Outpost: Black Sun (2012)

War In Hell

Writers: Steve Barker, Rae Brunton
Director: Steve Barker

Outpost: Black Sun (aka Outpost 2) is a follow-up to the Nazi zombie movie Outpost (2007), however it’s a stand-alone film in its own right; you don’t need to know anything about the original and the only returning character is Hunt (Julian Wadham).

The story begins in Paraguay with Nazi hunter Lena (Catherine Steadman) investigating an old people’s home. From there the acton switches to Eastern Europe where she meets up with scientist Wallace (Richard Coyle). Their separate research has led them both to an area where unkillable, undead Nazi soldiers (not really zombies) are emerging from an old underground bunker. Their field of influence is rapidly expanding and Lena & Wallace join up with a Special Ops team led by Macavoy (Daniel Caltagirone) to try and neutralise the source.

No great shocks there, but to my surprise the beginning was really classy. The Paraguay scenes where stylish done and visually effective with a sepia-ish colour palette that Barker maintains throughout the film. The opening title sequence is also smartly effective as it recaps the back story efficiently. By this point I was thinking that maybe Outpost: Black Sun was going to turn into something unexpected.

It did, but not in a good way. Things start going downhill fast when the special ops team enter. They’re unpleasant and unsympathetic characters for whom the mission and survival are all that matters – possibly realistic but not enjoyable to watch. From here on any element of subtlety is lost as the story turns into an extended fire fight. Lots of combat, few likeable characters, no suspense or atmosphere.

Things get even worse when we reach the bunker. We get assorted cliches and a final confrontation that is unbelievable in every respect. There is a hint at something deeper with Hunt as Prometheus, but it’s hard to take this seriously under the circumstances.

The film’s not helped by the acting. Of the three main characters Steadman is excellent but Caltagirone is unconvincing and Coyle uncharacteristically wooden, perhaps because his main role is walking infodump.

The film looks incongruously gorgeous all the way, but that can’t save the increasingly ridiculous script.

So unfortunately Outpost: Black Sun is a film that starts well but then slides rapidly downhill.