“Valley of the Dead” or “Malnazidos” in its native Spanish is a zombie action movie that has its charm mainly in being unintentionally frivolous. Despite being set during the Spanish Civil War and having plenty of references to the war and its effects, the other genre-defining parts of it are quite amusingly unrealistic. For the most part, “Valley Of The Dead” follows the typical plot that the genre represents without the heavy depth of today’s zombie films, and is a fun watch for those who enjoy such films. Now, know about Valley Of The Dead movie.
Valley of the Dead: Synopsis
The movie opens with scenes of a small village in the Spanish countryside coming together to celebrate the wedding ceremony of two of its own. As the couple and their parents pose for a new family photo, a long line of cars pulls into the village and a Nazi officer gets out, his evil intentions plain on his face. The officer is offered a glass of local liquor, which apparently burns his throat as he chokes, causing much laughter among the villagers.
The officer immediately orders his men to shoot every single villager and then toss canisters of strange blue-colored smoke into the entire area. As the Nazi army wears protective gas masks, canisters are thrown against piles of Spanish dead bodies.
Jan Lozano, a Spanish army captain operating in the area, is seen facing a firing squad before his high-ranking uncle, General Lozano, arrives and stops the punishment. It is soon revealed that Jan was the captain of an army unit, but was suspended and sentenced to death for beheading a judge who also had blood ties to the notorious Francisco Franco.
Jan always seems to be up to such strange and reckless behavior that his uncle often has to step in and save his neck, but the Spanish general has now lost his patience. In order to bring his nephew back to the army’s positive opinion, he gives Jan a task – to deliver a letter in an envelope to a place called Alarcos.
Jan’s reaction makes it clear that it’s not as simple as it sounds, as Alarcos falls under the Sixth Brigade, which is on the other side of no man’s land and enemy territory. Despite Jan’s reluctance to embark on the journey due to the many dangers, it poses (since he knows he probably won’t be able to return), his uncle explains that the mission is his last chance to avoid the death penalty.
Finally, Jan sets out from the Spanish camp together with a young seventeen-year-old boy named Decruz, who has been imprisoned for disobeying army orders. Since Jan can’t drive, Decruz enlists his driver and the two set off to the destination in their military jeep.
Along the way, Jan and Decruz are stopped by a barricade of German soldiers, and once they are allowed to pass after negotiating, Jan notices that the Germans are building fences across the valley. As they continue, the two Spaniards see a plane crash into a nearby jungle and also see the pilot jump out of the plane and land with a parachute in the thick forest.
Jan decides to go help the pilot, knowing that he is an Italian who was on the winning side of the Spanish Nationalists in the civil war, to which Jan belongs. When they finally find the pilot, he appears to have died from the fall as his legs are missing from the knee and he is hanging from one of the trees with his parachute stuck in it. However, before the two men can leave the scene, they are captured by a group of Soviet soldiers who, after losing the civil war, tried to secretly get out of Spain and represent the Republican Party.
Jan tries to think of some ways to escape the situation, but the dead pilot’s body suddenly awakens and bites one of the Russians to death. Things get even weirder when the dead Russian wakes up, turned into a zombie, and tries to attack all the people.
After the Soviets shoot the zombies, they take Jan and Decruz to their nearby camp, but the place looks massacred with dead bodies lying around. Very soon, however, all these dead bodies rise from the dead and attack the living men and women, regardless of the uniforms they wear or which side of the war they represent.
Valley Of The Dead Ending Explained: What Happened At The End?
As the group now prepares their next plan of action, Jurel and Mecha leave their companions saying that they do not want to go so far as to serve their calling as soldiers and would rather flee the place. Jan, Sargento, and Matacuras are now walking through train cars hiding from zombies and Nazis while Rafir provides cover from the top of the carriage.
However, Rafir is soon seen being pulled down by a zombie, while Jurel and Mecha end up in a car that is quickly surrounded by zombies. They both share stories about their wives being killed by enemy armies during the war and then, realizing the car was full of explosives, detonating themselves to kill a large horde of zombies. Jan finally finds the carriage he was looking for and boards it with Matacuras while Sargento walks over to the train’s engine to drive it out of the tunnel.
Jan and Matacuras now find a Nazi officer who reveals that it was all his invention and idea to make such a biological weapon that would kill the enemy before the rival Soviet forces could produce it. When asked about the antidote, the officer reveals that there really is no antidote to the gas, except for a few things that only slow the process down, and the officer cruelly expresses his pride in making such a weapon.
It is clear that he injected himself with large doses of the drug and wanted to turn into a very powerful zombie, but the man is shot in the head by Matacuras before he turns around. Zombies now enter the carriage and one of them bites Jan’s hand. Matacuras, sure that he too will turn into a zombie, very quickly amputates Jan’s hand, which soon rots after the bite.
The two then hide in a small glass compartment at the end of the bus. Sargent manages to get the train moving, but is surrounded by zombies and shoots himself in the head to make sure he doesn’t turn into them. As the train exits the tunnel, the planes drop bombs that kill all the zombies, and Jan and Matacuras share a kiss at the same time.
After the whole ordeal is over, they both survive, protected by the compartment, as does Rafir, who manages to kill the attacking zombie and now climbs onto the carriage. Jan and Matacuras are then seen riding a motorbike to a Spanish town, where the woman drops Jan off and prepares to leave. Jan asks her to stay with him because no one would recognize her as a Soviet woman, or at least tell him her real name before leaving, but Matacuras rejects both of his requests as she rides off with a smile on her bike, and Jan then walks towards town.
While the Nazis’ plan in “Valley of the Dead” is pretty clear, to turn enemies into zombies and then blow them up with bombs, the loopholes in such a plan remain unexplored. Obviously, the Nazis’ plan was very susceptible to the possibility of their own turning into the undead, and if their ultimate plan was to blow up their enemies, why bother turning them into zombies at all?
Instead, “Valley of the Dead” presents the plot as a selfish and cruel plan concocted by a Nazi officer who only wanted to produce this breakthrough drug for personal gratification and didn’t care much about its effects on others, never mind his enemies. or friends. Conveying commentary on the war and its ill effects on ordinary people, including small soldiers, does not have much impact and instead feels superficial.
“Valley of the Dead” doesn’t really bring anything new, as Nazis and zombies have been lumped together many times in popular culture, and even feature a brief mid-credits scene. Looking at the destroyed cars of the train, he focuses on the particular car where the climax occurred, a gloved hand is seen bending the metal walls of the car with ease, and a loud scream is heard. “Valley of the Dead” has a number of flaws with regard to its plot and narrative, but it’s good enough for mindless zombie fun.
Related – Thor: Love and Thunder: Synopsis & Ending, Explained