Outpost was an okay horror movie that never really cried out to become the start of a trilogy/franchise. Yet here we are with the third feature film to use the name and the premise, which can be summed up in two words – Nazi zombies. The main problem with the franchise has always been its inability to wring the fun from that premise. It should be easy, but Outpost was only good, not great, and Outpost: Black Sun was worse. Outpost: Rise Of The Spetsnaz is a pleasant surprise and may well be my favourite of the lot. It’s far from perfect, but it certainly sets out to provide pure fun.
Set in 1945, a unit of tough Russians find themselves under attack from not just Nazis but, you guessed it, Nazi zombies. Well, it’s initially only one Nazi zombie but one Nazi zombie is one too many, in my opinion. A few of the men are captured and taken to a secret laboratory to be secured and used in the terrible experiments being conducted there.
Directed by Kieran Parker, helming for the first time after handling producing duties on the preceding films (as well as a few others), and written by Rae Brunton, who wrote the first two films, Outpost: Rise Of The Spetsnaz keeps everything that worked from the other films – great use of the budget, some decent design and special effects work – and then just throws in some more blood and guts, a decent sprinkling of humour and even some fun movie references. I’m not sure if they were intentional or not, but I certainly saw/heard references to An American Werewolf In London and Aliens, among others.
The acting is what it is. Nothing to write home about, but Bryan Larkin is a solid figure to be cutting his way through Nazi Hordes, Ivan Kamaras doesn’t look out of place by his side and Michael McKell has a lot of fun as a cool, calm and collected SS officer. Everyone else does a decent enough job for the character they’re playing, be it a Nazi, a tough prisoner or a Nazi zombie wanting to kill and munch on a tough prisoner.
It’s no unmissable classic, but Outpost: Rise Of The Spetsnaz easily does enough to make the trilogy worth picking up whenever you find it going for a bargain price. It doesn’t try to be big or clever, it just has fun.
DIRECTOR: KIERAN PARKER
WRITER: RAE BRUNTON
STARS: BRYAN LARKIN, IVAN KAMARAS, MICHAEL MCKELL, VELIBOR TOPIC, ALEC UTGOFF, LAURENTIU POSSA
RUNTIME: 87 MINS APPROX