Outpost: Rise of the Spetsnaz

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When the Russian Spetsnaz go on a mission to kill a group of NAZIs hiding a base on the Eastern Front of the war they find a secret facility being used to create unstoppable zombies instead.

It is really hard to root for anyone in this movie. The Spetsnaz are Russian Special Forces, and they weren’t known to be the greatest guys. They were kind of terrible people at one point, doing some fucking horrible things. They had no problem helping Stalin murder millions, making them not too much different than the NAZI soldiers who had no problem helping Hitler also kill millions. Really, Hitler and Stalin were pretty much both awful, awful people, using their respective armies to cause as much death as they possibly could. They were actually pretty perfect for each other, and I think the only reason they fell out of murder love is because Hitler became jealous that he couldn’t rock a mustache like Stalin could. Mustache jealousy has been the cause of many bromance breakups. So if you can’t root for the Spetsnaz, you have to root for the NAZIs then right? No, you can’t do that because they were the fucking NAZIs after all, and there’s a special place in hell for those guys they were so awful. I think I saw a dog in this movie. I think I’ll root for that guy. Wait, he had a NAZI arm band on? Son of a bitch.

Our third flick in the Outpost trilogy is actually a prequel that goes back to the beginning of the NAZI experiments to create unstoppable living dead (well, kind of, but more on that later). It starts with an old man sitting at a bar, tossing his Soviet military pin into a glass of whisky and whispering “They who have been will never be forgotten.” We then go back to March of 1945 on the Eastern Front of World War 2 where a group of Russian Spetsnaz are preparing an ambush. The Spetsnaz slaughter a German convoy passing through, but their gunfire is overheard by a couple of NAZI soldiers who are using a leashed zombie like a hunting dog to track any enemy combatants. Back at the convoy, the Spetsnaz’s leader Dolokhov finds details about NAZI experiments in a nearby bunker, but before he can examine them further NAZI backup arrives and the Spetsnaz are forced to flee into the woods. Fleeing does little good for them as two of them are captured and the rest are killed, either by bullet or feral zombie. The two captured men (Dolokhov and his right hand man) wake up in a jail cell where they learn of the German quest to reanimate their dead soldiers from a captured American locked in the cell with them. As the zombies toy with them by pitting them against newly zombified NAZI soldiers and showing them the gruesome side to their experiments, Dolokhov must find a way out before him and his friend are made to join the undead NAZI cause.

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{Looks like a good group of fellows, angry, angry, angry fellows}

You know things are over for a franchise when it only takes them three films before they are going the prequel route. It’s usually much further down the line when a franchise has completely killed off any fan appreciation for said franchise that the prequel card is played. Sometimes it works out alright, maybe even offering an interesting story about a serial killer, or a hell demon, or a leprechaun with a love for gold (oh, wait, that movie was fucking terrible), but often times it’s a bland, outlandish attempt to reinvent a dead franchise. When a series does it this soon though, it shows an obvious lack of faith in continuing the story any further from where they had left it, and that lack of faith translates into a poor film for the most part. I won’t say that Outpost: Rise of the Spetsnaz is a bland film, but it is definitely an outlandish attempt to reinvent the series. They must have felt they had written themselves into a hole and went for the new angle. Though there are things that were done right, the film is a huge step down from its predecessors.

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{Getting to see what Chunk from The Goonies would look like as a zombie was a definite plus though}

The first thing is the obvious bit of trying to reinvent the entire storyline with this one. I’m guessing they were hoping that they could take this movie further by just continuing the story from here instead of going back to Black Sun as there are several things that are completely different with Rise of the Spetsnaz. Why do I think they were hoping to continue from here? Little things that pop up here and there, some which make no sense having seen the first two films, others just seeming like they were thrown in there to be expanded upon later (like a little hint about NAZI werewolves and some legend of an experiment that went wrong). For instance, the zombified leader of the NAZI zombies is shown to be in a cell, and he seems to be able to jump from cell to cell, which I’m thinking is to show his being displaced already (as the zombies from the first two movies are displaced from this plane of reality). This makes no sense as he’s always been shown to be the one in charge, and if he isn’t bound by the laws of physics why would he stay in a cell anyways. This really screws with the other NAZI zombies shown too. They are a total 180 from than the ones the NAZI scientists were supposed to have created. In the first two films they are unstoppable killing machines, displaced zombies but with their minds still intact. In this one they’re just mindless, hulked out brutes who have a thing for screaming and flexing whenever they get a chance. They also go down much easier. You can shoot them a few times or just break their neck. Well, except for the one time a zombie managed to take hundreds of shots from the Germans, only going down by a shot from Dolokhov (they go out of their way to show how badass he is). I might accept that maybe these are just earlier zombies, like a first go before they got it down. Only two problems here, one it’s the end of the war so the bunker would have been shut down by the SS, as shown in previous installments, and they’ve obviously already perfected as evidenced by the undead NAZI leader able to teleport around different cells. Even the facility looks different. It just seemed like they were trying to start over completely. The zombies were by far the worst change though. While they might not have been your standard zombies in the last two films, they at least were interesting. These zombies are just buff wrestler looking types that even have cut off sleeves on their shirts. It was like someone watched a lot of WWF as a kid and decided to base zombies off of them. Every time one of them cracked their neck I wanted to throw something at the television.

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{Expect to see this a lot during the film}

Then there is the main character of Dolokhov. They tried so hard to make him a badass and failed so miserably. It was like someone combined Ivan Drago and Clubber Lang into one character, giving Dolokhov Drago’s demeanor and accent but Lang’s cheesy lines. Oh, and super powers, they also gave him super powers. In their quest to make him the baddest of the bad, they gave the guy super strength. He breaks bones with ease, snaps hand cuffs apart, and kicks open locked steal doors. He’s basically the Russian terminator. To be honest, I wouldn’t have minded him being so ridiculously strong if he wasn’t so ridiculously annoying. His was such an unlikable character that I spent most of the movie wishing the Allies would bomb the place and wipe out him and the NAZIs. Every time the guy got in a fight with a zombie, I really wanted the zombie to just kick the every loving shit out of him. He was poorly written and poorly acted.

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{You can almost hear him challenging Arnold}

So what did I think was actually good about the movie? That would be the effects. Nothing else is worth a damn in this film but the effects, those were very well done. Expect a lot of blood and gore but also expect that blood and gore to look great. I won’t say it’s enough to make the movie watchable, but in a sea of garbage you’ll look for any treasure, and this is definitely the one bit of treasure in the film. I still won’t recommend that you watch this one, but if you do at least you know you’ll get some good effects.

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{Makes me kind of hungry}

While I was a fan of the original two movies, this one was terrible, and it’s not at all necessary that you watch this one to complete the viewing experience. Yes, the twist ending to Black Sun didn’t leave a great taste in mouth, a taste made much worth with this addition to the series, but Outpost and Outpost: Black Sun are a good two parter in the unified field NAZI zombies. This one is just a waste.

 

The Undead Review

 

Directed By: Kieran Parker

Starring: Bryan Larkin (Let Us Prey, Battleground), Ivan Kamaras (100 Degrees Below Zero, The Mark: Redemption), and Michael McKell (After Death, Who Needs Enemies)

Released By: Black Camel Pictures, Savalas Pictures, and XLrator Media

Release Year: 2013

Release Type: Straight to Video

MPAA Rating: Not Rated

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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