Wars provide fertile backgrounds for genre cinema given the natural horror generated by the brutalities and atrocities of conflict. World War I was particularly arduous, with thousands upon thousands of men dying just to gain a few inches of ground. If the bullets didn’t kill you the disease or inhospitable conditions would. Trench warfare was merciless and relentless. The Trench and Deathwatch conceived a new terror to stalk the underground tunnels. Death Trench (aka Trench 11) takes it one step further.
The Germans are on the retreat as the Allies are well on their way to winning the war. The British command become aware of intelligence about secret biological experiments being carried out by a mad Nazi scientist (Robert Stadlober). A Canadian sapper (Rossif Sutherland) is persuaded to lead a squad into a secret base. They must contend with German Stormtroopers looking to dispose of the evidence and the infected hordes.
Whilst Death Trench won’t set genre cinema alight, it’s an entertaining and well-made horror which delivers in terms of body count, gore and tension. Director Leo Scherman riffs off John Carpenter to produce a claustrophobic chiller, which also owes a debt of gratitude to the Wolfenstein games. Death Trench succeeds on all counts. A bloody and brutal battle below the ground.
Death Trench is released on DVD and Digital by Signature Entertainment on 6 May.