Outpost: Rise of the Spetsnaz (2013)

Director: Kieran Parker

Writer: Rae Brunton (Screenplay)

Starring: Bryan Larkin, Ivan Kamaras, Velibor Topic, Laurence Possa, Alec Utgoff, Johnny Meres, Michael McKell

 

Plot: In this third installment of the hit Nazi Zombie action horror movie, Outpost: Rise Of The Spetnaz, we discover the horrifying origins of these supernatural soldiers and see them in ferocious gladiatorial battle against the most ruthless and notorious of all military special forces: the Russian Spetsnaz.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 27 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Sloppy and Poor Sequel

 

Story: Outpost: Rise of the Spetsnaz starts in 1945 as we follow a Russian special forces unit led by Dolokhov (Larkin) navigating the German forest looking for the secret base which has rumours of special experiments.

The plan doesn’t go the way they hoped, they find themselves captured or killed, waking in an underground bunker where they must find a way out joined by American spy Rogers (Lambert), they will learn the truth about the German experiments.

 

Thoughts on Outpost: Rise of the Spetsnaz

 

Characters – Dolokhov is the leader of the Russian military unit searching for the secrets to the German’s work during World War II, he is loyal to his men and when he starts seeing them killed he will fight back no matter what the odds. Captured he goes through the experiments proving to be the best candidate for the Germans. When we reach the rest of the characters, we hit the weaknesses here, we have the rest of the unit which gets picked off bit by bit, the German soldiers and scientist with only one standing out, that being the man running the outpost.

PerformancesWhen we look at the performances we must face the facts here, the characters are not that interesting which doesn’t give the actors must to work with, Bryan Larkin in the lead role is fine with the combat side of everything, but when it comes to the deep fake accent we see the weakness coming through too often. This is a problem for most of the stars of the film.

StoryThe story here tries to continue to build on the legacy behind this mysterious bunker which was the focal point of the very first Outpost movie, this time we follow Russians that are searching for the bunker only to become the latest victims. Now this has many problems early on, the first film we know this place is abandoned which makes the story interesting, this film tries to explain what happened in the bunker before the English unit finds the location, well I think that is what I saw. The idea that the German’s were doing experiments has been done too much which only leaves us thinking we have seen this before because of the lack of shock behind anything we see. This is a story which doesn’t give us enough investment in the characters to make us care about what is happening through the film.

Action/Horror/Sci-FiThe action is war based, with gun shots through the woods, fighting in the bunker and genre hordes of zombie fighting, certain scenes are shot badly with too many cuts and the action does feel clunky. The horror side of the film comes from seeing what the experiments were about and how the zombie like soldiers will not stop, this does play into the sci-fi elements of the film too as we see how far the Nazi’s were going in the war.

SettingsThe film mostly takes place in the bunker, or outpost if you like, it doesn’t feel as claustrophobic as the first film and the lighting makes this a harder watch too.

Special EffectsThe effects are basic and with the editing we lose the moments of gore we would like to see.


Scene of the Movie –
Unleash for the fight.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Nothing is exciting.

Final ThoughtsThis feels more like a pointless sequel in a franchise which has already gone on too long for its own good.

 

Overall: Dull and lifeless.

Rating

 

 

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Franchise Weekend – Outpost: Black Sun (2012)

Director: Steve Barker

Writer: Steve Barker, Rae Brunton (Screenplay)

Starring: Catherine Steadman, Richard Coyle, Ali Craig, Nick Nevern, Daniel Caltagirone, Gary McDonald, Julian Wadham

 

 

 

 

Plot: The year is 1945, the closing stages of WW2, and a German scientist by the name of Klausener is working on a frightening new technology that has the power to create an immortal Nazi army. Flash forward to present day, and a NATO task force is hurriedly deployed to Eastern Europe, where a sinister enemy appears to be mercilessly killing everything in its path. But this is no ordinary foe. Only Helena, a gutsy investigator on the trail of the notorious war-criminal Klausener, accepts the reality of that they are facing a battalion of Nazi Storm-Troopers, a veritable zombie army on the march. With the help of Wallace, a man who’s been chasing Nazi secrets for years, the two of them team up with a Special Forces Unit to venture deep behind enemy lines. Their mission to fight their way back to the source of this evil army and prevent the seemingly inevitable rise of the 4th Reich.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Good Idea for the Sequel

 

Story: Outpost: Black Sun starts as we follow Lena (Steadman) in Paraguay searching for German war criminals with her main target being Klausener the man that was involved in the mission Hunt (Wadham) went on last time around. We also see how the effects of the first film have led to the new Third Reich spreading like a virus from the source.

Lena teams up with Wallace (Coyle) to build a team to get to Klausener’s machine to try and bring an end to the war that could be about to bring the promise of the Nazi’s invasion into a world problem.

 

Thoughts on Outpost: Black Sun

 

Characters/PerformanceLena is a strong leading lady, she has been tracking war criminals in the modern time but learning of the existence of Klausener draws her back to Eastern Europe to put an end to his terror. Wallace is an engineer stationed near the bunker who reluctantly helps Lena on her mission as he knows how to stop the machine. The rest of the characters are generic soldiers you barely learn the names of and the now Nazi zombies.

Performance wise, Catherine Steadman does a good job coming into a very male heavy film easily becoming the star performer, with most of the male cast all becoming forgettable by the end of the film.

StoryThe direction the story goes is interesting because it builds on how the last film finished. The idea that the experiment is spreading is a big plus, but the first film had a lot of a supernatural vibe to everything, this time we just get zombies and an elevated sci-fi feel to what is going on. I can understand why things went this way for franchise value but I do feel it takes away from the first film.

Action/HorrorThe action is much heavier in this film as we get to see plenty of fights between the humans and zombies. This increased action does take away from the horror side of the film as it doesn’t reach the horror needed for what is happening.

SettingsThe settings are also a part of this film which lose out by making this a bigger picture, we lose the idea of just one solo location for a bigger battle.

Special EffectsHere is another weaker point, sure the battles and fights all look great but trying to show the effects of a EMP just look cheap whenever they are used.

Final ThoughtsThis is difficult to make my mind up on, I liked the bigger picture going on, but I did find the random jump cuts to after something has happened frustrating, the fast pace also leaves a mixed feeling because it does work but takes away the horror. This is what I would like to think of as a good franchise builder, not saying it is bad but relies on having seen the first and wanting to see more.

 

Overall: Good franchise building horror film.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Horror – F – Freehold (2017)

Director: Dominic Bridges

Writer: Dominic Bridges, Rae Brunton (Screenplay)

Starring: Javier Botet, Mandeep Dhillon, Mim Shaikh, Michael McKell, Kola Bokinni

 

Plot: An oily, amoral estate agent is preyed upon by one of his victims, who quietly moves into his flat and, unseen, begins a deliciously malicious campaign of revenge.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 20 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Very Creepy

 

Story: Freehold starts as we follow estate agent Hussein (Shaikh) go about his daily routines in his small London flat, but as soon as he leaves for a skinny man Orlan (Botet) appears, he has been secretly living in the flat, going around using the supplies while he is out.

When Mel (Dhillon) comes to live with Hussein we start to see the bigger picture of what Orlan’s plan is causing havoc in the flat, but what is his motivation for this?

 

Thoughts on Freehold

 

Characters – Orlan is the man secretly living in the flat, he seems to be making the life of the man living in the flat, sneaking around when he is asleep or at work, his motivation unfolds through the film, he does have a strikingly haunting look about him with his skinny bone structure coming through. Hussein is the estate agent that is living in the flat, he is very cocky with everything he does and starts to believe he is being haunted, though never investigates. Mel is the girlfriend of Hussein that wants to do the best with the small flat but soon gets tired of Hussein’s behaviour.

PerformancesJavier Botet does have an extremely creepy look which makes him stand out in this role which he is creepy throughout the film. Mandeep Dhillon isn’t in the film long enough to make the impact you feel she could have. Mim Shaikh is good in this role because he does end up being the person getting tortured through the film without knowing it.

StoryThe story follows one man that tries to live his normal life, only for us to learn that he isn’t alone in his flat. The story follows this mysterious man doing random acts to try and make Hussein’s life a nightmare. Most of the film is following Hussein trying to keep everything together, leaving us to wonder just how far people will go through the get this to happen and whether we would be able to notice this.

Comedy/Horror This does have an air of comedy about what is going on while not a full laugh out loud moment, the horror comes off the biggest part of the film because it shows just how difficult it could be to learn the truth.

SettingsThe film is set inside the flat, which keeps everything together and adds the creepy disturbing factor the film needed.


Scene of the Movie –
The first appearance of Orlan.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Orlan believes there is a ghost but never investigates more.

Final ThoughtsThis is a short creepy movie that will keep you on edge form start to finish as we see just how far this one man will go and what would you do if you found out that someone was living in your flat.

 

Overall: Disturbing and creepy

Rating

 

 

Franchise Weekend – Outpost (2008)

Director: Steve Barker

Writer: Rae Brunton (Screenplay) Kieran Parker, Steve Barker, Rae Brunton (Story)

Starring: Ray Stevenson, Julian Wadham, Richard Brake, Paul Blair, Brett Fancy, Enoch Frost

 

Plot: In war-torn Eastern Europe, a world-weary group of mercenaries discover a long-hidden secret in an abandoned WWII bunker.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Good Horror

 

Story: Outpost starts when Hunt (Wadham) recruits DC (Stevenson) to bring his mercenaries Prior (Brake), Jordan (Blair), Taktarov (Fancy), Cotter (Frost), Voyteche (Rivett) and McKay (Smiley) to an abandoned WWII bunker in the middle of the war in Eastern Europe. The bunker which seems easy to find does grab the attention of a passing patrol but now the men must make this safe in case of a meeting with any enemy soldiers.

When the truth about Hunt’s mission becomes clear, DC finds all his men in danger against an enemy they don’t seem to be able to kill and a lone survivor that doesn’t say a word. The group must fight to survivor against the remains of a Nazi experiments.

 

Thoughts on Outpost

 

Characters/PerformanceDC is the generic leader of the mercenaries, he doesn’t have a backstory of any merit, he just demands the respect of his unit. Prior is the top soldier in the unit keep it together for the rest of the unit. Hunt is the man who hired the unit and of course he is alternate plans for the mission. The rest of the soldiers are what you expect to see from a team of mercenaries.

Performance wise, well Ryan Stevenson is a good leading man but does struggle to make the most of his character, if you are to be honest we do find most of the cast struggling to make enough impact.

StoryThe story is a good watch for horror, we all know the stories of how the Nazi’s were trying experiment with the supernatural so, this is the main part of the story. There are not many twists and this can give the horror fans enough without getting carried away.

Action/HorrorThe action is mostly just shooting in the way you would expect soldiers to be part of. The horror is a lot of creepy material that leads to the extra horrors where we see the gore involved in the kills.

SettingsMost of the film is set around the bunker which does keep the film easy to follow and adds to what you expect from the Nazi based horror film.

Special EffectsThe special effects are used well to add to the extra kills in the film.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good horror that uses the idea of Nazi war experiments to the full.

 

Overall: I enjoyed this one for a basic horror film.

Rating