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Thursday, August 4, 2022

Review: Malnazidos (Valley of the Damned)

Director: Alberto de Toro and Javier Ruiz Caldera

Script: Jaime Marques and Cristian Conti

Year: 2022

In “Malnazidos (Valley of the Danmed),” we follow Captain Lozano, who, along with the young soldier Decruz, has been assigned to a mission in which they must carry a message to another squad. While trying to reach the designated location, they are forced to join forces against an enemy group in order to survive a common rival. 

If the plot of this story sounded familiar to you, you are not alone. As I write every time I review a zombie movie, this subgenre is worn out, and it's getting harder and harder to be original. So instead of originality, directors Alberto de Toro and Javier Ruiz Caldera decide to entertain us with a bit of Spanish culture.

"Malnazidos" takes place in the middle of the Spanish Civil War, where the Nazi army has a significant presence. Adding the Nazi army to a zombie movie automatically leads one to think that these creatures were created as military weapons, and that is precisely the line that this movie takes. From here, it follows how generic its plot is, in which our protagonists encounter more and more obstacles in the form of the undead.

Although generic, the plot is entertaining, mainly because of that touch of Spanish comedy, although I suspect that this only works if you are a Spanish speaker. Apart from that touch, everything else follows the same line of recycled ideas, from shots that seem to be inspired by some of the most famous and successful zombie movies, unoriginal deaths, and even a recipe ending. As you might suspect by this point in the review, the characters also follow the line of zombie movie stereotypes, and it's hard to take an interest in them even when they're well-acted.

“Malnazidos (Valley of the Damned)” is just another zombie movie that follows the same recipe as hundreds of others and ends up being another mediocre movie in this genre. The only thing different that it offers is a touch of Spanish comedy and culture, which is not enough to overcome its weak development that seems to follow a recipe to the letter. It's not a bad movie, but it doesn't offer anything innovative that separates it from other movies with the same theme.


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