Outpost: Rise of the Spetsnaz DVD Review
Written by Jayson Kennedy
DVD released by XLrator Media
Directed by Kieran Parker
Written by Rae Brunton
2013, 87 minutes, Not Rated
DVD released on March 18th, 2014
Bryan Larkin as Dolokhov
Iván Kamarás as Fyodor
Michael McKell as Strasser
Velibor Topic as Arkadi
So far, the Outpost series have been earnest entries in the Nazi's eternal screen pursuit of utilizing the undead as cannon fodder. This third offering, directed by the producer of the previous two, continues this decent yet unspectacular streak. Going back to a period piece rather than Black Sun's present day scenario, its no-frills story is one you've seen already with some missed opportunities.
A Russian squad of soldiers deep in the Eastern Front run afoul of documentation of Nazi human experimentation. Upon heavy fire, the team breaks apart with most slaughtered by their pursuers. Now only their leader Dolohov (Bryan Larkin) and comrade Fyodor (Iván Kamarás) are left alive, but in hands of Reich commander Strasser (Michael McKell). The pair are taken to an underground compound to face the very horrors contained within those top secret papers.
It's hard to expect any historical perspective from a direct-to-video horror actioner, but that could have only helped this sequel. Outpost: Rise of the Spetsnaz takes place in 1945, the year of the Third Reich's defeat, with Soviet forces integral to their undoing. This isn't touched upon at all; killing much potential weight to what little realism the film tries to imbue itself with. Dolohov is repeatedly taunted by his captors, but the Nazi's failure to capture Moscow is never brought up in response. The dire straits the German regime was in by that time also isn't capitalized on. The gist is that the Nazis are bad, the Soviets good, and we're out in the forest somewhere under German occupation.
Instead, Spetsnaz resigns itself to be a sequel that newcomers can easily enjoy without much connection to the previous features. Parker has a keen eye for the wide scope framing despite subduing once going underground in murky bunkers. Larkin makes for a strong lead as Dolohov and proves compelling even when everything settling into a simple escape-by-force formula. Some hulking genetic foes are unleashed and disappointingly Dolohov never becomes one himself. It could have been interesting to set the character up as a tragic Frankenstein figure by the conclusion.
These are ultimately minor nitpicks. Outpost: Rise of the Spetsnaz doesn't move to the series forward; however, it's a worthy addition for its skillful execution alone. Brawny action and loads of broken fascist corpses make for an enjoyable night in. Let's hope a fourth installment arrives being as modestly ambitious as Parker's efforts here.
Video and Audio:
Considering the film is only on a single-layer DVD, XLrator Media's anamorphically-enhanced 2.35:1 widescreen transfer is rock solid. Color and detail is rich without any signs of weak compression.
The Dolby 5.1 audio does a fine job showcasing the action of the atmosphere of combat and the mutliple soldier vs. Nazi freakbeast brawls.
No subtitles or captions are provided for the presentation.
Only the film's video trailer is included on this disc.