I think we would all agree that the following conditions must be met for a film to be considered a success: it must be entertaining, have a comprehensible plot and be populated with interesting characters. But sometimes a film comes along that fails to meet even one of those conditions.Outpost 3: Rise of the Spetsnaz is one of those films.
An internet search will explain that Outpost 3 is about a group of Russian Spetsnaz soldiers who take part in a ferocious gladiatorial battle with zombie soldiers during WWII. The fact that this supposed ‘battle’ takes up approximately 5 minutes of the entire film is apparently unimportant. The film shows that the zombie soldiers that appeared in the first two Outpost films are the result of a group of Nazi scientists who are conducting a series of bizarre experiments on soldiers. The Spetsnaz, led by Dolokhov (Brian Larkin), are taken captive by Nazi Captain Strasser (Michael McKell) and forced to fight zombies in order to escape their underground prison.
We never learn anything about any of the characters in Outpost 3, and none of the soldiers have an ounce of charisma, which makes it difficult to care about what happens to them. The only actor who seems to be putting in much effort is McKell, even though he seems to be merely doing a poor man’s impression of Christoph Waltz’s Hans Landa from Inglourious Basterds. The performance must surely be bordering on some kind of creative plagiarism. One particularly grating character comes in the form of American soldier Rogers, played by Ben Lambert. It’s no fault of Lambert’s, but the character seems to have been an attempt on the writer’s part to create a ‘charismatic yet obnoxious Yank’, and Rogers just comes across as annoying. It’s a relief that he doesn’t stick around for long.
There are a couple of positive aspects to Outpost 3. First of all, the cinematography and production design is quite impressive, and the film therefore looks pretty great. The make-up and CGI used to create the zombie soldiers is also well done, and while the zombies unfortunately never come across as scary, they still look incredibly real. It has to be said, the makers of Outpost 3 have done relatively well considering what must have been quite a tight budget. But does that excuse the film for having bland characters and an uninteresting plot? It may have been more excusable if the filmmakers had embraced the silliness of what they were doing and somehow made the film fun to watch, but unfortunately they didn’t. Check it out if you like mindless zombie films and aren’t searching for logic or character development. Everyone else steer clear.
Review Score: ONE AND A HALF STARS (OUT OF FIVE)
Runtime: 83 Minutes
Outpost 3: Rise of the Spetsnaz is available for rental and purchase from today.