A zombie apocalpyse movie. A drama, thriller, adventure, part-comedy… whatever it is, it leaves a big impression in your mind. This, ladies and gentlemen, is how to do an apocalypse movie, with zombies.
Release date: 04 Jun 2013 (US)
Director Jeremy Gardner
Starring: Jeremy Gardner, Adam Cronheim
Rotten Tomatoes says 80% for this movie.
The Battery. A low budget zombie horror that focuses on two former baseball players thrown together in order to survive. Right off the bat (excuse me) I will say this, if the director and cast and crew had more money, say a couple of million like most modern cinema, then this could have been perhaps ten times more intense, thrilling and built-on.
So, we have 2 former baseball players surviving the back alleys and woods of New England. Most of the film is spent in the wilderness fishing and just trying to get by. The main characters Ben and Mickey are the forefront, highlight characters who this apocalypse character study focuses on. Their relationship goes from this intense, not-really-that-happy to a hard boiled, emotional rollercoaster. I couldn’t believe some of the actions of the pair.
There is hope. There are few zombies. As we learn what each character likes and dislikes and their general behaviour, we begin to notice how much of the world has gone, and what little remains. Staying in buildings is unsafe, Ben and Mickey sleep and travel in a small car. I was impressed by the realism of the survival of the pair, both carrying rucksacks of essentials and sleeping in a very comfortable looking boot. When zombie films try to depict large, scathing bases or near-death attempts to find a safe haven, they overlook the everyday, and the basics. For this reason, the movie is already above most others. Eating tuna from metal tins, fishing and drinking bottled water.
The film doesn’t shy away from the profane, our survivors don’t mind raiding those houses and stealing gear, but it’s survival isn’t it? I watched the movie with patience, enjoying the journey of Ben and Mickey, even the disturbing tactics that Ben employs to try and get Mickey to kill a zombie. It is a slow burn movie, and you need to be patient and appreciate what this has to offer.
The second half of the movie is where the horror builds, and where our characters relationship has been leading. I won’t spoil it too much, but throughout there has been minimal walkie talkie contact with a mysterious enclave, which give clear instructions to ignore any messages received from Ben or Mickey. Until Mickey goes convincing himself that this enclave is friendly. It takes them stopping on the road, to retrieve fuel from an abandoned vehicle, for them to really realise how much of a mistake they have made by attempting to contact this ‘group’. We don’t see them, and that is another shining star in this movie. There is a lot of suggestion and tension, which works extremely well. Camera angles and shots allow us to see 1 point of view at a time, beautifully shot I may add, with some great landscapes of New England.
Overall, this movie would in my opinion appeal to real-true zombie apocalypse fans. Appealing to those with patience and an appreciation of good artistic style. Bonus: The script and chemistry between the lead characters is almost flawless, minor a couple of lines. I will award this groundbreaking, genre-shifting movie a huge: