Written & Directed By: David B. Stewart III
Crafting a believable film set in Nazi Germany on a modest budget is no small undertaking, but David B. Stewart's "Reichfuhrer SS" tackles the task with aplomb, with great sets, amazing costuming, and incredibly inspired performances from himself, and his talented cast.
If "Reichsfuhrer SS" needed to be broken down into a three word synopsis, one might suggest "Himmler in Hell", as the film documents both the rise and fall of Heinrich Himmler (Stewart III in a truly creepy portrayal). Not having the stomach for murder, Himmler is blackmailed by Oberfuhrer Shellenberg (Martin Slamon) and must prove his mettle by murdering a young Polish girl (Angelina Leigh, in a emotionally jarring performance) before Hitler learns of his weak stomach. Conversely, the film also transitions into scenes of Himmler at the end of his life, being tormented by Erebus (John Martineau) the gatekeeper of Hell, so the film's main narrative is actually being told in "flashback" as Himmler is reminded of how he started on his murderous path, a pretty unique approach in storytelling.
Any film, indie or studio, lives and dies by the talents of it's cast, and "Reichsfuhrer SS" features some of the most gripping work in recent memory. The aforementioned attention to detail in the sets and costumes are virtually secondary when the viewer is treated to scene after wrenching scene in this expertly scripted and acted film. Stewart III, Leigh, Slamon, and Martineau all deliver award worthy performances, and horror-host-turned-indie-actress Carmella Hayslett also briefly pops up as Mrs. Himmler, watching these thespians working with great material is truly a treat for the viewer.
While I can't testify as to whether this facet of Himmler's story is genuine or not, I can say the "Reichsfuhrer SS" is one Hell of an ambitious film and sets the bar pretty high for "historical horror", it deserves to be seen. Often.
--Scream King Tom