Seriously: what’s not to love? Last I checked, men love war movies. And – the last I checked – men love zombie movies. How can anyone one-up that? Simple: you put Nazi-zombies in your war movie! How is that not a win/win? You love chocolate, right? You love peanut butter, too, right? Well, you put chocolate on my peanut butter, and what do you get? Confection heaven! That’s what you get! Something as purely entertaining as the OUTPOST series of fright flicks can’t be wrong, can they? To find out, you’ll have to stick with me after this short qualifier …
(NOTE: The following review will contain minor spoilers necessary solely for the discussion of plot and/or characters. If you’re the type of reader who prefers a review entirely spoiler-free, then I’d encourage you to skip down to the last three paragraphs for my final assessment. If, however, you’re accepting of a few modest hints at ‘things to come,’ then read on …)
During the final phase of World War II along the Eastern front, a contingent of Russian soldiers come across a secret Nazi military bunker hidden in a mountainous pass. Before they can muster an attack on it, they come face-to-face with a deadly convoy and are eventually taken prisoner. Now inside, they’re forced to fight for their lives against the monstrous creations of a power-hungry general hell-bent on subjugating all of mankind to his brutal Nazi wishes!
Yes, there’s a whole cast of characters massed up into this glorious depraved Zombie B-movie, but do they really matter? Of course, they all play their roles with terrific conviction, and many of them do so quite nicely. But what really matters in films of this nature is that they’re fun, gory, and as logical as the narrative allows; and, on that front, you could do far worse than OUTPOST: RISE OF THE SPETSNAZ! Color me confused, but I didn’t even know that there was a franchise of OUTPOST films; I’ll definitely be heading out to the local video store to check out the other entries … mostly because there’s an opening and closing scene to this motion picture that honestly didn’t make as much sense as it should have to me. (This, of course, left me wondering whether or not it ties in to plot points in the other films.)
However, kudos to the creative crew for putting this together as professionally as they did. I’ve seen more than my share of B films for a single lifetime, and – whereas other B films adopt that wholesome charm of clearly not being able to afford excellent production values on their respective budgets – OUTPOST spares no punches. There’s some terrific period detail along with some exceptional set pieces that look like they could’ve been lifted from any handful of legendary war pictures if not even something done by Mr. Spielberg or Mr. Lucas. Granted, they might not be drawn to stories of this nature, but it’s clear that the film was put together by folks seriously committed to the integrity of the entire piece.
Also, I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out that – as gore goes – there’s a wealth of practical, in-camera effects work throughout the picture, and it’s all been accomplished by terrific craftsmen and women. The zombie make-up effects are good (though the film is fairly slim on zombies); and the blood and guts sequences are moist with bloody goo from top to bottom. As more and more films offset these production requirements with CGI and the like, it’s refreshing to know that there are perfectionists out there who will stop at nothing to do it proper in the old-fashioned ways.
So far as the story here, the film is divided into two pieces: the war part, and then the cage-match part. Once our commandos are captured and taken into the bunker, everything becomes basically a glorified wrestling match of good vs. evil. Yes, there’s more to it – there’s some appreciation for the secret Nazi science, and there’s a handful of subplots handpicked from any picture dealing with soldiers – but, in the end, it’s all about men who’ll stop at nothing to rid the Earth of the Undead who’ll stop only to eat brains and bone and brawn!
Hats off to the cast and crew for crafting such a delightful and deliciously manic flick!
OUTPOST: RISE OF THE SPETSNAZ (2013) is produced by Black Camel Pictures and Savalas Film. DVD distribution is being handled by XLrator Media as part of its Macabre Series of fright films. As for the technical specifications, the film is smartly produced with some very good quality sights and sounds available for interested audiences. Lastly – as is so often the case – there are no special features to speak of: a big miss, if you ask me, as I would’ve liked to know more about the production.
RECOMMENDED. As B movies goes, what’s not to dig? Men love war movies. Men love zombie movies. Why not put them together? It’s a grand mash-up of possibilities, and it plays out probably exactly the way you’d want it to: the good guys win (or do they?), the bad guys lose (or do they?), and there isn’t a Nazi in sight (or is there?) come the big finish! I’ve spent ninety minutes and fared an awful lot worse, but if B movies are your passion then I suspect you’ll be first in line to enlist once this one hits the DVD store shelves. Heil Hitler, and let’s slip the undead dogs of war!
In the interests of fairness, I’m pleased to disclose that the fine folks at XLrator Media provided me with an advance DVD copy of OUTPOST: RISE OF THE SPETSNAZ by request for the expressed purposes of completing this review.
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