Valley of the Dead (2022) is a Spanish, historical fiction, horror comedy blend of a movie directed by Javier Ruiz Caldera and Alberto de Toro. It is starred and co-starred by Miki Esparbé, Aura Garrido, Luis Callejo and Álvaro Cervantes.
Set in Spain during the Civil War in the mid 1930’s, Valley of the Dead tells the tale of rivaling factions forced to join forces to combat a new and unknown adversary, Zombies.
Jan Lozano, played by Miki Esparbé, captain of the 5th Brigade, is taken prisoner. The only way to escape the death sentence is to face an impossible mission in the enemy camp – option facilitated by his uncle who happens to be a General. En route on the mission, he and his driver (another prisoner of war – a soldier held for having deserted mid battle) are ambushed by an enemy unit. Yet again they escape their fated execution thanks to a greater than expected danger that will force the rivaling sides to unite against a new and unknown adversary. They will have to put aside their mutual hatred and thus avoid becoming zombies.
Take a small pinch of Inglorious Basterds (2009), add another small pinch of Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Arc (1981), then set it in the Spanish Civil War in the mid 1930’s, and you will have Valley of the Dead.
A blending of historical fiction and zombie horror, infused with traditional comedy. The script is well carried out by a good cast of actors, with measured sarcasm, and some witticisms.
The scenography is well executed, clearly a good production team lies behind: good photography; good sound; great costumes. And the music is well adapted to create whatever atmosphere might be required of the scene in question.
Is there any political commentary in the movie? Perhaps, who knows. If there is, it is subtle, very subtle. Great contrast to the overt gore the zombies provide.
The main set back is that it is neither dubbed nor subtitled in English, hence limiting its audience to Spanish speakers.
July 12, 2022.
Where to Watch Valley of the Dead
Cast & Crew. Review
Movie title: Valley of the Dead
Movie description: Set in Spain during the Civil War in the mid 1930’s, Valley of the Dead tells the tale of rivaling factions forced to join forces to combat a new and unknown adversary, Zombies.
Director(s): Javier Ruiz Caldera, Alberto de Toro
Actor(s): Miki Esparbé, Aura Garrido, Luis Callejo, Álvaro Cervantes, Manel Llunell, Jesús Carroza, María Botto, Dafnis Balduz
Genre: Horror, Historical fiction, Fantasy, Comedy
Relatively entertaining, using the tropes that zombie movies bring, adding an historical setting with irreverent humor.
Editing - 3.6/10
Plot - 4.7/10
Historical Setting - 5.7/10
Gags - 4.8/10
Production - 4.6/10
Actors - 5/10