Outpost (2008)

DVD Cover (Sony Home Entertainment)
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Overall Rating 57%
Overall Rating
Ranked #3,179
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Connections: Outpost

Outpost follows a crack team of battle-hardened mercenaries on a routine mission to protect a mysterious businessman through the no-man's land of war-torn Eastern Europe. However, after he leads them to a long forgotten, underground outpost, they unwittingly reawaken a lurking terror that soon changes their mission from one of safe-guarding, to one of survival, as they desperately battle an enemy even they've never faced before. --IMDb
Review by Tristan
Added: April 21, 2009
A short while ago I reviewed the film Dead Snow, a Norwegian horror comedy about Nazi zombies. This has been a pretty hot concept lately, and after doing a little research I discovered another Nazi zombie film that went direct-to-video last year. While a little more serious than the aforementioned Dead Snow, Outpost still maintains a lot of the charm and laughs that that one did. It's dirty, it's violent, and it's surprisingly creepy for a film of this type. It's not going to land in anyone's top 10 of the year lists, but its certainly an entertaining little flick.

A mysterious businessman (Julian Wadham) offers mercenary D.C. (Ray Stevenson) a handsome sum of money to assemble a small squad and escort him into the dangerous European countryside. Their mission: travel to a small military bunker in the middle of nowhere. They are not told what is inside the bunker, only that it should be a two day trip with little risk. All is well and good until they descend into the underground bunker, and find a little more than they bargained for. Their protection mission quickly turns into a fight for survival as a faceless enemy is thought to be hovering just beyond the tree line. It turns out they're standing in a Nazi bunker, and have stumbled across the infamous Die Glocke machine - a highly secretive Nazi scientific device that was said to be used in the study of such things as anti-gravity and time travel. Well lucky for D.C. and his crack team of mercenaries, it would seem that the Nazis had found a way to make it work, and had given themselves the ability to teleport themselves as well as prolonged life. That is, if you call being a zombie prolonged life. All sorts of mercenary fighting and zombie goodness ensues.

I had no expectations for this movie whatsoever. This is not to say I expected it to be bad, I just didn't have any prior thoughts on it. Nazi zombies? Good enough for me. While I did not enjoy last year's Punisher: War Zone at all, I still felt that Ray Stevenson was a decent actor. I enjoyed him in the HBO show Rome, and I found that he added a little breath of fresh air to the rest of the nameless actors in this film. I really enjoyed how the horror takes a back seat to the action for the last half of the film. The tension and creepy atmosphere are still there - the scene where the zombies first descend on the bunker is beautifully shot and very reminiscent of the Carpenter classic The Fog - but the movie really focuses on the gun fighting and body count after this point. The only thing I was surprised, and slightly disappointed, about was the lack of gore. It seemed that a dark and gritty film such as this would be full of it, but there was very little to be had. Most likely a budget constraint, but a few extra buckets of the red stuff and a few more special effects could have done this movie wonders.

There is some great atmosphere to be found in this film, with the eerie lighting effects and labyrinth-like bunker complementing composer James Brett's score so well. With such a poorly lit, claustrophobic environment and the sense that something is always scurrying around in the background, the tension just keeps mounting. Never has the unveiling of a swastika ever felt so terrifying and exciting at the same time. Nazi zombies were a tarnished sub-genre in the past, but this is all going out the window as the past few years has seen director after director doing it right.

Neil Marshall was originally attached to direct this feature in 2003, but ended up going with his widely enjoyed Dog Soldiers. This is not surprising to me in the least, as I could feel a very strong resemblance between the two pictures. Even the Descent appears to have been a large influence on this film. Hopefully director Steve Barker gets another chance in the future to work on something similar, as he definitely has a taste for horror and knows the ins and outs of producing a great film on a minimal budget. There are still a few kinks to work out, but like any great director, there's always a few flaws in that first film. If you're looking for a nice entertaining romp that is a combination of horror, action, and those lovable zombies, look no further. As I mentioned earlier, Outpost might not be the best movie in the world, but it's a lot of fun and definitely worth a watch.

Ginose #1: Ginose - added 04/29/2009, 07:11 PM
Hmmm... if by "Nazi-zombies" you mean the handful that appear at the end then I can agree. This wasn't a nazi-zombie movie, which disappointed me, but it was a good ghost movie all the same. I'd give it a 7/10 as well, with special points to the extremely deceitful box-art.
And I think I actually read someone comparing this to "Shock Waves"... that's just wrong...
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