1.5 out of 10
Release Date: 16th May 2008
Director: Steve Barker (Outpost 2)
Cast: Ray Stevenson, Julian Wadham, Richard Brake, Michael Smiley, Brett Fancey, Enoch Frost, Paul Blair, Julian Rivett and Johnny Meres
Writer: Rae Brunton
READ JOE PESCI’S DESPICABLE REVIEW OF OUTPOST…. Hahahahahaha! Downnnn Below in his hairy bunker….
Outpost was released in 2008 and is only really getting the Britpic treatment because of the existence of its wayyyyy superior sequel, Outpost 2: Black Sun. It’s certainly not because it’s a landmark film like Rise Of The Footsoldier or Kidulthood. There is absolutely nothing I can recommend about this movie apart from a really great sequel. It’s strange that you have to wade your way through such a turgid and boring film to get to the interesting parts of the story. What’s stranger is that something this moribund spawned not one, but two sequels (part 3 is still in post-production). There is a really compelling idea here that is loosely tied in with the theories of Vril and the speculated Nazi obsession with all things occult. In opening out the story in part two it may be a reason to revisit the first part. Although, I don’t personally see the need. Life’s too short.
To the story (what there is of it). Five or six mercenaries led by DC (RAY STEVENSON – THOR) are employed by Hunt (JULIAN WADHAM – THE ENGLISH PATIENT) to recover a piece of military equipment from a bunker in deepest Eastern Europe. On arrival it becomes apparent that they have uncovered a WW2 German bunker that houses a unique machine with powers to alter time and space perception that can also re-animate the dead. In short, its a device that was created by Nazi scientists to make an indestructible super soldier. Hunt and co find a survivor (JOHNNY MERES – OUTPOST 2) amongst a pile of mysteriously fresh corpses and events go awry as one by one the mercenaries get picked off by the undead.
So far so perfunctory. As competently made as Outpost is there is no pace, no flare, no thrills. It just plods along at the speed of a snail. Each of the character meeting one in the most boring series of death sequences known to horror. It really is as dull as it could be. How such an initially good idea has had all the life crushed out of it is a mystery. Basically a military take on Assault On Precinct 13 this could win the award for least scary horror going. None of the cast are stand-out. Usually reliable supporting actors like Michael Smiley (KILL LIST) and Richard Brake (BATMAN BEGINS) show less life and vibrancy than the zombie extras. Johnny Meres who returns in the sequels barely makes a mark here as the lead ghoul. But he makes up for this in the sequel.
Is it possible to skip this movie out and go straight to part 2? Well no, but you could get away with only seeing the trailer for this. All the important plot points and some of the deaths are accounted for, so yes. You’ll be sorry if you let curiosity get the better of you. There was a similar movie a few years earlier than this that I have to check out from the UK called The Bunker. Maybe that contains the story, tension and scares that are lacking here. It’s also similar in plot and quality to Michael J Bassett’s Deathwatch, a very boring WW1 drama starring Jamie Bell and Andy Serkis. I can’t remember if that out bores Outpost.
Outpost is probably a contender for the most boring zombie movie I’ll ever see. It would’ve been confined to the gloom and doom of forgotten and crap horrors that litter my past but like I said the sequel expands and emboldens the slim plot of the first and makes for a very competent slice of zombie action! If you have seen the first one, don’t let it stop you watching the sequel and the return of an intriguing lead ghoul. It’s a good thing that pretty much all of the sleepy cast gets wiped out in this instalment. The choice of story elements are impeccable and compelling. There’s an curious amount of evil and intrigue about the Nazi interest in the supernatural, the occult alongside alternative science and energy sources. Shame there’s no intelligence on display here.
1.5 out of 10 – There’s less thrill in this movie than twenty years of the Queen’s Speech and even then the edits are sharper in her Xmas day TV appearances. The superior sequel is the only reason to give this any passing interest.
WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT PERSON IN BEFORE?
- Ray Stevenson: Transporter 4, Big Game, Insurgent, Divergent, Thor 2, GI Joe 2, The Three Musketeers (2011), Thor, Kill The Irishman, The Book Of Eli, The Other Guys, Punisher – War Zone, Rome (TV)
- Julian Wadham: Queen & Country, The Riot Club, Cheerful Weather For The Wedding, Now Is Good, Outpost 2, The Iron Lady, Legacy – Black Ops, War Horse, Wah-Wah, Dominion – Prequel To The Exorcist, Exorcist – The Beginning, Keep The Aspidistra Flying, The Secret Agent (1996), The English Patient, The Madness Of King George III, Maurice
- Richard Brake: Cannibal In The Jungle, Bitter Harvest, Set Fire To The Stars, Spy (2015), Kingsman – The Secret Service, The Counsellor, The Numbers Station, The Incident, Legacy – Black Ops, Water For Elephants, Cuckoo, Halloween 2 (2009), Hannibal Rising, The Black Dahlia, Doom, Batman Begins, Cold Mountain, Death Machine
- Michael Smiley: Belly of the Bulldog, The Devil Went Down To Islington, The Lobster, Glassland, Black Sea, We Are The Freaks, Dr Who (TV), Svengali, For Those In Peril, The World’s End, Shell, A Field In England, The ABCs of Death, Luther (TV), Kill List, Burke & Hare, Down Terrace, Big Fat Gypsy Gangster
- Brett Fancey: Eastenders (TV), Resort To Murder (TV), Rockliffe’s Babies (TV)
- Enoch Frost: Hackney’s Finest
- Johnny Meres: Outpost 3, Outpost 2