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Overall Rating

Awesome: 6.25%
Worth A Look: 25%
Pretty Bad: 6.25%
Total Crap: 15.63%

3 reviews, 14 user ratings

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Bunker, The (2004)
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by Brian McKay

"Not the one where Hitler blew his brains out"
3 stars

Not to be confused with a documentary about Hitler's last days which bears the same title, THE BUNKER nevertheless does have Nazis in it. And Ghosts. And Nazi Ghosts. It's also got a very solid ensemble cast who are likely recognizable by face, if not name, and the clever usage of limited and claustrophobic settings. In many ways, it reminded me of the cult hit DOG SOLDIERS, except for the fact that neither the story nor the characters were as memorable as those found in that film.

Set in the final days of World War 2, THE BUNKER introduces us to a squad of German soldiers (all played by Brits) on the run from advancing American troops on the French-Belgian border. They stumble across a fortified German bunker that is only guarded by an old man and a teenage boy.

As darkness and rain close in, the soldiers examine their limited options. Cut off from reinforcements, and low on ammo and supplies, their only options seem to be either make a last stand in the bunker, or flee and take their chances in the enemy-infested woods. When the teenage boy suggests "We could take the tunnels out of here," the old man slaps down the idea and launches into scary story time (and the story he tells ain't bad, as far as spooky stories go). It seems that the tunnels, which the Nazis built for moving ammo between bunkers, were never finished because the men were too scared to work in them anymore. Apparently, they were built onto a pre-existing series of caves where, hundreds of years ago, some very bad things happened. Now the tunnels are haunted, or so the Old man intimates. He warns them to stay out of the tunnel - a warning which, of course, is promptly ignored.

From then on, there's a bunch of wandering around in the creepy underground areas. Men begin to turn on each other, start shooting at shadows, or just disappear altogether. And while THE BUNKER is never outright scary, it definitely has it's fair share of moments that are creepy and unnerving.

Unfortunately, the characters and script feel underdeveloped. Although each of the actors turns in a worthy performance, their characters feel anemic and indistinct from each other, serving more as character types than characters themselves (The by-the-book asshole lieutenant, the loose-cannon psycho, the quiet medic, etc.). There is simply no real sense of camraderie between them for the viewer to identify with. Likewise, although there is the foundation of a good scary tale here, the story seems to meander like the underground tunnels themselves, with several small but important plot threads either left hanging or hurriedly tied up. Flashbacks of a critical event in the squad's past, shown out of sequence and in a dream-like style, end up leaving the viewer with more questions than answers.

All in all, THE BUNKER is not a bad effort, and what it does right, it does quite well. If only the script had been fleshed out a little more, and the characters given a more unique voice, THE BUNKER might have been the next big fanboy favorite. As it stands, though, it's an entertaining, but forgettable, ninety minute diversion.

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originally posted: 04/26/05 09:01:48
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User Comments

1/20/09 Stan Bobel Stunk cover did not match inside and was best part 1 stars
10/27/07 werner klemperer Outside drawing was more interesting than the whole movie. Full of inaccuracies and boring 1 stars
5/23/07 Oswald Browne Boring with unexplained/unexplainable sequences. Looks like it was made up as it went along 1 stars
10/11/06 Steve The movie was about people afraid of nothing, & nothing killed them. Nothing worth watching 1 stars
12/08/05 Ben Good movie. Lots of potential. Would have liked to see germans playing the germans 4 stars
6/23/05 kyle I think it was an excellent, unique movie. 4 stars
6/12/05 daveyt average 3 stars
5/17/05 Shawn Borucki Interesting, but there could have been more to it. 3 stars
5/03/05 Jack Sommersby Has promise, but the execution is lackluster, and it's never as gripping as it wants to be. 2 stars
2/28/05 Barry John very poor and derivative 1 stars
11/01/04 Phillip Prass Great, makes you really think about whats going on. 5 stars
9/26/04 Kelly Van Rijn Looks great, but unsatisfying 3 stars
7/17/04 Chris Khraish Great movie 5 stars
7/10/04 Steven E Medved Full of promise that never delivered anything worth watching. 2 stars
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  08-Jun-2004 (R)
  DVD: 08-Jun-2004



Directed by
  Rob Green

Written by
  Clive Dawson

  Charley Boorman
  John Carlisle
  Josh Cole
  Simon D'Arcy
  Jack Davenport
  Jason Flemyng

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