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History may be doomed to repeat itself, but does that mean
we have to watch it over and over again? When there are Nazi zombies with
doomsday devices, we just might be tempted.
The first OUTPOST featured Ray Stevenson (ROME, PUNISHER:
WAR ZONE) and a cast of kick-ass mercenaries fighting undead Nazi
storm-troopers circa World War II. Most of the killing took place in a
claustrophobic bunker, where the good guys discovered a futuristic machine
constructed by Third Reich occultists and scientists. The device’s mysterious electro-magnetic
field kept evil apparitions trapped in a sort of cosmic amber; not quite alive,
not quite dead… but quite deadly.
OUTPOST: BLACK SUN picks up in 1945, at the close of WWII, where
we meet a shadowy German scientist working on a dangerous new technology which
has the power to create an immortal army. Then, fast-forward to present day, where
a NATO task force (Catherine Steadman, Richard Coyle, Clive Russell and Michael
Byrne) is deployed to Eastern Europe to defeat a sinister enemy. It's their
mission to prevent the rise of the Fourth Reich, and yes, it's as dangerous as
The strength of both films is the fact that the Third Reich
did indeed conduct bizarre scientific experiments on human beings, and the idea
that zombies could be the result isn't actually too far-fetched. Add a few
conspiracy theories, the hell of war, cool uniforms festooned with iconic
symbols, and plenty of close-up gory deaths at the bony hands of the
unstoppable undead, and you have the makings of a reasonably impressive sequel
(not to mention the fact director Steve Barker returns for another tour of
The cinematography is beautiful and sharp, making excellent
use of contrasts, and does well to show just enough detail while obscuring some
moments to mysterious effect. The acting is fine, and the story is interesting
enough, but there are just too many balls in the air to keep track, and much is
lost in the shuffle. There is eye-candy, but no real substance. Not that OUTPOST
was especially thought-provoking, but it was spare and elemental. And in that
one, the zombies were eerie and otherworldly; here, they're just marching,
munching hordes present only to kill and be killed.
The makings are all there, but OUTPOST: BLACK SUN is often
overly ambitious and the whole shebang winds up faltering under the strain.
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