Overlord (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)

Overlord 4KNow this is a “Brian” film!  I started off last year believing Overlord was a fourth installment in the J.J. Abrams Cloverfield universe.  By mid year we were all aware that was not true.  Boo!  Overlord is so much better than that direct to Netflix Paradox feature.  If you don’t take my word for it, look no further than the highly reputable Rotten Tomatoes site the lay people of this nation perceive as gospel.  It’s Certified Fresh at 81%, yo!  The website’s critical aggregated consensus reads, “Part revisionist war drama, part zombie thriller, and part all-out genre gorefest, Overlord offers A-level fun for B-movie fans of multiple persuasions.”  I couldn’t agree more, but I know some of the peeps close to me in life surprisingly didn’t feel feverishly the same.  I hope I can convince you.  I giddily love this film!



I guess you would bill Overlord as both a war and horror film.  I describe it to friends as the Wolfenstein video game series meets the movie world of Fury.  Overlord is directed by Julius Avery and written by Billy Ray and Mark L. Smith.  It stars Jovan Adepo, Wyatt Russell, Mathilde Ollivier, John Magaro, Gianny Taufer, Pilou Asbæk and Bokeem Woodbine.  I mentioned his name up above and rightfully so because this flick was produced by J. J. Abrams, through his Bad Robot moniker.  The plot follows several American soldiers who are dropped behind enemy lines the day before D-Day and in their quest to knock out radio communications they discover horrors beyond imagination in the form of secret Nazi experiments.  That’s the best part of Overlord though in my opinion, the genre-bending nature of it.  Take the horrors of war and couple it with monsters!  Ingenious!

Overlord was released theatrically this past November.   It went on to gross over $41 million worldwide to barely cover a budget of $38 million.  Make no mistake about it this thrilling genre mash-up starts off with riveting blast.   If the action doesn’t immediately kick you in the unspeakable parts in your pants, then I don’t know what will.  I’ll be the first to admit though that once we get past this insane beginning there are lulls to contend with.  However, once these American paratroopers come face-to-face with Nazi super-soldiers the proverbial sh1t quickly gets real.  The stakes instantly get bigger and suddenly it’s not just a tale of survival of the fittest, but one that has end of mankind implications if not properly addressed and dispensed of.  

So remember up above I praised Overlord for it’s thrilling opening?  Well to put it in perspective what if Saving Private Ryan took place in this horrific version of a zombie occupied Nazi Germany?  This is the zaniness Overlord!  It screams a B-movie gore fest, but its execution is so much more.  Sure it’s simple, but it delivers the kind of comic book, war like action it promised in the trailer and so much more.  You can’t fault it for living up to what it sold you on, can you?  Sure there’s some twists and turns, but if you din’t see them coming, then you need to watch some more movies my friend.  If you don’t identify with a likable female wielding a flamethrower or a ruthless SS Officer turned unstoppable zombie, then I don’t know if this movie is for you.  It’s just a bunch of fun to be had.

WARNING: AN ENDING SPOILER LIES AHEAD.  You’ve been effectively warned.  I think my only disappointment ultimately with Overlord was its ending.  After the insane gore fest we just partook in the ending just felt flat and a tad uninspiring.  There was a love story teased throughout and then well nothing but a smile.  I want more.  That’s where my biggest beef is in regards to how that was resolved.  I mean come on.  Give our protagonist a break, no?  Other than that this one took me to all the places I wanted to go and by that I mean bioengineered, humanity gone wrong, Nazi super soldiers to contend with.  What a goofy, monstrous good time to be had with it all!  Action, horror and violence all in one tidy, convenient package.  SPOILERS DONE…



The below video score and related critique of things here are based solely upon my viewing of the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray presentation of Paramount’s Overlord.

  • Encoding: HEVC / H.265
  • Resolution: 4K (2160p)
  • Dolby Vision: Yes
  • HDR: Yes
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
  • Clarity/Detail: Overlord was digitally shot and looks absolutely stunning here on the 4K Blu-ray format.  So as you can imagine things are pretty sharp and chiseled throughout here.  Fine textures like brick pop as well as all the imperfections and nuances clearly visible within closeups.  Due to the undead subject matter there’s a lot of erratic movement here so at times things can get blurred, but fret not this is relatively sharp throughout with exception of a few soft moments.  Please note though that most of this film is shrouded by nighttime darkness so that does inhibit fine detail sometimes.  However, you do have the bulging veins and bloody good times to look forward to in UHD as the serum is injected in the latter half of the feature.  It takes awhile to get going.  There’s also a light veneer of grain, which I’ll mention down below too.
  • Depth: There’s obviously a lot of green screen going on, but in the real physical locations depth of field is vast and deeply abound.  From the set pieces within the village to the dungeons under the radio tower you always feel a sense of immersion in the onscreen environments.
  • Black Levels: The black levels are gorgeously depth and inky.  It’s not until the latter half of this movie that we get any color because the majority of events here transpire under the shroud of darkness in nighttime.  However, it’s the contrast of colors, fire and gunshots that make things pop here.  The HDR also lends a very generous helping hand in ensuring nothing gets lost in the darkness as well.
  • Color Reproduction: Things really get bold here.  Yes I did say there’s a lot of darkness, but despite all that the jungle greens and blood reds just pop in contrast to it not to mention the fires, explosions and tracer rounds against the nighttime skies.  Where things really pick up in this department is in the film’s latter half because we’re treated to daytime and sunshine.  Things look like a million bucks then.
  • Flesh Tones: The skin tones can run hot, but for the most part are natural and healthy looking.
  • Noise/Artifacts: Other than the light veil of grain I mentioned up above there’s really nothing I can think of that I saw in this presentation to make you up and say yuck.



Like I mentioned up above in the video section, the below audio score and critical comments of such are based solely upon my viewing of Paramount’s 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray presentation of Overlord.  I do want you to know that both the 4K UHD Disc and 1080p Blu-ray one houses a Dolby Atmos surround track.

  • Audio Format(s): English Dolby Atmos, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital, Portuguese 5.1 Dolby Digital, English Descriptive Audio
  • Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French, Portuguese
  • Dynamics: Overlord is masterful in the audio category here with its ultra wide presentation here.  Every frame is literally jam packed with dynamics.  Fidelity is strong with this one as the soundscape rocks your viewing room in every which way and direction securing the utmost in atmospheric qualities.  The best thing about it too even under the shroud of that insane opening sequence is absolutely nothing ever gets lost in the shuffle of things here.  This is a destructive, demo worthy presentation you have on your hands here folks.
  • Height: The height channels employ the usual tricks up their sleeves, but just think about this.  First and foremost this is a war film so you can expect the usual explosions, land mines, gun fire etc., but this is also a monster movie too.  There’s a lot to play with in the height channels here including the screams, overhead announcements and other various effects.
  • Low Frequency Extension: This one should really be called “Bass Lord.”  I’m joking of course, but it’s the LFE that consistently punches you in the gut repeatedly throughout the entire presentation.  Let the bass go BOOM!  Let’s just take that opening scene for example.  You literally feel like you’re in the air here with every creak and rivet shaking all around you.  Now let’s cover all the other basics too like the guns, firepower, explosions, flamethrowers, screams and so much more are brought to life with an overall sense of heft throughout.
  • Surround Sound Presentation: While this track is very bass heavy don’t forget about what I said about the dynamics up above.  Everything moves around you throughout here and if you’re not immersed in this one, then you have a sound bar!  It’s impossible not to feel the creepiness of this surround track recreating every onscreen event with the utmost of space, dimension and directionality.  Enjoy this one!
  • Dialogue Reproduction: The dialogue levels are detailed, clean, loud and clear throughout.  No qualms!



So there’s not a lot to look at on the surface here, but a quick look under the hood showcases six segments, which results in a total combined runtime of 51-minutes. Rest assured to Paramount provides you with a redeemable Digital Copy code so you can watch Overlord in 4K UHD in both VUDU and iTunes giving you the best of both worlds outside of the home.  Let’s take a closer look though at the supplemental materials you’ll find housed only on the 1080p Blu-ray Disc.

  • The Horrors of War (HD, 51:28) – This lone extra opens up with room to breathe as it comprises the following six segments.  There’s also a Play All option here too.  Just letting you know!
    • Creation (HD, 11:04) – This one tackles a lot.  We go over this fun production starting with the screenplay, J.J.’s casting, the actors’ chemistry, sets, costumes, military training for authenticity, the theme of the film and so much more.  Julius Avery even goes over his inspiration regarding his grandfather’s tales on how he wanted to portray things here.
    • Death Above (HD, 7:18) – This one is all about…you guessed it…the film’s insane, bombastic and intense opening sequence…also known as everyone’s favorite part of this film too.  It was interesting to see how they built a scale model that actually tilted and rocked back and forth to capture the actors’ experiences.
    • Death on the Ground (HD, 9:16) – This extra discusses the establishment of the grim reality of the war, the soldiers’ comradeship with each other and the accurate tone of things.  J.J. talks about how this is an interesting movie since it’s a war movie, but also a creepy, horror one.  They also talk about Mathilde how she’s really the only woman in this film.
    • Death Below (HD, 6:25) – This one starts out discussing how this establishes itself as a war movie, but spirals out of control in fun, monster movie, horror fashion.  They also how off some great monster, practical effects here.  I like how they discuss since it’s set in a war film the horrors of war are already there so it’s not that shocking to make the leap to horror.  They repeat a lot how important it was to spend the first half of the movie building the strong characters.  We also examine the entrance to the underworld here and within in it too.  They spent a lot of time developing the layers and details within the underworld.  We see the sets up close and personal.  This is probably the coolest of the extras due to the inclusion of the underworld set tour.  I could have spent ten more minutes here.  Just saying.  Ha ha!
    • Death No More (HD, 12:19) – This one focuses on the building of creatures and weapons, but also the practical effects too.  They also reinforce the development of the strong characters to make sure you care about them.  I loved seeing how the veins in the creatures were really just airbrushed on.  It was awesome to learn about how the main villain’s look came to be and of course how they made it with VFX.  We even get treated to the flamethrower scenes here too.  Since the weapons are from the 1940s they have to be well maintained as they discuss here.
    • Brothers in Arms (HD, 5:03) – This one praises the direction of Julius Avery.  The cast and crew all chime in about him.  In addition the same is said for J.J. here too.  So I guess you can say the brothers in arms here are these two men.



So what’s your verdict here folks?  I recognize the horror-war film Overlord may not be everyone’s cup of proverbial tea.  That’s the only reason why I hesitate to recommend the film itself.  You need to invest yourself in it because there are lots of lulls getting to know the characters (to the lay people that’s also called telling a good story).  However, that doesn’t mean I can’t whole heartedly recommend the overall 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray package.  This one looked and sounded like a million dollars not to mention almost an hour of extras for extra ingestion too.  The choice is yours?  What are you going to do?  I see a Paramount Overlord 4K disc set in the future for you.  You’re welcome.


DISCLAIMER: This 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray review was judged and graded using the following 4K certified Ultra HD Premium television set found here and player here.  The above screenshots are not taken from the actual 4K product.  Make sure to check out all our 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray reviews archived here.



Nazi Super-Soldiers Invade


4K Ultra HD Blu-ray

February 19th




Overlord 4K


Owner/Writer/Reviewer/Editor, Dreamer, Producer, Agent of Love, Film Lover, Writer of Screenplays and a Devoted Apostle to all things Ford Mustangs (the real ones with V8's!). Some of my favorite films include FIGHT CLUB, MOULIN ROUGE, THE DARK KNIGHT, STAR WARS alongside television shows such as SEINFELD, 24, SANFORD & SON and even the often loathed in the geek community BIG BANG THEORY. Outside of my three lives I live I also enjoy spending time with my girlfriend and our three girls (of the furry kind).

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