For those of you who are long-standing readers you may remember my quest to discover the ultimate Nazi-Zombie film. On my travels so far I have come across some highly acclaimed but ultimately really REALLY bad films and some bad films that aren’t even highly acclaimed. Needless to say no film I have unroofed has come anywhere close to bettering Dead Snow, but Outpost is at least a fairly ok watch – good enough that they decided to make a sequel (which is on my to-watch-on-my-own-because-Paul-won’t-watch-it-with me list) although I guess people will make sequels out of pretty much anything these days…
Outpost is not what you would call a ‘deep’ film. The plot is fairly basic and you can leave motives and character development at the door. What plot the film has can be summed up as thus: A scientist convinces a load of mercenaries to accompany him to a remote Eastern-European WWII bunker for somewhat ominous reasons and while there they discover a huge pile of naked, hairless corpses who disappear, leaving one catatonic, barely-alive hairless guy in the bunker with them [to provide internal sinister overtones]. Meanwhile our mercenaries are besieged on the outside by seemingly un-killable Nazi-zombie-ghosts and are then slowly picked off one by one. Simples.
Our mercenaries are your typical cast of hard-arsed, vaguely endearing military men. We have the difficult one and the sweary one, the amusingly accented one and the nice one that probably shouldn’t have ended up where he is. The first time I watched this film I was genuinely scared by a lot of it. The film does a good job of making the viewer feel unsafe: Our mercenaries are beset by an un-fightable threat on the outside, are unable to escape and are stuck in a bunker with a catatonic bald guy and our scientist who is obviously hiding something. The external threat is designed well – unexplained floodlights blaring down on our bunker and silent, ghostly silhouettes emerging from the mist. Needless to say things do not end well for our mercenaries.
Outpost is quite reminiscent of a computer game – dark grimy set, lots of enemies to shoot at that keep coming back and no shortage of one-liners and small character moments to break up the fighting. I can’t be bothered to Google it but I would not be surprised at all if this were based on a computer shooter, the lack of plot would lend itself to this theory. There is a certain caliber of film where you know that a plot has been put together only to create a flimsy net in which to hold loads of shooting, gore and spookiness and needless to say I am fairly sure the plot is not the main reason this film was created.
I’m not sure that this can be classed as a ‘zombie’ film in the strictest sense. Our Nazis are far more corporeal ‘ghosts’ than flesh-and-blood, brain-eating corpses, but the reanimating, tortured corpses in their solid-state is good enough for me. For the picky reader this is at least an Undead Nazi film if not a Nazi Zombie film to the distinguished connoisseur. This is by far not the worst Nazi-Zombie film I have had the pleasure of watching, and considering the quality of Outpost that says a lot for some of the others. I know in my heart that I will never find another film that does it for me like Dead Snow but my quest will still continue until I either find a better film or run out of films that IMDB suggests to me may fall within this genre.