Friday, January 23, 2009

FANFILM Review: Damnatus

What is that you say? A Warhammer 40k movie? That cannot be true, but it is!

So, this movie really doesn't exist, at least officially, but it is by far and away one of the best made fan-films I have ever seen. I do not know what the official reasoning was for Games Workshop to not allow the fan-film, but they did place a stop on the makers from releasing it. It is too bad too because the film is actually very good.

I have seen a number of fan-films, including comedies such as 'Troops', which if you haven't seen it you really should if you like Star Wars as it is great, to more polished films such as those in the 'Animatrix'. Troops was a phenomenal short film(I think it was like 10 minutes), and the Animatrix stuff was helped in large part by studio involvement. But the Damnatus film, and I DO mean film as it clocks in at nearly two hours of story and film, is purely awesome. This is because of the amount of effort on the story, the set design, costumes and characters.

Story: The overall story is one of the Inquisition involvement in a Chaos cult. The Inquisition engages the assistance of on site mercenaries that soon find themselves embroiled in a plot that is really beyond their ability to handle. I don't want to give too much away, but the story is very well thought out and planned for a serious feature length film. 4.5 of 5 stars!

Set Design: WOW.. I mean WOW. the work done on the set designs is great. It really does provide a feeling of HUGE hive cites with 100s of levels to them. From the bright upper levels to the lower murky, creepy, levels. It is great. This is accomplished by both real life sets and artwork that is melded together for a seamless design. 5 of 5 stars!

Costumes: This is again in the same category as the set design. You can see serious involvement in the details that make each costume feel authentic to the style that is Warhammer 40k. This doesn't look like a bunch of kids working on a small budget with a handy-cam, but a serious studio style budget and plan. 5 of 5 stars!

Characters: Another big win here. I know that is no surprise, but it really does create people you can really like. You feel concerned for them in dangerous situations and are surprised when one falls. It also provides a feeling of the game itself where an elite unit of specialists can overcome insurmountable odds to attain victory. Honestly, this movie's characters have me itching to play 'Dark Heresy' now. 5 of 5 stars!

So overall I would give this film 4.75 of 5 stars. It is a great film, and really did deserve for everyone to see.

Last thoughts, if you happen to get a chance to see this, or have see this film, count yourself lucky! I would love to hear your thoughts on the movie and how you would have reviewed it as well.


jlong05 said...

Originally posted elsewhere by killmaimburn, Reported here with permission.

I liked it but the middle fight bits where the screen was only illuminated by gun fire.. whilst "gritty" was incomprehensible..I thought the tech priest died on 4 occasions..
I liked that it was in german.. (very fitting to my negatively stereotyped mind) although they shouldn't have done the latin-- since when did germanic language use latin it just sounds strange.. and fairly wrong- not great for an international release.(but again sounded fairly awesome in some ways)
The subtitles at one points glitched (not the bits where the subtitles were in latin another bit) where they ended up saying something about a pier and then just a line of german..(but thats the subtitles fault..)
Plot twist in the end(middle) was either really obvious..or I didn't get it.
I liked it but it was a bit like a mid range manga (left going waaa?)
V good for fan fic
(your welcome to rob that review if you want jlong Smile )

Chris Tregenza said...

Good review. I've included it in my round-up of this week's best gaming posts.

jlong05 said...

Chris; Thanks for the nod on the review. Glad to see I made the weekly roundup. That is awesome.

Andrzej said...

Hello, good review of a pretty good movie.

But I'm really just posting here for lack of a better idea where to ask this question:
I've just watched the movie (liked it a lot) and I was letting the credits scroll by, when this hit me, at 1:46:00

Stimme Grey Knight Captain
Sebastian Elsner

Now either my German sucks more than I think it does, or this means "voice of Grey Knight captain". There was a Grey Knight in this film?! Even if only in voice, that's still a whole new level of awesome. Did I miss it? or am I completely misunderstanding what was meant by the credit?

If anyone can clarify, thanks a bunch. :)

Pack_master said...

It's right at the start on the Black Ship of the Inquisition. The litte vox chat and holographic picture.