Outpost III: Rise of the Spetsnaz
Third instalment in the Nazi zombie series, starring Bryan Larkin and Michael McKell
Outpost was part of the first wave of the current mini-craze for Nazi zombie movies (the genre has also spawned Dead Snow, Nazis at the Center of the Earth and War of the Dead) and has become Scotland’s most successful horror franchise weighing in with a third instalment.
Anyone following the series might have expected a direct continuation following the set up at the end of part two (Black Sun) but Rise of the Spetsnaz is actually a prequel set during World War II (Spetsnaz are the Russian special forces for those not clued up on their military terminology). The nasty Nazis are up to their usual dastardly tricks mixing the supernatural with arcane technology to create an army of super soldiers. Despite the period setting it's business as usual as a squad of Russians are pitted against undead fascists in an underground bunker as the Germans try to perfect their nefarious experiments.
With producer and story credits on the first two instalments Kieran Parker makes his directorial debut and you can tell he knows the Outpost films inside and out. This is a plus - in terms of style and pace it slots in seamlessly with the previous movies - and also a minus: the film's muted, muddy, khaki colour scheme has made the series rather monotonous. However it's probably the most action packed yet with plenty of claret flowing and multiple zombie fatalities. Bryan Larkin makes for an imposing, hulking heroic lead while Michael McKell grimaces and oozes the appropriate level of malevolence as the villainous German commandant. However the whole series can take itself just a bit too seriously, the whole enterprise needs a shot of humour befitting the absurdity of the Nazi zombie concept. Though the ending leaves things open for yet another sequel so expect the Fourth Reich to rise from beyond the grave yet again …
Screening at Filmhouse, Thu 27 Jun, and Cineworld, Sat 29 Jun as part of Edinburgh International Film Festival.