Outpost

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When a group of mercenaries are hired to escort a man deep into Eastern Europe they run into a major problem in the form of old NAZI experiments that have created immortal monsters.

I love how Eastern Europe is considered this dark and mysterious place where monsters roam the land and peasants cower in fear at every flash of lighting, doing the sign of the cross each time the sky burns. It’s almost treated like one giant country with a group of city states that are constantly fighting each other, all while dealing with their rampant and serious vampire issues. First of all, Eastern Europe is a big place, full of over a dozen countries. You realize even Poland is considered Eastern European right? Eastern Europe is a big fucking place that is comprised of many different countries, some extremely modern, some mostly modern, and yes, a few still figuring out how those magical talking pictures work. The point is it’s a very diverse place, not some huge black hole in time where horse and buggy carts haul off victims of the black plague and people scuttle around in dark corners. Secondly, Eastern Europe doesn’t have much of a vampire problem anymore, those damn peasants have gotten really good at vampire hunting over the years, so good in fact that vampires don’t even travel to the area very often anymore. Now werewolves, well that’s a story for another day.

We start out with a team of mercenaries led by the hard ass DC and his ornery friend Prior being hired to escort a scientist named Hunt deep into a war torn part of Eastern Europe to survey mineral deposits. Where exactly is never stated as the film makers just assumed the place was a country in and of itself. The mineral deposit story quickly falls apart when the group finds an old underground military bunker that seems to be exactly what Hunt was really looking for. They try to explore the bunker but are sidetracked when an unknown and unseen assailant begins attacking the compound, an assailant they aren’t able to find even once the shooting stops. Deciding that since they have no idea who is attacking them it might be better to fortify the bunker, hunker down for the night, and finish exploring the compound. It’s during this exploration that they come across a very disturbing sight, a room with a pile of dead bodies. Much to their surprise they find one survivor among the pile whom they grill for answers, but he seems to be completely catatonic. As the group goes around shoring up their defenses, strange sounds are heard emanating from nowhere, and shadowy figures appear and disappear randomly. DC goes looking for the disappeared Hunt and finds him examining an odd looking device. It turns out that Hunt’s real reasons for hiring the team were to find a machine that harnesses a unified field, something the NAZIs perfected and used to grant their soldiers immortality. Suddenly a loud buzzing is heard above ground, a bright light blinds those guarding the entrance, and a powerful wind nearly blows the men down. NAZI soldiers are seen in the distance, and a firefight breaks out, though the soldiers can’t seem to be harmed by the mercenaries’ bullets. As quickly as it began, the fight is over and the NAZI soldiers disappear, as do a couple of the mercenaries. It’s apparent that the soldiers effected by the machine are still alive and kicking, toying with the mercenaries for their own enjoyment. Not only that, but the catatonic survivor they found earlier is more aware than he’s letting on, and if Hunt can’t figure out the inner workings of the machine, each one of them is going to be picked off one by one until not a soul remains.

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{That looks like a face you could trust}

I have to admit to being very shocked by how much I enjoyed this film. I just expected this to be some kind of generic action movie, but what I got was a generic action/NAZI/zombie/ghost movie that was a lot of fun to watch. It was also very suspenseful. I was surprised at how often I found myself sitting on the edge of my seat wondering what was going to happen next. It’s not the greatest flick out there, but it reminded me a lot of watching the first Expendables, an enjoying romp that kept my attention through a lot of action and some great shootouts. The one major difference between that film and this one is that while Expendables had very little substance to it, Outpost actually did. The suspense was well played, and the film had a creepy vibe to it that made it feel kind of like a ghost story, a ghost story with guns and explosions, so a Michael Bay ghost story. I loved the little sound effects they snuck in too. I had to do a bit of research to make sure I was hearing right, and it turns out I was. If you listen carefully to some of the sounds like the opening of doors, the firing of guns, and the noises of the NAZIs, you’ll notice that they are the same sounds used in the old Wolfenstein games. Just a fun little pointless fact for you.

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{Looks like the guy from Wolfenstein to me}

Two things that helped make this one as enjoyable as it was were the actors and the special effects. The actors do a great job. I’m a huge fan of Ray Stevenson (DC), having loved his characters in most of the films I’ve seen him in and this one is no different. Prior (Richard Brake) I’ve only ever seen in two other things before Outpost and that was Doom where he played perverted asshole Portman and Perkins’ 14. I don’t know what it is about the guy, but he knows how to play a terrible human being that you still find yourself kind of liking regardless. That’s kind of a good way to describe most of the actors who play the mercenaries, terrible human beings that you still find yourself liking regardless. These are not good people by a longshot, but you’ll still find yourself rooting for them nonetheless. Putting them up against NAZIs probably helped things along there. If you can’t root for the mercenaries, you’re going to be rooting for the NAZIs and nobody wants that. The deaths are the other thing that helped this film out. The effects are very well done and extremely gruesome. There are a couple of torture scenes that even had me cringing. They don’t always show everything as there are times when the camera shifts away, but what is implied is horrific enough, and don’t worry about there being too much you don’t see. You will see plenty of awful things that will stick with you well past the point the film ends. Especially some things done to eyes in the film. I fucking hate it in a film when things are done to eyes, even when contacts are put in by a character disgusts me. I’m kind of dry heaving a bit just thinking about it.

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{Even they need some comfort from the eye nastiness}

The one thing that might throw the viewer off is whether or not these are truly zombies. They are mentioned as being undead a few times, but I don’t know if I would call them true zombies myself. They definitely look like zombies when they’re shown, though that’s not often as they remain in the shadows for the most part, but I thought of them more as dimensionally displaced ghosts capable of going material when they chose to be. The machine that makes them immortal put them in between dimensions or something because it’s science. Fuck all if I understood that. They looked great, don’t get me wrong. I loved how well done their makeup was, it was just hard to think of them as zombies. Especially considering they’re more apt to stab or shoot you than eat you. I did enjoy how mischievous they were though, popping in and out just to scare the shit out of the mercenaries.

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{I will say the shadows make them look a bit more badass}

In the end I did really enjoy this movie. It’s not going to blow you away, but it will keep you entertained for its hour and a half run time.

 

The Undead Review

 

Directed By: Steve Barker (Outpost: Black Sun, Magic Hour)

Starring: Ray Stevenson (Punisher: War Zone, Rome), Julian Wadham (The English Patient, Exorcist: The Beginning), and Richard Brake (Doom, Perkins’ 14)

Released By: Black Camel Pictures and Regent Capital

Release Year: 2007

Release Type: Straight to Video

MPAA Rating: Rated R

About The Undead Review

When I was alive I was an asshole and after I died remained pretty much the same, if not a little worse. You’d think becoming a member of the walking dead would mellow a person out, no more worrying about awkward small talk with people, no more having to be politically correct, and the entire world is your upright, bipedal buffet. Don’t get me wrong, it’s fun as hell to be a zombie, just somewhat irritating at times, especially those times you have to watch a lame movie or read a lame book. Thankfully, when I am forced to watch these films or read those books, I’ve got places like The Undead Review to bitch and moan to my heart’s content. {When he’s not devouring the living or sinking his teeth into a good film The Undead Review (Andy Taylor) spends his time writing his own stories or hunting down the paranormal. Oh, and did we mention his blind dog once saved the world?)
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