Film: Damnatus

The Enemy is close. The Enemy is watching. The Enemy is here.

"It is said that there are more daemons lurking in the dark than there are stars shining in the sky. But the day will come when the stars stop existing."
Daemon Be'wesh G'guor

Damnatus: The Enemy Within (or to give it its original German name, Damnatus: Der Feind Im Innern) is a fan film set in the universe of Warhammer 40,000. It follows a small team of mercenaries recruited by the Imperial inquisition as they attempt to infiltrate a suspected Chaos cult on the planet of Sancta Heroica. It appears that a rogue inquisitor is behind the cult and is attempting to summon a daemon for his own purposes, but the plot goes deeper than that, and it is not long before the heroes find themselves in way over their heads.

Created "by fans, for fans" by Spharentor studios in 2003, it originally enjoyed the full support of Games Workshop. However during post-production, problems arose over Intellectual Property rights due to differences in British and German copyright law and it was subsequently banned from official release in 2007. However, the movie was leaked onto various torrent sites on the net by an unknown party, and used to be available on Megaupload before its January 2012 shutdown.

Compare and contrast with Ultramarines, the first official Games Workshop movie, and The Lord Inquisitor, another fan-made 40k film.


Tropes:

  • Altum Videtur: As people in the Imperium are wont to do, the characters utter a few phrases of High Gothic during situations of appropriate gravitas.
  • Badass Longcoat: Hiero and Corris.
  • Badass Normal: All of the protagonists bar Nira (who is a level 2 on the Super Weight scale), although Corris and Wodan approach Charles Atlas Superpower when they survive a grenade and an RPG going off right next to them, respectively. Subverted with Oktavian
  • Bait and Switch: A meta-example, the film's official website features a downloadable "soundtrack album", but only one of the songs therein actually features in the film ( "Farewell" by Summoning, which plays over the ending credits)
  • The Berserker: Wodan Dubrovnik
  • Better to Die Than Be Killed: Some of the cultists take this option, as does Osmar, and it is implied that Wodan does the same at the end.
  • Blood from the Mouth: One of the cultists after Osmar stabs him in the neck.
  • Body Snatcher: G'guor
  • Broke Your Arm Punching Out Cthulhu: All the heroes give their lives to try and stop G'guor, an Eldar spirit accompanying them pulls a Thanatos Gambit, and inquisitor Lessus invokes exterminatus on the planet, but the outro voiceover implies that G'guor will still be back someday.
  • The Cameo:
    • Unable to fit space marines into the film, they instead have a Grey Knight contact Lessus at the start of the film (via CGI holographic display) to tell him that the Ordo Malleus strike force has been delayed and he's on his own.
    • The producer's daughter also cameos as the girl with the apple.
  • Camera Abuse: The view starts going swirly whenever there's a lot of Warp energy about - most notably in the ritual scene and Nira's fight against G'gour.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Several of them, most notably Hiero's amulet. Although, it might be more appropriately described as a Chekhov's Gunman...
  • Combat Pragmatist
  • Cosmic Horror Story
  • Crowd Panic: Complete with a bell-ringing doom prophet.
  • Custom Uniform: All the heroes have one. Pretty much everyone else (good or evil) gets robes.
  • Dog Food Diet: Apparently, during a past mission Wodan was allowed to eat rats. He is quite nostalgic about it.
    Wodan: I just feel like having a ratburger now. Do you remember the times on Necromunda, Corris? Those were the best!
    Corris: There the sewer was the most contaminated place.
    Wodan: Yeah! Those were real rats!
  • Downer Ending: Well, this is Warhammer 40K we're talking about.
  • Dreaming of Things to Come: In her introduction, Nira has a vision of a young woman being gunned down by the Adeptus Arbites. Later, we see that the woman is one of Makkabeus' cultists, who shoots down the servo skull Adeodatus has sent back to warn his superiors. We then hear a voice off-screen shout "Halt!"
  • Dwindling Party: Once the daemon gets loose.
  • Earth-Shattering Kaboom: The Exterminatus order.
  • Everyone Calls Him Barkeep: The frigate officer is credited as..."frigate officer".
  • Evil Laugh: The heavy stubber cultist takes this to such ridiculous levels that either the actor or the film-makers must have been hanging a lampshade.
  • Fainting Seer: Nira
  • Film of the Book:
    • Film of the Game, obviously.
    • Also the Game of the Film of the Game — Profiles of several characters have been made for the 40K spin-off game Inquisitor''.
  • Five-Man Band: Von Remus is the Hero, Corris is the Lancer, Wodan is the Big Guy, Oktavian is the Smart Guy and Nira is the Chick. Adeodatus is a sixth ranger with Fundamentalist tendancies.
  • For Doom the Bell Tolls: Inverted, with the bell being seen on screen but not heard (Orchestral Bombing being in effect at the time).
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: When G'gour is chatting with Nira's amulet, the camera focuses on it and the face of the Eldar spirit inside briefly flashes across the surface.
  • Gambit Pileup: Between Makkabeus, Lessus, G'gour and the Eldar. Who actually wins is up for debate.
  • Genre Savvy: In general the heroes are pretty good at this, sticking together and making a tactical withdrawal where appropriate. G'gour has to resort to reality hacks to split them up.
  • Mind Screw: Any time the Warp is shown to the audience.
  • Missing Floor: The forgotten variety in that there are more than 69 sublevels to the hive.
  • Mundane Utility: As well as killing cultists and shooting demolition charges in midair, Corris can use his laspistols to weld doors.
  • Narrator All Along: If you thought the creepy filter was put on the intro voiceover just for effect then think again.
  • Neck Snap: Two guards who get surprised by Corris and Wodan.