The Middle review by: Steve Barker Written by: Rae Brunton Starring: Ray Stevenson, aka the new Punisher. Julian Wadham, Richard Brake, Paul Blair

I picked this movie up thinking it would be another lackluster rental that I would turn off half way through. I was surprised that it was actually a pretty decent release. Its not your average poor direct to DVD production. It has a bit of substance as well as great acting even though some of the accents were a little thick.

The plot revolves around a small band of mercenaries who are hired on false presences to accompany and protect a scientist in search of something in an abandoned bunker in Eastern Europe. The mercenaries believe that they were possibly looking for lost Nazi gold but it turns out to be something more sinister.

Once in the bunker, strange things begin to happen and the soldiers begin to get picked off. ‘Ghosts’ start to appear in the bunker to take our our mercenaries one at a time. It starts off as a traditional ghost story but melds into a zombie flick as we learn the true nature of the enemy. The director/screenwriter seemed undecided about the nature of the zombie/ghosts. At one time they seem unaffected by material objects such as doors, bullets, explosives and walls in an immaterial like fashion but during the climax they take on their zombie role and shamble through the bunkers corridors. This seemingly glaring error was not evident until I began gathering my thoughts about the review so I don’t think its subtracts from the production.

It was simply done story with decent acting overall. I could see where they were going with the mixture of racial/ethnic characters in the mercenary band but again the accents were overdone and could have been toned down. The sets and location were perfect for the mood of the film as well as some well placed cinematography. The lighting for the outside shots were on spot for the mood though it showed their budget limitations.

The reasons for the Nazi invasion are basically explained. Based on the similar experiments supposedly conducted on the U.S. destroyer escort USS Eldridge and the principles behind the Unified Field Theory the Nazi’s performed experiments on their own soldiers in an attempt to create the perfect undying soldier. Yet the question is, why the loyalty after your Nazi superiors shoot your in the head or fill you full of unworldly radiation? I just don’t have that sort of nationalist loyalty in my body… don’t get it.

Overall a very decent production for a ‘straight to DVD’ release. Every thing was pretty good, the effects were workable with the budget they had, the story kept me interested and horror aspects of the film were just right. No over abundance of blood and gore that we are use to in more recent horror releases.