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DateOriginal Topic
5th August 2005Dog Soldiers
By Natalie Portman
Hi All, did anyone see the recent horror film called 'Dog Soldiers'. It was filmed in Scotland and was based on a modern day army training exercise where the soldiers were hunted down by a pack of werewolfs. Anyway in one of the final scenes they made reference to the defence of Rorke's drift.
5th August 2005Arthur Trent
Ah yes, a sort of 'Werewolves Sir, Thousands of them" I suppose.
Must have been awful - for the werewoves, I mean. All those midges.

5th August 2005Paul Cubbin
I don't suppose they were the South Wales Border Collies?
I'm so, so, sorry....
10th August 2005Coll
Although not werewolves, or mentioning within the film about Zulu, before I was really interested in the AZW, I aways thought that the film 'Assault on Precinct 13' (1977 version) reminded me of Rorke's Drift, but obviously not exactly similar.

A Highway patrol officer, put in temporary charge of an isolated police station, warned (sort of) by a civilian, fleeing members of a very large city gang armed with an assortment of firearms and other weapons, who eventually surround and attack the small amount of defenders inside, fully-intent on killing all of the occupants of the building, including, near the end, setting fire to the station, before one final assault.

Excellent stuff. Although modern, it still was great. However, the remake, I feel, fails to capture the same excitement.


PS. I used to be a werewolf, but I'm alright NOWWWWWWWWWWWW !
10th August 2005Paul Bryant-Quinn

Guys, those jokes are truly AWFUL!

I've always thought (and Sheldon will probably know) whether scenes in STARSHIP TROOPERS (1997) of the alien 'bugs' attacking a fortified position didn't owe something to ZULU.


10th August 2005Sheldon Hall

You're quite right: in the special edition DVD of ST, mention is made of ZULU on both audio commentaries, with the director and actors pointing out that the scene you refer to was deliberately modelled on ZULU.

STARSHIP TROOPERS is not the only film to have been directly influenced by it in this way. Anyone like to guess at any others (we'll take the opening of GLADIATOR as read...)?
10th August 2005Paul Cubbin
I'm tempted to say 'The Thirteenth Warrior' although it was based on the book 'The Eaters of the Dead'.
I'm not sure when Beau Geste was written but the events at Rorkes Drift may have inspired the 'beseiged fort' idea.
10th August 2005Michael Boyle
Perhaps "Night of the Living Dead" and "The Evil Dead"?
10th August 2005Dawn
But isn't a siege an old concept from long ago anyway and like Shakespeare's plays can be re-invented time and time again? Is that why 'Zulu' appeals? Are directors modeling on films like 'Zulu' or an older, eternal story?
11th August 2005arthur bainbridge
Assault on precint 13 is axctually a remake of Howard Hawks 1959 Rio Bravo starring John Wayne and Dean Martin.Itake on board the comparisons to Dog Soldiers, i agree Starship Troopers has Zulu like scenes.Gladiator pinched ideas from Zulu and to some extent so has Blqack Hawk Down, i also thought the lord of the rings the two towers was Zulu inspired at the seige.I think theres nothing wrong with using ideas from old movies but as the old adage says steal ideas from the best
11th August 2005Coll
I used to have a copy of 'Assault on Precinct 13' and on the cover it mentioned about the film being compared to 'The Birds', but instead of birds (the feathered variety) it was gang members.

When I thought about it, it was quite true, remembering the group of individuals trapped in the house, boarding up windows, etc., to stop the birds getting inside.

11th August 2005Sheldon Hall
You're right about TLOTR: THE TWO TOWERS: Peter Jackson talks about the influence of ZULU in one of the documentaries on the special ed. DVD.

Yes, siege situations in movies and literature have a long history (as it were). Quite a few films around the time of ZULU were also based on historic sieges: THE ALAMO, 55 DAYS AT PEKING (often double-billed with ZULU in the US), THE WAR LORD, the 1966 remake of BEAU GESTE and the 1967 Western CHUKA (with John Mills as a US Cavalry officer!) among them. But the more recent films do often seem directly inspired by films of the past, as their makers have sometimes admitted. I haven't seen WE WERE SOLDIERS but that may be another one.

11th August 2005Paul Cubbin
Sheldon, if you haven't seen 'We Were Solders' then I recommend it. It is (as far as I know) very close to the true events in which American troops were ploughed into a dropzone with insufficient intelligence (militarily so), firepower or logistical back-up and were hammered by almost continuous Vietcong assaults. 'We Were Soldiers' is a very, very good and powerful film. If it is inspired by 'Zulu' then the apple has fallen far from the tree as it leaves you feeling very much different.
12th August 2005Coll
Although not to do with Zulu and the battle at Rorke's Drift, I enjoyed a western called 'The Seventh Cavalry', which deals with the aftermath of the massacre at Little Bighorn.

There is a scene where a Court of Inquiry discusses the actions of Custer, who is defended by Randolph Scott's character, then later he himself along with a small detail of troopers is sent to recover Custer's body from the battlefield.

Yes. This film has no similarity to Rorke's Drift, but I did feel it (sort of) reminded me of events after the battle at Isandlwana, being the question of Durnford's actions, the Court of Inquiry, his defenders and also the recovery of his body from the battlefield.

I know it is another comparison between Custer and Durnford, Little Bighorn and Isandlwana, but it was a good film.

I find many of the older westerns remind me of certain aspects of the AZW, I think that is why I still enjoy watching them, although they are somewhat dated now.

12th August 2005Sheldon Hall
One of the aborted projects on which Stanley Baker, Cy Endfield and John Prebble were due to be reunited after ZULU was THE WAR HORSES, based on a book by John Weston and set in both the Wild West (of America) and South Africa, concerning a troop of Boer cavalrymen fighting Indians and Zulus! Now that I would like to have seen...
12th August 2005Coll

A film like that possibly would have appealed to a larger U.S. audience, as it included part of their history (the Old West, etc.).

Has anyone read the book the film was to be based on ?

Another film I liked was 'The Alamo', mostly because of Laurence Harvey's portrayal of Travis, although the film itself was good.

I felt Harvey's character was similar (again my own interest) to the type of man Col. Durnford may have been like.

Dedicated to his work as a military officer, unafraid to speak out, expressing his own opinions, stepping on several people's toes, but at the same time, loyal, brave, heroic and in a small scene when he is escorting one of his men's wife and child into the chapel, compassionate, although a characteristic kept hidden from his men and fellow officers, somehow, seeing it as a kind of weakness.