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The Punisher versus Nazi Zombies

Outpostposter2008Thanks to my friend Trevor Snyder’s October Zombie-Thon feature at the 411 Mania website I’ve been turned on to all sorts of movies featuring the flesh hungry undead. I’ve also been encouraged to check out some films on my own.  This weekend in  honor of Halloween I checked out one of the entries in the growing Nazi Zombies sub-genre, the Scottish film “Outpost” starring Ray Stevenson of “Rome” and “Punisher War Zone” fame.  It ended up being an entertaining film, but it’s flaws kept it from being a great one.

In the film Stevenson plays D.C., the leader of a team of mercenaries hired by a businessman to protect him on a recovery mission deep in the heart of an unnamed and war torn Eastern European country. Their destination turns out to be an abandoned underground outpost.  D.C. and his men explore the titular outpost and discover a pile of bodies. They also turn up evidence that the facility was used by the Nazi’s for some mysterious purpose. Soon something begins kidnapping, torturing, and killing members of the mercenary army; an useen force that can seemingly disappear and reappear at will. As the attacks escalate D.C.’s client reveals the real purpose of  his mission. He’s there to recover a device the Nazis hoped would create a race of invincible super soldiers. What it actually did was turn a platoon of vengeance hungry SS soldier into angry undead monsters.

The most intriguing things about “Outpost” have to be it’s tone and story. Some have classified it as a zombie movie but I think it’s more of a ghost story mixed with an action movie. It’s a low budget film and it’s very ambitious .You can see elements of movies like “Aliens”, “Dog Soldiers”  as well as elements from various haunted house films.  The actual back story involving what happened at the “Outpost” is cool in a pulpy weird menace sort of way. It feels like something out of a “Hellboy” comic. And there are some genuinely creepy  and cool scenes, like when reality shifts ominously to announce the arrival of the full platoon of undead SS troopers, who then march on D.C. and his men

Where “Outpost” falls flat though is in some of the characters and the acting. Stevenson is pretty decent as D.C.   Michael Smiley (Tires from the British sitcom “Spaced”)  is entertaining as an ex-Scottish soldier and Enoch Forst  who plays a former african child soldier turned Belgian Peacekeeper turned mercenary is also pretty good. Richard Burke’s American ex-Marine, Prior, comes off as a psychotic dick though and is more annoying than interesting.  The rest of the cast is pretty generic for lack of a better term. They might as well have been wearing Star Trek style Red Shirts.

The other thing about the characters in the movie was they all had different and very thick accents. And unfortunately none of the actors in the movie were really good at speaking up or annunciating their lines. So even though the entire movie was in English there were some scenes where the dialogue was so garbled that I found myself wishing for sub-titles.

So Outpost is by no means a great  movie, possibly not even a good one, but it was an entertaining way to spend a Friday night. There’s a sequel being developed that promises to expand upon the interesting backstory of it’s undead Nazi menace and I’ll definitely add it to my Netflix que when it becomes available.

Categories: Movie Reviews
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