Set during the Spanish Civil War, our story follows Captain Jean Lozano, who is on the verge of being killed when we first meet him. Lined up in front of the firing squad, he was rescued by his uncle, a general.
After beating the judge on the head and facing charges of treason, Jan is given a get-away-from-death card. He was instructed to go to the officer on the other side of the valley, which was controlled by the Republicans. Assigned a cowardly driver named Decruz, the pair set off and immediately ran into trouble.
Captured by the Republicans, the duo find themselves in over their heads when the dead begin to rise and the two sides are forced to form an uneasy alliance to survive.
What’s in the letter?
After being captured by the Soviet detachment, Jan is forced to hand over his letter. By doing this, there seems to be a simple message bordering on trolling. Jan believes she’s been tricked by her uncle and struggles with this for most of the first half of the film.
After surviving the first wave of undead soldiers, the characters make their way to a safe house in the woods where they find Sister Flor, Jurel, and a sharpshooter popularly known as “Muslim” occupying the place.
During these quiet moments of reflection, Jan burns one side of the letter to reveal a detailed map of the entire region inside. It was drawn with invisible ink and now it seems they have clear targets. (And the giant X is also a pretty great gift for where they have to go next!)
The map, written entirely in German, hints that the Nazis were aware of the zombie hordes. Suspecting that they might be behind it, they head to the village shown during the film’s opening prologue, which is where the whole undead nightmare began.
What happened in this village?
As the survivors of the group approach the village, they encounter a bride named Ana hiding inside the church. He discovers that the Nazis shot all the villagers and then threw canisters of strange blue gas at the dead, causing them to come back to life.
Nazi officers watched laughing from the bell tower as the undead began slaughtering the remaining villagers. The mother hid in the church and managed to survive.
Is there a traitor among the group?
After hearing the mother’s story, Jaime, one of the group, finds all the documents related to this experiment. He picks them up and prepares to fly. All his part in this plan is to find the documents for this experiment, a new drug that the Nazis developed to raise the dead.
With all this in his hands, he tells the others that he intends to give it to the Soviets so they can get a new bioweapon. But before that, he was killed by zombies.
How is Jan going to stop the zombie plague?
In essence, Jan concludes that the group must go to Las Aguilas, the Nazi-Spanish Nationalist Outpost. Seeing as the train has the same symbols as the Nazi experiment documents, it seems that this steam train is the catalyst for everything and may hold the antidote. After all, the Nazis wouldn’t have developed such a thing, without the danger of…
Yan convinces the others to join him in this predicament by pointing out that despite his loyalty, his own brother is actually a member of the Republic Army.
Jan’s uncle is actually with the Nazis, and when they show up, he refuses to let them in, firing into the ground to stop them. He also confirms that planes are en route to drop bombs on the entire valley to kill all the common people.
Does Jan find the antidote?
Decruz allows himself to be turned into a zombie, but manages to open the Outpost’s front doors in the process. Zombies come in and attack the Nazis.
Our uneasy alliance also joins the fray, with Jurel and Mecha killed inside the car they’re sheltering in when they’re surrounded by zombies. Realizing that there is no way out, they decide to sacrifice themselves to kill some of these zombies. The car is rigged with explosives, so they blow it up.
Meanwhile, Jan and the Priest Assassin find a Nazi officer, who reveals that the immortality serum was his idea. The idea here was to develop a bioweapon to kill the enemy before the rival Soviets could strike. Unfortunately, there is no antidote.
Do Jan and the others survive?
Pinning all her hopes on the bombers, Jean and Priest Killer manage to save her life after biting her hand. It stops the infection as the cut hand begins to turn black. Priest Killer leaves with Jan, and the pair take refuge in a small glass compartment at the end of the coach.
Sargento also survived and managed to start the train. Unfortunately, he is surrounded by zombies and shoots himself in the head.
As the train exits the tunnel, bombs are thrown, all the zombies are killed, and Jan and Priest Killer share a kiss.
How does Valley of the Dead end?
Jean and Priest Killer survive the horrors of the undead and go their separate ways. Jan tries to find out what Priest Killer’s real name is, but he doesn’t answer, smiling knowingly before riding off on his motorcycle.
However, the post-credits sequence sees the camera pan up to reveal the undead threat. A single hand writhes, clutching the clipped metal of a train car. A guttural scream cuts us to black and leaves the door open for a possible sequel.
Despite this little tease, the film wraps things up nicely, with Jan and the Priest Killer surviving the ordeal and heading in opposite directions.