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Friday, October 29, 2010

Outpost Doom (2009) - Horror Monster

Outpost Doom (2009) - There are two guys running through the woods with bad rain effects, accentuated by poor lightning effects while being chased by a cameraman wiggling his fingers in front of the camera. It is a creative idea making due with what is available. This is the beginning of Outpost Doom, the micro budget film from the guys at Dead Lantern, and the world famous Splattercast (podcast). Before starting this review let me say that I love the Splattercast podcast, I listen to every episode and so I am a fan. I appreciate that these guys not only share a love of the horror genre, but get off their asses and put time and creativity into creating their own flick and podcast. There should be credit given to small film makers for the effort and energy they put into these projects. Eh... its sounding like I am apologizing before ripping their movie apart, not really my intention but since I already know I did not really like the movie but like the guys so it is hard. Okay I will approach it as a viewer who loves horror movies and let the cards fall where they fall.
The two guys, convicts Curt (Steve Eaton) and Rick (Jeremy Cech) from the first scene, make it to a barn and then for some unknown reason the pass out like synchronized swimmers. When Kurt wakes up again he sees a headless body then Rick comes and beats the shit out of him. Kurt is tied to a beam and Rick who has a glowing pentagram on his hand beats him a bit and says "You can't fool me, I know what you are." We don't! Tell us damn it what is Kurt? Apparently Kurt was somewhere and a lot of people ended up dead. Kurt denies killing anyone. Rick turns from the window, of course he should not be standing by the window, door or whatever since there is a finger monster outside. He does anyway and is grabbed from behind through the window slots by the finger monster. It really is a decent effect and works for the movie. He is saved but now he sees they are not alone in the barn there is a group of people and one has a gun. So we have a setup and I have to give some credit here, instead of having an acute crisis that brought everyone to the barn. There has been a "darkness" in the world for some time and people have ended up there from unconnected places. The body on the inside means that there is also a killer inside the barn too. Still I don't understand how they all sort of just got there and have not explored the place. I like the idea that the world is going through some kind of invasion.
The Group of players are
Convict Rick - The best actor of the bunch and very distrustful of Curt. His story about guys on the chain gang ending up dead around Curt lends to the surprise twist at the end of the story.
Convict Curt - Casually talks about being in prison for murder, excellent in that nobody batted an eye when he reveals this in fact Leon is friendly with him after this.
Leon (Jeff Gustafson) A local bar owner who knows Curt from the past. He is wonderfully animated in his line delivery compared to many of the other actors.
David (Braden Johnson) the diabetic for the purpose of getting someone to try to get to the house nearby.
Mathew Kister - I take it he was Mathew and since he does not have a character name on imdb he must have been living the movie thinking it was really happening.
Harry (Jeff Schmidt) - Has the gun at the beginning and is caring for the blind woman Helen.
Helen (Who played Helen?) My wife pegged her right away as the obvious killer and then she says to to Curt in the middle of the flick. "Why are you always looking out the window?" She is blind right?
Stu (Deejay Scharton) Should never have went out into the dark barn. He roughs up the prisoners pretty good in the beginning of the film. He has a short fuse.
Jenny (Rhyann Crooks) Our other female lead.
The guy upstairs Herb?
After establishing how much nobody trusts the two guys in prison clothes, the lights in the barn start failing. The group decides to investigate the barn, and of course they split up and of course this is not going to end well. Stu send the fainty David back to the main area of the barn, he says he can handle it but then says "Trust Me" so we will know he is about to die. When the killing starts it creates a chain reaction of distrust as the group starts getting killed off. Now we have "Ten Little Indians" and we all get to guess which person in the group is the killer.
Onward it goes with each time the groups separates someone dies. About this time my wife told me who the killer was and she was right. It seems inevitable in horror movies that this is going to happen and I always get a sinking feeling for the film when it does. Then we reconfigure the groups and send them out again for a new cast member to kick it. Shot in Black and white made the monster effect as well as the wound effect work pretty well.
The acting is well like a bunch of friends got together to act. The story by Mathew Kister was okay if a bit predictable. How much can you do in a one location shoot though? The idea that there is a outside force that has forced them all into the barn gets established pretty well. The idea of the killer among us is not very well established and the ending twist really doesn't fit in the film at all. Sticking to developing the idea of the internal killers reason for being and motivation would have benefited the overall story. It is pretty limiting and even though the barn seemed to have several rooms it seemed a limited space. Thus the dialog and actors needed to carry the story and they fell short. Glad to see the twist at the end and if my wife and daughter got their wish I would not have. At one point my wife said, "Why are you watching this?" I of course defended my boys at Dead Lantern and told her there is value in all film and each has to be judged on its... who am I kidding I shrugged my shoulder and waited for the exploding head effect.
David has a great idea in saying maybe they should not be wandering around in the dark when somebody is killing them. That doesn't happen though so they talk themselves into dying and so it goes.
"Jenny will you stop being a whiny bitch."
I liked the CGI effect of the killers face in the climax and then the final twist is just a bit too much. Overall although the movie was not... um... good I applaud the guys at Dead Lantern for the effort. So what was with Rick's glowing Pentagram, did I miss something or did that never get resolved? Why yes it was but you have to know you classic horror movie monsters to get it.
Rating (3.5) 5.0 and up are recommended, In the Zombiegrrlz rating system I say BUY IT! although I don't recommend it as a film I support low budget horror film, so throw these guys $10 bucks at came with a wonderful hand written note from Deejay that you can take to a writing specialist for analysis, or re-gift in the pipe bomb you are sending to your boss.

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