The Battery (2012)

In a land ravaged by the undead, Ben and Mickey must learn to survive each other

Writer: Jeremy Gardner
Director: Jeremy Gardner

The Battery is a classy, low budget zombie movie from Jeremy Gardner.

The film follows Ben (Gardner) and Mickey (Adam Cronheim) as they travel the countryside following a zombie uprising of unspecified detail. Ben has adapted to post-apocalyptic life and seems to be in his element hunting his dinner and picking off zombies. Mickey on the other hand hides from reality behind the music from a portable CD player and wants only to find somewhere safe to settle down.

The two characters are well written and acted and their relationship believable. The trouble is the story: there isn’t one. I like character based drama, but it needs to be character based in narrative rather than just slice of life. Even if the life is a post-apocalyptic one.

For the first half an hour of The Battery, nothing happens. Then the pair pick up a radio broadcast from what appears to be a survivor community. The community makes it clear that they don’t want new members, but Mickey is determined to find and join them. At this point I thought the real story was going to start but no: it’s just a digression. The characters wander around aimlessly for another 30 minutes or so until they encounter a member of the community. Again this is an aside, although it does set up the final act which is certainly intense if nothing else.

There is an interesting potential story in The Battery involving the community, but Gardner has deliberately decided to leave that on one side, concentrating on the two outsiders. Some people would say that’s fair enough because The Battery is character driven; I disagree. The film is character based, certainly, but it’s not character driven because it doesn’t go anywhere.

The result is a well directed, classy film with great characters but devoid of interest.

The Battery succeeds totally in what it’s trying to do. Which, for me, was the problem.