Twitter Plot Summary: A Nazi scientist plans to resurrect a number of frozen Nazi soldiers 20 years after WW2 ended. Hitler isn’t one of them.
The Frozen Dead is a classic example of 60s B-Movie output. All the hallmarks of a dodgy 60s horror film – and one featuring frozen Nazis no less – are present.Put a few genre actors into a very limited setting, have them read the script with earnestness and not do very much else besides, and throw in a vaguely interesting premise that you soon realise is going nowhere. Then you release the film on an unsuspecting public and hope for the best. The answer is of course that nobody seems to take notice because of the aforementioned issues and the boredom that quickly sets in.
There are supposedly frozen soldiers seen at various points, yet the actors are not able to maintain their balance and subsequently ruin the “cryogenically frozen” effect. There’s also a bald, tall Nazi butler carved from the same stone as Lurch from The Addams Family, and a plot that sees a scientist plotting to resurrect a horde of frozen Nazis in order to bring the Third Reich back to power in the 1960s – and no, there isn’t even the possibility that Hitler or any other famous Nazi is among that number. More’s the pity. It’s absolute bunkum treated with an unfortunate amount of respect and seriousness. What could have been a fun idea is dragged through several tedious conversations and plays out very much like a rehash of the Frankenstein story, in particular Hammer’s own The Curse of Frankenstein. At least there we had Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee adding a bit of class.
There are a couple of faces that people may recognise – Edward Fox is the most notable having been in a number of classics over the years, but there’s also Alan Tilvern playing a Nazi scientist here, but in another life he was the slimey RK Maroon in Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Fox is a bit player in the grand scheme of things, as much of the narrative is dominated by scientist Dr Norberg and his relationship with the younger Dr Roberts and Norberg’s daughter Jean, followed in a close second by arguments with older Nazi scientists including the less than subtly named Dr Tirpitz.
It is otherwise a mostly disappointing venture, limiting much of the story to their science lab and doing little of interest with either the defrosted Nazis or, indeed, much else. There is some intrigue in the reanimated head of a woman, Elsa (Kathleen Breck) and the array of dismembered arms that are all attached to a nearby wall which she can, eventually, control with her mental powers, but then this proves to be equally as silly in practice as it is in principle.
The Frozen Dead proves to be yet another non-zombie zombie movie, being released shortly before George Romero revolutionised the zombie mythos. It’s easy to look back and say how things should have probably been done, especially now that there is a viable sub-genre of Nazi Zombie movies out there. Even despite the potential the story may have had, limiting much of the action to a couple of sets makes it feel like a stage play that has been adapted for film rather than a cinematic venture.