Battle of the Damned DVD Review
Written and Directed by Christopher Hatton
2013, Region 2 (PAL), 88 minutes, Rated 18 (UK)
DVD released on 26th December 2013
Dolph Lundgren as Max Gatlin
Melanie Zanetti as Jude
Matt Doran as Reece
David Field as Duke
Jen Sung as Elvis
Lydia Look as Lynn
Poor Dolph Lundgren. When he’s not fighting baddies with the rest of Sly’s Expendables team he’s forced to go face-to-face with robots and infected hordes in the sleek budget actioner Battle of the Damned. This second effort from director Christopher Hatton follows his 2011 sci-fi thriller Robotropolis and contains more than a couple of nods to his bargain bin debut. However, instead of malfunctioning mech-menaces, this time Hatton pits a group of mercenaries and unhinged survivors against a city full of infected zombie wannabes. With the bloodthirsty virus spreading fast, they’ll need a grizzled hero to get out of this sticky situation alive… Oh wait, here comes one now.
Lundgren plays Max Gatling, a toothpick-chewing soldier-for-hire who’s sent on a death-defying mission into an infected zone to retrieve the daughter of wealthy outsider. On arrival it doesn’t take long for his special ops crew to get chomped by the city’s mindless pseudo-zombie inhabitants. If we were being picky, then perhaps ‘zombie’ would be the wrong term to describe these flesh-eaters. While they certainly look the part and have appetites big enough to give Rick Grimes the willies, our guys don’t necessarily have to aim-for-the-brain to take out these walkers. After running into his mission objective, Max is brought back to a secure compound where he meets a group of survivors lead by the power-mad Duke. Pretty soon, he discovers that not all bad guys are infected with a blood thirsty disease...
While undoubtedly a B-Movie, Battle of the Damned makes the most of its assets and creates some gritty and tense action sequences that do wonders in lifting it above its station. Roger Chingirian’s keen eye for smart cinematography makes for a couple of eyebrow raising shots and while Hatton’s sophomore feature was surely produced on a shoestring budget, it’s hard to find fault with any of his robo-characters. Meanwhile, Lundgren uses his trademark action man pout and tough guy expertise to provide plenty of sizzle reel fodder and poster op poses aimed at lifting the piece from direct-to-DVD anonymity.
The end result is something you might get recommended by Netflix after a drunken, late night viewing of Universal Soldier. If you’re an action fan, Battle of the Damned is a harmless way to kill a couple of hours but it you’re looking for a decent horror (and if you’re a regular HorrorTalk reader then perhaps you are) you might want to look elsewhere.
Video and Audio:
Great, had no problems with either.
There are no special features available on this disc.