Country: Germany | USA | Ukraine
Director: Nico Sentner
Starring: Fred Williamson | Mike Möller | Hazuki Kato | Lorenzo Lamas | Wolfgang Riehm | Nico Sentner | Everett Ray Aponte | Dominik Starck | Josephine Hies
Written by: Nico Sentner | Dominik Starck
Last Friday, I was lucky enough to attend the world premier of the thriller Atomic Eden at the Lido Cinema in Hawthorn. The movie was proceeded by an introduction by action superstar Fred Williamson, and a Q & A afterward. While many of Williamson’s contemporaries are in mothballs, at 78, he proves he still has the charisma and charm to entertain a crowd, and carry an action movie of this kind.
The plot for Atomic Eden asks more questions than it delivers, but it is pretty straight forward. It appears that at the end of the Second World War, the Nazis had a secret underground bunker in Chernobyl, where they were building a doomsday weapon called Eden. It is suggested nuclear accident at Chernobyl in 1986, was to cover-up the Eden device’s location, so no-one would go looking for it. But now almost 30 years later, people can enter the site for short periods of time. The worry is, that someone may now try to retrieve the weapon. Of course the weapon can not fall into the wrong hands. An international team of mercenaries is sent in to retrieve it.
The team consists of Stoker (Fred Williamson) – the Team Leader, David (Mike Möller) – The Fighter, Reiko (Hazuki Kato) – The Samurai, Heinrich (Wolfgang Riehm) – The Priest, John (Nico Sentner) – The Sniper, Darwin (Everett Ray Aponte) – The Texan, Brenner (Dominik Starck) – The Blade, and Laurie (Josephine Hies) – The Rookie. The characters themselves are little more than broad stereotypes – but this works in keeping the story moving forward. In many respects, viewers already know the characters – for example Heinrich, the fighting priest is cut from the same cloth as Friar Tuck, and Darwin, the Texan gets to mouth ‘Don’t mess with Texas!’ after blowing someone away.
As the team head into the bunker to retrieve the weapon, they are set upon by an army of faceless killers – all wearing radiation suits and masks. The film then becomes a battle – eight against eight-hundred. Despite the modern trappings, this story is essentially a western – like The Alamo, a small desperate band trapped inside a building, trying to fight off a much larger force outside. Bullets and bombs fly. Blood is splattered. Ass is kicked.
The film is a low budget B-grade actioner, and knows it, so it works within its limits. The script doesn’t try to be more than it ever can be, simply pushing the story on. In it’s favour, it features no (or little) CGI. Filmed in ruins in East Germany, the crew were allowed to blow a lot of shit up – giving it a layer of authenticity not found in most modern action films.
But most of all, this film is fun. Great art, it aint – but as a low-budget kick-ass adventure film, it punches above its weight.