Outpost: Black Sun Steve Barker

Outpost: Black SunSteve Barker
The Nazi zombie trope is a familiar one in today's videogames, movies and television (i.e., Norwegian movie Dead Snow and various Call Of Duty games). It's hard, then, to take seriously the dutiful bleakness of Outpost: Black Sun, with its determinedly gritty textures and the grim-faced sincerity of the acting. This film was clearly made to fill a market niche, and that it does so proficiently enough is another testament to the strength of the burgeoning British genre-film industry. The veneer of cynical realism is decidedly unearned, however, and even offensive, with the inevitable invocation of the death camps somewhat out of step with the zombie thrills. A young woman, hunting aged war criminals, teams up with a scientist in Eastern Europe to trace one particular Nazi madman, who, bent on bringing about the Fourth Reich, has created an army of undead storm troopers. The two cross paths with the inevitable team of foul-mouthed British military men and all join forces to stop the zombies, before NATO moves to the inevitable nuclear option. On the plus side of the ledger, the film has a strong cast (led by Catherine Steadman), some efficient action directing and very inventive cinematography and production design effectively camouflaging the low budget. On the down side, we have a lack of simple narrative clarity (talhough seeing 2008 prequel Outpost would probably help) and monsters that get sillier as the movie progresses, culminating in a risible token female Nazi zombie hunchback. This is strictly for genre connoisseurs with not particularly high standards. There are also no extras. (Mongrel Media)