World War Rim…

Dolph Lundgren isn’t close to my favourite actor, but he can, when in the correct situation, still surprise even me. Forget ever seeing Dolph, posing with skull in hand, gazing into the distance, uttering lines from Hamlet “Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him…” But, put the big blond Swede in the right movie (ie. Rocky IV) and he can do the business. Dolph is also a talented drummer, and he’s directed no less than five movies, so even while he was being written off as being a flash-in-the-pan, Lundgren has kept on working away, doing his thing, proving to all the naysayers, he still has lots to offer. It would appear all of the people I used to admire when younger, are now getting back in the action, with the ladies of my era, the forty-somethings, making a comeback, and so it would seem are the old-school action hero’s. This, I believe, is in part thanks to Sylvester Stallone, himself no stranger to being thought of as has-been material, and in an interview I caught some months back, was telling how he wanted older actors to be allowed another chance. This is why The Expendables is laden with so many — expendables.

Battle of the Damned
Christopher Hatton
Dolph Lundgren, Melanie Zanetti, Matt Doran, David Field
Release Date
25 July, 2013
Influx Grade: C+

You only need catch a glimpse of the poster (the one I seen at least), with its Pacific Rim shaped robots, and its World War Z, fast running zombies, to get a very, very, clear idea of how Battle of the Damned came about, or more importantly, why… $. It appears to have been filmed almost entirely on location in Malaysia, allowing for some pretty good, if rather unrealistic, action sequences, as our group of heroic survivors, along with some mechanical help, fight for their very survival.

“A military blockade surrounds the city. No one is allowed to enter or leave, including the unafflicted.” This is the message displayed at the start of Battle of the Damned, just to wet our appetite. Major Max Gatling (Lundgren) has just been ordered to rescue the missing daughter of an important scientist. He only has a certain amount of time to achieve this extremely difficult task before the joint leadership back up their Scorched Earth policy, by razing the city to the ground, thereby eliminating the remainder of the infected.

The target in question is Jude, played by the lovely and talented Melanie Zanetti, whose father was partly responsible for the infection in the first place. She is now living with the remainder of a small group of survivors, who are led by Duke (David Field). Max must try to persuade her to come alone with him, by using any means at his disposal, to safety, and eventually out of the kill zone, but after learning she is pregnant by another of the survivors, she won’t make his job any easier. At one point, Max is cuffed to a pole, courtesy of Duke and Elvis (Jen Sung), left to die, but thanks to being able to fight a horde of charging zombies with his feet, with the help of the father-to-be (Matt Doran), he gets out of that jam. He then meets up with a group of military robots, who assist him in his rescue attempt of Jude, and together, with the group, minus their leader, they try to get out before all hell breaks loose from the sky.

There are plot holes that a bus can be driven through, and also some unconvincing make-up effects, along with bad CG bullet strikes, but this isn’t a film to be taken too seriously in the first place. The acting was mostly very good for this type of low-budget affair, far better than is to be expected. The story, while being unimaginative, still keeps you interested in the proceedings, but zombies really have been done to death (I know, I know), and these ones were just a mix of the recent ones featured in the big movies we’ve been seeing of late. I didn’t like the simple way they could be killed when it suited the scene, or the fact the survivors lived in a palatial home, with a fine selection of wine and candelabra. The robots, while not great, were handled well enough, to provide enjoyment of this very flawed, action/sci-fi/horror movie, and allowed me to switch off for 92 minutes. So, putting the many faults aside, it still had its moments, and ultimately entertained, thanks to some good acting, not bad action and silly zombies. I really didn’t think I would enjoy Battle of the Damned, but I did, and have no difficulty recommending it, so if you like the trailer for this movie (see the attached video), then you should like the film.

Nav Qateel

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