The Devil’s Rock (2011) Review

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The Devil’s Rock is a New Zealand flick directed by Paul Campion, who also happened to be the cat who came up with the story and helped write the screenplay along with Paul Finch and Brett Ihaka.

Set in the Channel Islands on the eve of D Day two Kiwi commandos, sent to destroy German gun emplacements to distract Hitler’s forces away from Normandy, discover a Nazi occult plot to unleash demonic forces to win the war.

IMDB synopsis

Setting – Channel Islands. World War II.

The flicks opens with two Kiwi commandos, Captain Bed Grogan (Craig Hall) and Sergeant Joe Tane (Karlos Drinkwater), on a mission for the Allies. Their mission is to disarm some big guns on the shore but they are distracted by piercing screams of a woman coming from the foreboding outpost. Of course, one wants to investigate while the other wants only to complete the mission and be done with it all.

After wandering through dimly lit halls with blood splattered walls and torn apart parties into a room with body parts strewn about, the commandos encounter some vicious Nazi soldier action. Campion gets down to bloody business and employs some brilliantly graphic practical FX. Sergeant Joe is slaughtered which leaves Captain Grogan alone with Colonel Klaus Meyer (Matthew Sunderland), supreme Nazi douche-bag. But having a face-off with a Nazi just isn’t enough — nope — he’s an occultist with a grimoire. Specifically, Meyer possesses Les Véritables: Arts Noirs – THE REAL DARK ARTS!

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At first, Grogan is fairly skeptical of Meyer and doesn’t believe that demonic forces are at work. After all, he’s been in war and seen the brutal things men have done to each other.  But after his own encounter with the manipulative, shape-shifting creature (Gina Varela) coupled with Meyer’s persuasive words, Grogan’s eyes are opened to the truth.

Anyone watching the flick knows what’s up with the demon right away, regardless of it assuming the shape of Grogan’s deceased wife, Helena. She’s a demon that feeds on pain, suffering, and intense bloodshed. Always hungry. What better tool for using in a war? It’s a manipulative shape-shifting creature from hell. It’s . . . the ultimate Nazi weapon.

Fighting all sorts of internal and external demons, Grogan is determined to escape both the clutches of the hellspawn and the Nazi. There isn’t really a “good” option when you have to choose between siding with a Nazi or man-eating, maleficent demon-bitch.

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The Devil’s Rock contains many familiar tropes of the popular demon and ritual story — symbols used to ward off or call upon evil, blood-sacrifices, salt, illusions/apparitions, rituals, and more. There are some scenes of sheer brutality and lots of gore.  In my opinion, the background music, sound effects, and set are dark and gritty — all three greatly complement and enhance the fiendish story-line.

I’d like to say that it’s a “fun and light” horror flick – but the truth is that it’s quite disturbing (because Nazis) and incredibly gruesome (because flesh and soul eating demon).

 “We are ready, let the demon-bitch assail us.”

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About Boris

Boris enjoys reading, writing, traveling, performing, roller derby, and costuming in addition to immersing herself in a variety of horrific worlds via literature, art, video games, comics, music, haunted attractions, and cinematic adventures. From zombies to slashers, creature features to B-movies, and psychological thrillers to supernatural stories, Boris is into many different subgenres of horror.