J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot has its fingers in many pies, including some of the biggest franchises in Hollywood like Star Wars and Mission: Impossible, but the outfit has always had a reputation for giving lesser-known filmmakers the platform to craft unique and exciting smaller scale genre pics.
It’s a practice that dates back to Matt Reeves’ Cloverfield, which was just the third feature film to bear the Bad Robot branding, and continued on with Maya Forbes’ drama Infinitely Polar Bear, 10 Cloverfield Lane and The Cloverfield Paradox, which took the titular series into the realms of the claustrophobic thriller and sci-fi respectively.
Arguably the best of Bad Robot’s B-tier efforts, though, is Julius Avery’s Overlord, which could be described as what would have happened if 1980s-era John Carpenter had made a World War II film. A squad of American paratroopers are airdropped behind enemy lines to try and destroy a radio transmitter to aid the war effort, but they soon discover that the Nazis have been running some gruesome experiments.
Overlord begins like a standard war epic with a hell of an opening sequence, before pivoting further and further into horror as the story progresses, culminating in a grisly third act that doesn’t skimp on the gore. Unfortunately, it disappointed at the box office after earning just $41 million against a $38 million budget despite strong reviews, but it’s finding a new life on Netflix after crashing into the Top 10 out of nowhere.
At the time of writing, Overlord is currently the seventh most-watched movie in the streaming service’s library around the world, and it’s definitely worth checking out if you’re a fan of the horror genre, or simply wild cinematic mashups in general.