PS Illustrated Review:http://www.psillustrated.com/psillustrated/movie_rev.php/627
Outpost is an eerie thriller/horror set in current day Eastern Europe. Mr. Hunt (Julian Wadham) is a “businessman” looking to hire a band of mercenaries to protect him as he investigates some property for his backers. He meets with DC (Ray Stevenson, HBO’s Rome) who agrees to assemble a tough band of men, a collection of men who enjoy their job of killing and skate on just this side of the law. The mercs figure this is easy money, a 48 hour job at the most, protecting this guy Hunt. When the property turns out to be a former Nazi war bunker, things start getting creepy. Bullets fly out from the treeline, striking one of DC’s men, and the men return fire. Upon inspection after the firefight dies down, there are no bodies, shell casings or blood. Things keep getting stranger. Who are these mysterious enemies?
As they work their way through the bunker, they find a pile of naked bodies, victims of cruel experiments. The biggest shocker of all comes when they find a “breather.” The man is sullen, pale, silent and unresponsive. The men assume it’s some local ethnic cleansing, but when they unearth some old reel footage, they find that the Nazis were actually trying to build super soldiers, ones that would march right across the world and take over America. They were exposing the men to energy from the very machine Hunt is seeking, something that changes the physical properties of the area around it and is worth billions. As members of their team begin to go missing and their bodies turn up, gruesomely tortured using old Nazi bullets, Hunt deduces that these super soldiers were somehow trapped by the machine and they were released when DC and his group broke the field.
The men soon realize that they are in a fight to the death with soldiers who simply won’t die – ghosts who were bred to do nothing but kill with a vengeance. Their only hope is Hunt getting the machine started back up in the hopes of trapping the soldiers again, so the remaining men can escape. But to do this, DC and company must lure the Nazis in very close, a dangerous task for sure.
The first half of the movie felt very creepy and was far more ghostly than bloody and horrifying. I don’t shy away from violence in films, but I actually preferred this atmosphere because it felt more effective and more frightening. However, once these brutal killers were unleashed, they were quite violent and relentless and there was no lack of blood and gore.
I really didn’t expect a lot going into this movie, because although it appeared to contain my two favorite videogame topics, Nazis and zombies, I just had a feeling it would end up being a cheese-fest. While the bad guys technically weren’t zombies, they were undead and nasty enough to fall into that category. As it turns out, the acting was fairly decent with an odd array of characters making up the mix of them. Some of their lines were cheesy, but overall, I really enjoyed the movie. The bunker setting was extremely unnerving and appropriately dusty, with nice set pieces from the Nazi era. The entire film has a very washed out color palette to it, almost as if, in premonition, the color had been drained from it. I really liked this effect and it really provided the creepy atmosphere Outpost needed. After watching the deleted scenes (which were fairly pointless), I was able to see scenes prior to this post-process color effect and am really glad the film-makers went the way they did.
While Outpost is not one to run out and buy, it’s definitely worth a rental, especially if you like themes with Nazis and/or zombies.