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Film / Damnatus

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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 is now widely available on the internet.

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


  • All There in the Manual: According to the official site, the name of Lessus' frigate is the Banishing Halo. It also has some interesting backstory for the characters that did not crop up in the film itself.
  • Almost Lethal Weapons: The explosives have a poor kill record even when they go off right next to one of the team.
  • Badass Longcoat: Hiero and Corris.
  • Badass Normal: All of the protagonists bar Nira (whose psychic powers put her 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)
    • At first it looks like the team's been sent to investigate a Chaos cult, only to find that things are far more complicated (and worse) than expected.
  • 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.
  • Black-and-Gray Morality: The team's mostly made up of mercenaries who just want to do the mission and get out alive, their ultimate target Makkabeus was a radical Inquisitor who was trying to use the daemon's powers for the Imperium, Lessus chooses to invoke Exterminatus to try to stop the daemon. The only character that could definitely be called the bad guy is the daemon itself.
  • 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: Befitting the setting. It ends with all of the team killed trying to escape, Exterminatus invoked to stop the daemon and the implication that even with the Farseer's trap, sooner or later the daemon will get free.
  • 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.
  • Death of a Child: One of the more hard-hitting images during the Exterminatus scene is a shot of a mother and baby in amongst the Crowd Panic.
  • 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, it doesn't take long for the group to start dying one by one.
  • Earth-Shattering Kaboom: Sancta Heroica meets this fate via the Exterminatus order given by Lessus.
  • 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.