I don’t know about y’all, but I love the hell out of Fred Williamson. Star of seemingly countless action and blaxploitation movies, while also appearing in critically acclaimed films such as Robert Altman’s M.A.S.H, Fred Williamson has been acting in films since 1970. While we could spend all day debating the quality and relevance of a lot of the so-called “B Movies” Fred Williamson has starred in over his prolific career, I think it’s probably better to appreciate just how much fun a lot of these films are.
Nazi Doomsday Device also is known as Atomic Eden follows in the same tradition as so many hundreds of thousands “straight to video” martial arts/action movies. Lorenzo Lamas makes a cameo for God’s sake. However, these films have their place in the heart of every movie fan, no matter how much of a cineaste a person believes his or her self to be. Well, for the most part. I remember some really snobby film critic friends who hate almost everything unless it’s made by Tarkovsky, so they’re exempt from that statement.
“…a group of mercenaries that are ex-military…on the hunt for the man who killed their comrade-in-arms.”
It almost doesn’t particularly matter what the plot of the movie is in Nazi Doomsday Device. It’s really all there in the title. The film is about a group of mercenaries that are ex-military, some retired from “the life,” on the hunt for the man who killed their comrade-in-arms. Williamson heads up the group as Stoker, the leader. Then there is Heinrich- the priest (Wolfgang Riehm), David- the fighter (Mike Möller), Reiko-the samurai (Hazuki Kato), Darwin- the Texan (Everett Ray Aponte), Brenner- the blade (Dominick Starck), John- the sniper (Nico Sentner, who is also the writer and director of the film), and Laurie- the rookie (Josephine Neir), as well as the daughter of the group’s fallen friend. Then for villains, we have Komorov- the Phantom (Jens Nier) and of course Lorenzo motherfuckin’ Lamas as Nathan- the snake. Additionally, there are 800 men in hazmat suits chasing our group around an abandoned mining complex in the ruins of Chernobyl.
Don’t get me wrong; this movie is absolutely ridiculous. It’s a complete textbook Seven Samurai rip-off, and like every action movie ever made after the Kurosawa masterpiece, but it’s so much fun. The martial arts scenes are incredible. The gunfights are awesome. There’s a lot of hilarious one-liners. Some of my favorites are when Darwin, also referred to as “Cowboy,” shoots a couple of the hazmat suit guys and says, “Don’t mess with Texas.” Also, there is a line when The Priest says “ashes to ashes, dust to dust” after he kills one of the bad guys. There’s a lot of comparisons to be made to The Expendables here, and if you love those series of movies, you will definitely enjoy Nazi Doomsday Device.
“…this movie is absolutely ridiculous…but it’s so much fun.”
My only beef with Nazi Doomsday Device is that there are a couple of sexist overtures but can we really be surprised, considering the nature of the film? I just found a line where Laurie says “Who do I have to fuck to get respect around here?” extremely cringey even if it might have been intended as a tongue-in-cheek sort of thing.
Look, this movie does not reinvent the wheel, or the genre, or anything. It is a textbook action movie that will be super fun to watch with a group of friends. It could definitely get an MST3K or Rifftrax treatment. I think those sorts of films are needed. People have a lot of problems; there’s a lot of serious stuff to deal with in real life, so to occasionally watch a low budget shoot-em-up with hilarious one-liners and a ridiculous plot can really pick one’s spirits up. I know that’s what this film did for me.
Nazi Doomsday Device (2018) Written and Directed by Nico Sentner. Starring Fred Williamson, Lorenzo Lamas, Mike Moller, Hazuki Kato, Everett Ray Aponte, Wolfgang Riehm, Nico Sentner, Dominick Starck, Josephine Hies, Jens Nier.
6.5 out of 10 stars