is a 1993 German war film directed by Joseph Vilsmaier, following a platoon of Heer
soldiers through their service in Russia fighting the Soviet Union
. Along the way, the brutality of the conflict they find themselves in leaves them demoralized, as they try to find a way to cope with the war.
This film provides examples of:
- An Ass Kicking Christmas: For the Russians.
- Break the Badass
- Curb-Stomp Battle
- Death Course
- Despair Event Horizon
- Downer Ending: The remaining main characters are implied to freeze to death
- Driven to Suicide: Otto
- Evil Versus Evil: Nazi Germany vs Soviet Russia, both sides are totalitarian, exploitative, mass-murdering and ignorant of the concepts of free will and individualism, among many other things, and by this point in the conflict were waging unpopular wars of aggression with armies of conscripts. The two factions could be differentiated mainly by the size of their dictator's mustache (Stalin's was bigger). At some point in the movie, due to the sheer chaos and horror going on in the battle, the front lines and factions disappear entirely and the characters focus on merely surviving an endeavor they all fail in.
- Face Death with Dignity: A Soviet child who was adopted by the protagonists is ordered shot by a sadistic officer.
- Grave Robbing: The soldiers steal good-quality boots from corpses, and a few later steal doctor-signed passes in a desperate attempt to be airlifted out with the wounded.
- I Have You Now, My Pretty: The female sniper encountered early in the movie is found tied up to a bed in a German officer's stronghold. It's clear she's been used as a 'comfort woman', and the protagonists even plan to take turns doing the same. Hans puts a stop to it and lets her go, however. Hans at first was conflicted over whether or not to help her, kill her, or rape her. "Fick mich oder schiess mich!"
- I'm Cold... So Cold...
- Infant Immortality: Averted.
- Man on Fire
- My Country, Right or Wrong: Though by the end, almost all of them decide to desert.
- Kill 'em All: See Downer Ending above.
- Nazis with Gnarly Weapons The protagonists of the film.
- The Neidermeyer: The officer who orders war crimes committed and hounds Hans for being a 'Russian sympathizer'. True to form, he is shot by the remaining troops at the end.
- Obligatory War Crime Scene: Where do we start?
- Reds With Rockets: The primary antagonists.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here
- Shirtless Scene: The opening scene in Italy is laden with it, though with less focus on the women at the Italian beach.
- Snow Means Death
- Trapped Behind Enemy Lines
- Urban Warfare: And it is hellish
- Villain Protagonist: To a certain degree, though the enlisted ranks get off far more lightly than the officer class.
- War Is Hell: The actual combat sequences of this film aren't very long. However, they are extremely brutal, chaotic, and nasty.