DVD Review: Outpost III: Rise of the Spetsnaz (2013)

Outpost  III: Rise of the Spetsnaz DVD CoverDistributor: Entertainment One

BBFC Classification: 18

Director: Rae Brunton

Starring: Bryan Larkin, Michael McKell, Iván Kamarás, Vivien Taylor

The first Outpost film was an atmospheric Nazi zombie tale that set the right tone but felt rather dull when put up against the far superior (and faster paced) Dead Snow, whereas Outpost II: Black Sun made that first film seem like Dawn of the Dead, such was the sheer boredom and slightly obnoxious tone that it set. So to say that Outpost III: Rise of the Spetsnaz was hotly anticipated would be slightly overdoing it.

So it’s pleasing to report that, on a surface level at least, the third film in the series is an improvement. This time around somebody saw fit to drop the high(er) concept plot elements of the second film – which really wasn’t as deep or meaningful as the makers no doubt thought it was – and go for straight-up horror/action over trying to be clever (the fact that the film was set in 1945 and the Spetsnaz didn’t come into being as a unit until 1950 should tell you how clever it is). Playing as a prequel, the story is a simple one of a Russian unit in WWII getting captured by the Nazis and taken to an underground lair where the German soldiers are experimenting on soldiers in an attempt to create an undead army to unleash upon the world. So what do the Russians do? They try and escape without being turned into zombie food. Simple as that.

The washed-out, almost sepia look of the film does enhance the atmosphere a little bit and give the film a sense of time and place, and the gore level is more than adequate and suitably gooey, but it’s the pacing that needed fixing and this time around they got it right – or at least, they made it better. Once the Russian soldiers are taken underground the film really gets going and doesn’t stop for breath as bodies get gunned down left, right and centre, which may seem a little superficial but is preferable to the coma-inducing dreariness of the previous film and, at 83 minutes of machine guns and munched body parts, flies by without testing your patience. Despite the seemingly high praise, Outpost III: Rise of the Spetsnaz isn’t actually a great film but it is an entertaining one if you just want something to satisfy your bloodlust in under 90 minutes, and coming off the back of the turd that was Outpost II: Black Sun it feels positively award-winning.

Outpost  III: Rise of the Spetsnaz

Special Features: The Making of Outpost III: Rise of the Spetsnaz featurette.

UK Release Date: 31st March 2014

Entertainment One – Website

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