It’s long been assumed that the Nazis were secretly involved in the occult during World War II. True or not, it makes for a great story – think Raiders of the Lost Ark or The Keep? Well, here’s a new one, shot in New Zealand, by British visual effects designer turned director Paul Campion.

On the eve of the D-Day landings, two soldiers on a mission to blow up Nazi gun installations in the occupied Channel Islands decide to undertake a rescue mission on a bunker where they believe people are being tortured. But they discover something far more frightening… a Gestapo officer (tasked with raising the forces of Hell to fight for the Nazi cause) and his demon slave (which is trying to break free from its bonds). What follows is a wordy battle of wits as the men try to dispatch the manipulative satantic creature. To quote one of the Kiwi soldiers: ‘There’s bad sheeet going on here!’.

The Devil’s Rock is beautifully shot and well-acted, but is devoid of depth and decidedly short on action, thrills, shocks or surprises. Most of the film is made up of wordplay about faith and politics making it better suited to a radio play or, if shortened, to a horror anthology TV series. Gorehounds will also be disappointed to find only one cool fsx scene (involving a head being swallowed), plus the film is begging a nifty soundtrack.

The DVD includes an interesting making-of featurette in which the director, who mortgaged his house for this project, explains how he made the film (the creation of the gunshot sound effects is a highlight).

Out now on DVD, released through Metrodome