This is Netflix-backed action movie, that just happens to unfold in Germany in the last days of the Second World War. Director Peter Thorwarth strives for that same pulpy-elegiac blend that made the films by Sergios Leone and Corbucci, Franco Nero and all the rest so compelling and repellent, with their squelchy violence and operatic conflict. Per the title, there’s indeed a lot of blood.
It starts with Heinrich (Robert Maaser), a lowly private in a small platoon about to be hanged for desertion because he’s disgusted by his side’s actions and just wants to go home and find his kid. But, counter to the German stereotype of ruthless efficiency, the troops just drive off and leave him to die instead without making sure the job is finished. He’s cut down from the tree by plucky farmer’s daughter Elsa (Marie Hacke), who is protecting her homestead as well as her brother Paule (Simon Rupp). Paule has an unspecified learning disability, and Elsa has managed to shield him from being sent to the death camps like so many “defective” people were under the Nazis. But soon Heinrich and the siblings must defend the farm against troops who come looking for plunder.
Meanwhile, in the neighbouring town commanding officer (Alexander Scheer, hamming it up with glee) and brutal sergeant (Roy McCrerey) are threatening to shoot the townspeople unless they hand over the rumoured stash of gold left behind by a Jewish family who have been sent to the camps. A mix of flashbacks and character reveal that a goodly chunk of the townsfolk deserve to die for their own heinous actions; some, like the local priest and an older woman, are made of finer stuff – perhaps not exactly noble but at least they choose to help Heinrich and Elsa when push comes to shove.
he jaw-dropping shootout in the church is easily the best, and the most over-the-top action scene in the movie, which brilliantly combines large shootouts, explosions and well choreographed fist fights. There is simply not enough praise that the action of Blood and Gold can receive, enhancing the ample amount of fun found in this Nazi flick.
However, the action is few and far between, with the few set pieces presented in the flick never really lasting too long. Yet, this in turn allows Blood and Gold to develop its characters, creating space and breathing room that makes the action scenes more meaningful over time as audiences care more about the character. Allowing the movie’s characters to develop and lean into their motivations behind their personal hatred towards the Nazis ends up layering the entertaining action, making Blood and Gold feel incredibly enthralling.