Rob Rector
 

 

 
 
 

Review by Rob Rector

Lead Entertainment Writer

 

There were many questions that rattled around my skull while watching the Outpost III: Rise of the Spetsnaz. The first one was, “So, is the Nazi-zombie sub-genre actually a ‘thing’ now?”

The second question was, “There was an ‘Outpost I and II’?”

Okay. Actually, those were the only questions.

I’ve reached a zombie saturation level, so it’s not a real surprise that the first two films have slipped under my radar. Full disclosure: I have seen neither the 2007 Outpost nor its sequel, last year’s Outpost: Black Sun. But since this is billed as an “origin story” of sorts, I felt comfortable taking the leap with this one.

Outpost: Rise of the Spetsnaz
Directed by
Kieran Parker
Cast
Bryan Larkin, Iván Kamarás, Michael McKell
Release Date
2014
Rob’s Grade: B+

I must admit that I am fairly glad I did. The filmmakers were obviously working on a tight budget, but you can see every penny up there. Shot through a gauzy sepia-toned lens, Outpost opens on a group of Russian soldiers setting up an ambush of an incoming Nazi caravan in the middle of World War II.

Things don’t go according to plan, resulting in a few Russkies taken back to an underground bunker in which a number of experiments are taking place that look like they’re being conducted by Drs. Mengele and Romero.

Led by Col. Strasser (played by Michael McKell), the labyrinthine quarters are like a WWE training camp for the undead, as a bevy of roided-up zombie soldiers are ready to greet their new Russian guests. We are treated to a number of Fight Club-like fisticuffs featuring the marauding mutants and the two remaining Russian soldiers, Dolokhov (played by Bryan Larkin) and Fyodor (played by Ivan Kamaras).


Outpost III makes good on all of the insane promises of its premise: well-staged battles (both with firearms and with fists), scene-chewing Nazi scum, and flesh-chewing zombie scum. It also features a script that knows exactly the expectations of its audience and the limitations of its budget; it allows its actors to deliver with solemnity, lines that would come straight out of an 80s-era Schwarzenegger opus.

Director Kieran Parker, who produced the first two (and whose story the first Outpost was based), makes his directorial debut here, but handles it with a steady hand and an eye for action. He should also be commended for attention to pacing, as he knows when it’s time to let McKell deliver his best Christoph Waltz-circa-Inglourious Basterds impersonation, and when it’s time to just shut everyone up and let the sound of ripping flesh do the talking.

And speaking of flesh ripping, makeup artist Paul Boyce should receive a shout-out for concocting creatures that perhaps more resemble extras of a Clive Barker nightmare than your typical skin-sagging zombie.

There’s no new ground being broken here, but if you’re appetite for zombies is insatiable, Outpost III rises to the top for not only being fast, fun and fierce, but it also seems to possess what all zombies crave — some brains inside it.

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