gory, shocking, humorous, and Monstrous, then Soldier of War is definitely your cup of blood. If you come looking for perfection, don’t even ring the bell, but if you want fun with a capital hell-fucking-yes, then you’ve found your destination. Break out your popcorn and dig into this delightful if-Rambo-was-a-monster movie from Uncork'd Entertainment.

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Movie: fourstars Cover

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Shane D. Keene
Staff Reviewer
Shane Douglas Keene is a reviewer, columnist, and poet living in Portland, Oregon. He spends his spare time drinking scotch and/or beer, playing guitar, and thinking of ways to scare small children and puppies. He pays meticulous attention to beard maintenance, mostly because it freaks people out, and he writes about dark fiction and poetry in various places, including his blog at Shotgun Logic.
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