Category: Movie Reviews
Written by Joel Harley
Published on Monday, 31 March 2014 00:02
Outpost III: Rise of the Spetsnaz Movie Review
Written by Joel Harley
DVD released by Entertainment One
Directed by Kieran Parker
Written by Rae Brunton
2013, 84 minutes, Rated 18 (UK)
DVD released on 10th March 2014
Bryan Larkin as Dolokhov
Ivan Kamaras as Fyodor
Michael McKell as Strasser
Velibor Topic as Arkadi
Laurence Possa as Osakin
Ben Lambert as Rogers
Popular though it may have been, I have no memory of Steve Barker's Outpost. I know I've seen it, I know Ray Stevenson was in it, and I know there were Nazi zombies of some sort, but I fail to recall any of the specifics. Having skipped the sequel altogether, I was surprised to learn of the existence of Outpost III: Rise of the Spetsnaz. Still, with the promise of WWII action and Spetsnaz zombies (Nazi zombies are so clichéd) I was game to give it a shot.
Where the original Outpost had (my favourite Punisher and fun Dexter guest star) Ray Stevenson and the sequel had (the oddly cast, but fine) Richard Coyle in the lead, here we have no notable names save for a chap I recognise from Emmerdale. Series writer and director Barker has also departed, leaving us firmly in cheap, straight-to-DVD territory.
A prequel to the previous two films, Rise of the Spetsnaz travels back in time to the early days of World War II, where the Nazis are hard at work creating an army of super soldiers to turn the tides of war. Oh, those Nazis; always with the bloody super soldiers. Where's Captain America when you need him? Or the Punisher? (battering Dark Elves in the latest Thor film, on both counts). When a team of Spetsnaz break into an underground Nazi bunker, Russia's finest are pitted against the inevitable Nazi zombie force. In spite of the title's promise, Outpost 3 hasn't quite shed the sheen of cliché, then. After seeing Dead Snow, Iron Sky and War of the Dead, I will admit to being a tad tired of genre Nazis. In spite of the good faith earned by its predecessors (I may not remember the first, but it is hailed by some as being really rather good) Rise of the Spetsnaz does little to leaven the genre slump.
Dark and dingy, it's all very gloomy and serious. Admittedly, so were the first two, meaning that there shouldn't be much of a tonal shift between instalments. It could do with lightening up somewhat – both literally and in terms of tone – but it's otherwise passable for its action and scenes of zombie horror. While the production values are far from great, they're competent enough to make Rise of the Spetsnaz an easy watch. The faster zombies keeps the pace quick, the action frantic. Like Nazis, zombies have become overexposed in recent years, but this isn't a particularly bad outing for either of the genre stalwarts.
Fans of the series should enjoy this third outing. More casual acquaintances shouldn't have a bad time with it either, even if it is occasionally too dour and dull. Whatever its faults might be, it surely didn't deserve to languish for so long without a UK DVD release (it's not out until March 2014) – if anything, it sets up a sense of anticipation that proves to be quite unhelpful.
Cheap and unnecessary, Rise of the Spetsnaz breathes, little, if any life into the tired Nazi zombie subgenre. The Spetsnaz rise, alright, but not nearly high enough.
Video, Audio and Special Features:
Video, audio and special features will not be graded as this was a screener.
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