ATOMIC EDEN (2015)

Atomic Eden Poster

Movies never fail to amaze me. Just when I thought I’d seen it all along comes Atomic Eden, aka Nazi Doomsday Device. What’s so amazing about it you ask? Well, how about the fact it has a 77-year-old Fred “The Hammer” Williamson (VFW, From Dusk Til Dawn) leading a team of mercs on a mission to retrieve the title device. Which is somewhere in the remains of the Chernobyl nuclear complex and guarded by an army of unidentified, gas mask-wearing bad guys. How could I not watch this?

The plot is paper-thin and really unimportant. We get the usual “putting the team together” montage to introduce the cast. The characters are listed with names like David – The Fighter (Mike Möller, Plan B, Urban Fighter), Reiko – The Samurai (Hazuki Kato), Darwin – The Texan (Everett Ray Aponte, The Hitman Agency) and, Nathan – The Snake (Lorenzo Lamas, Snake Eater, The Rage) in a cameo. That should tell you just how important the plot is.

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Anyways, the levels of radioactivity have dropped to where they can safely stay 36 hours in the complex. They need to grab the device, which it’s hinted was the real cause of the meltdown, and get out fast. Instead, they find themselves up against a faceless army.

Shot in 2015 in Germany and the Ukraine, Atomic Eden looks and feels like something shot in Rome in the 1980s. Abandoned industrial buildings serve as sets for the endless action scenes. The blood is provided by squibs not CGI, a major plus, and there’s lots of it. Explosions set people on fire, none of whom have heard “Stop, Drop, and Roll”.

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We get loads of showy martial arts moves, the kind that look great in a film like this even though they’d get your ass kicked in a real fight. And the odd moment of brutality such as Rieko shooting one attacker point-blank in the balls and stabbing his partner through the top of the head.

Of course, the attraction for most folk watching this will be Williamson. While he doesn’t have a huge amount of screen time he makes the most of it, and he genuinely looks good in his fight scenes. He may not look like the roided out caricature Stallone has become, but he obviously hasn’t been skipping many workouts either. Möller who’s best known as a stuntman makes a great costar as well as fight choreographer. I’d love to see him get more acting roles.

It’s easy to pick holes in a film like Atomic Eden. If this was a doomsday weapon why did the Nazis leave it behind rather than detonating it when the Russians were pushing them back? Why did the Soviets meltdown the reactor at Chernobyl to keep people away from it? Why not take it to one of their bases? And why haven’t they got a small army of their own there now? But these are, ultimately mere details. Director Nico Sentner, who co-wrote the script with Dominik Starck, knows it and just keeps dishing up the explosions.

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Atomic Eden is a fun throwback to old school action films. Toss it on with Commando Ninja and Plan B for a fun evening.

Jim Morazzini

Movie buff, gym rat and crazy cat guy

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