Outpost 2: Black Sun (2012)

When I first checked out the original Outpost (2008), I had VERY low expectations. That’s what happens when you discover that you drunkenly bought it, in the wee hours of the morn…from the local 7-11. Classy, I know. I fully expected a cheap, Direct-to-DVD (and deserving it) genre helping. Instead, what I got was a surprisingly tight and effective supernatural thriller. So, based on THAT pleasant surprise, I was pleased (but cautious) when I got wind of a second one ‘in the works’. And now, having just taken it in, I have to say that…they definitely succeeded, crafting a logical and exciting continuation to the ‘zombie Nazi super-soldiers run amok’ story of the original and competently expanding on it. In the second part, a young woman, who has made it her lifes mission to hunt down and punish a select group of Nazi officers (that tormented her family in WW2) stumbles upon the existence of the secret, underground ‘outpost’ (established in #1). She teams up with a former (and reluctant) acquaintance who is determined to locate the mysterious technology that is creating an ever widening sphere of supernatural energy around the site. The two stumble head-long into the grip of a ruthless British special forces team tasked with attempting to halt the onslaught of invincible Nazi zombies that move aggressively through the ‘field’, threatening the entire area. This band of desperate folks then find themselves in WAY over their heads as they literally race against time to stop the horror(!). The filmmakers clearly recognized the strengths and qualities that made the original the mild genre success that it is. The atmosphere is great, like in the first one, and compliments the capable cast of energetic ‘nobodies’. While the characters of the troops were somewhat hard to clearly distinguish, the costumes, props and dialogue worked nicely. It was an entertaining blend of authentic-sounding military jargon and dark ‘gallows humor’. And when we first meet these guys…they are vicious assholes! Really despicable. But as the story progresses, the ‘important’ ones begin to grow on ya. In a higher profile version of this film, I imagine that the two leads could’ve (at least physically) been carried by Maggie Gyllenhaal (Secretary) and Vincent Cassel (The Crimson Rivers). At least…that’s who I was acutely reminded of. Something that I found cool about this version of the Nazi Zombie Motif was that they weren’t mindless, shuffling hunks of dangerous meat…they were full-on super-soldiers. They used tactics and weapons (they sure loved them knives!) and they used them with frightening effeciency. It gave a tangible sense of threat, which I appreciate in flicks like this. One thing that I didn’t appreciate quite so much was the inclusion of an SS zombie witch, which would’ve been more at home in an Evil Dead film. This element threatened to tip the balance that the film maintains into the ‘Too Cheezy’ realm. Luckily, the hideous bitch was only a small component. One large component, that I can honestly say that I didn’t see coming, was a well-timed (and actually shocking) twist towards the end that very much would allow the filmmakers to branch the story out even further…and in more interesting directions, should sequels be in order (fingers crossed!). Over all, this potential (modestly budgeted) series has impressed me and entertained me well…without treating me like a total idiot as I watched them. If you like the type of violent, gory supernatural thriller that is accented by actors that seem to be trying to tell a not perfect but quite decent and tightly entertaining story…then this flick will work nicely on THAT front.

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