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Nazis are jerks (even when they’re dead): “Outpost 2: Black Sun”

October 16, 2013

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When we last saw the Nazis they were dicking around on the moon and making ham-handed political commentary five years too late (apparently invading Poland is easier than making a trenchant political joke). When we last saw Nazi zombie, on the other hand, they were pretty much destroying a team of mercenaries holed up in an abandoned bunker, in the 2007 movie Outpost. Well, five years has not made those undead ghouls any more mellow. As we see from the sequel Outpost 2: Black Sun, Nazi zombies pretty much never get tired of being colossal dickbags.

Outpost 2: Black Sun doesn’t do much in the way of recapping the last movie, so I’ll do it here: a company dude hires some mercs to take him to a World War 2-era bunker deep in Eastern Europe. He wants the secret technology contained deep in its bowels. Unfortunately, that technology is some kind of science-mumbo jumbo that brings Nazis back from the dead and makes them unkillable. The mercs fight valiantly, but, as you’d expect when dealing with Nazi zombies, they all get wiped out overnight (hey, they still held out longer than France).

That sound you heard was France surrendering.

That sound you heard was France surrendering.

The sequel opens up this world a little bit by following cute Nazi-hunter Lena (Catherine Steadman), who  gets a line on said bunker after she confronts a geriatric Nazi hiding out in Paraguay. Arriving in the unnamed, un-located town in Eastern Europe, she hooks up with an old, um, friend maybe? Colleague? They never quite make it clear, but it’s some dude named Wallace (Richard Coyle). Wallace is an engineer, and he’s making a beeline for the bunker. He doesn’t want Lena to come with him, but hey, she’s cute.

Ah, but there’s another problem. Wallace knows what’s what with that bunker, and he also knows that the Nazi zombies are spreading out, threatening to overrun the rural towns in the vicinity. The science-magic field that keeps them indestructible is spreading too. To combat them, NATO has been sending in troops, but they’re having less luck than the Colonial Marines did against the aliens on LV-426. I mean, at least they killed some of the aliens before getting thoroughly curb-stomped.

"I hope Hugo Boss will makes our new uniforms. Or should we go with Versace?"

“Think Hugo Boss will make our new uniforms? Or should we get Versace?”

Lena and Wallace go in—him to get the tech, and she to track down an infamous Nazi war criminal–and stumble into a UK team on a mission to cook off a electro-magnetic pulse, which they hope will neutralize the science-magic field and make the Nazi zombies vulnerable.

Well, the team is fine with having an engineer with them, but the cute girl cuts no ice, so they take off without her (seems to me like a waste of a cute girl, but hey, what do I know), but they end up reunited anyway in the very bunker they’re searching for. Here, the movie pretty much hits the same beats as the original, with the soldiers trying to find some safety in a bunker swarming with Nazi zombies.

"I see nothingggg!"

“I see nothingggg!”

Adding some tension to the situation is the fact that NATO’s plan B is a nuclear strike (hey, all those Cold War contingencies came in handy after all), so that kind of puts a clock on the action. So, as the soldiers fight an increasingly-desperate battle against the Nazi zombies, Wallace works feverishly to cripple the machine.

Outpost 2: Black Sun is, in many ways, as effective as its predecessor. It uses the same gloomy, claustrophobic setting, and gets mileage out of keeping its monsters mostly in shadow, rendering them silhouettes which play on our familiarity with World War 2 German military uniforms—greatcoats, ponchos, those distinctive helmets. But giving it a more defined storyline, it makes most of the soldiers less distinct. We know Wallace and Lena, but the UK soldiers are just “that one guy who’s a jerk” and “that other guy, who’s less of a jerk.”

Oh, and the climactic fight is a bit of a misstep as a character from the first film shows up and has somehow become Emperor Palpatine.

When in doubt, just have some dude shoot lightning from his fingers.

When in doubt, just have some dude shoot lightning from his fingers.

Still, Outpost: Black Sun is s solid a B-horror flick as its predecessor and a good reminder that the only thing worse than Nazis are Nazi zombies. You know, in case we needed reminding of that.

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