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Outpost: Black Sun Blu-ray + DVD Combo Pack Review

Outpost: Black Sun (2012) Blu-ray + DVD Combo Pack cover art -- click to buy from Amazon.com Outpost: Black Sun

US Video Debut: November 6, 2012 / Running Time: 101 Minutes / Rating: Not Rated

Director: Steve Barker / Writers: Steve Barker, Rae Brunton

Cast: Catherine Steadman (Lena Jonas), Richard Coyle (Wallace), Daniel Caltagirone (Macavoy), Ali Craig (Hall), Gary McDonald (Abbott), Nick Nevern (Carlisle), Johnny Meres (Gotz), Julian Wadham (Dr. Francis Grant Hunt), Michael Byrne (Armand Rauch/General Neurath), Clive Russell (Marius), David Gant (Herr Klausener), John Kazek (Muir)

2.40:1 Widescreen (DVD Anamorphic)
BD: 5.1 DTS-HD MA (English); DVD: Dolby Digital 5.1 (English), Dolby Surround 2.0 (English)
Subtitles (Blu-ray only): English for Hearing Impaired / DVD Closed Captioned; Extras Not Subtitled
Suggested Retail Price: $20.99 / Two single-sided discs (1 BD-25 & 1 DVD-9) / Blue Eco-Friendly Keepcase
Also available as standalone DVD ($14.99 SRP)

Buy Outpost: Black Sun from Amazon.com: Blu-ray + DVD DVD

What's worse than Nazis and zombies? Why, Nazi zombies, of course! Outpost: Black Sun is the second horror film to feature such a combination and as the colon suggests, the first was its predecessor, 2008's Outpost.
Like that small British horror film, this one has gone direct to video in the United States, its subtitle obscured as if you might mistakenly buy this instead of the original.

In the present day, a young American woman named Lena (Catherine Steadman, commendably hiding her accent) has been hunting war criminals since childhood. Her sights are set on a Nazi scientist named Klausener, whose elimination she expects to fulfill her calling. On a tip from a dying death camp general (Michael Byrne, no stranger to Nazi roles) in Paraguay, Lena heads to Eastern Europe. There, she teams up with a rival adventurer in a physicist named Wallace (Richard Coyle). Working to find Klausener for the past ten years, he reveals to Lena that they are up against something out of this world: a machine that allows dead Nazis to remain living.

Lena and Wallace join forces with a UK army, led by the cynical Scotsman MacAvoy (Daniel Caltagirone). Naturally, their often heated mission to find and eradicate this machine and the evil men behind it brings them into contact with said Nazi zombies.

Lena (Catherine Steadman) is hunting for Nazi war criminals. Wallace (Richard Coyle) reveals to Lena that reports of some Nazi camp commanders' deaths have been greatly exaggerated.

Black Sun brings back director Steve Barker, who also shares screenplay credit with returning scribe Rae Brunton. The original Outpost marked each's feature debut and they seem to treat the material with affection. A direct-to-video horror movie with a cover like Outpost: Black Sun's lowers your expectations considerably. That works in its advantage, though, because the film is not quite as gruesome, vapid, and amateurish as you expect.

The acting is better than it has any reason to be. On a technical level, Barker's direction is competent. But the movie never overcomes the limits of its premise, as there's only so much interest to be generated
in conflict between a vaguely defined group armed with the power of electromagnetism and their mindless, soulless opponents. Don't expect to find any WWII history or military strategy here. There are guns. There are zombies. And there is a scientist tied up in cords and subjected to shocks.

Maybe there's enough to Nazi zombies to warrant one movie, but this one is more than pushing it and for some unknown reason, Parker and Brunton have already shot a third, titled Outpost: Rise of the Spetsnaz and scheduled for release next year. If there is an audience for these movies, it doesn't seem to be in the United States, although to my surprise, XLrator Media's Blu-ray + DVD Combo Pack, released today, has a four-figure sales Rank on Amazon, who is now out of stock as a reflection of demand exceeding supply.

VIDEO and AUDIO

Outpost: Black Sun looks good on Blu-ray. The 2.40:1 widescreen transfer shows some slight digital video grain early on, but otherwise remains clean and sharp, but dark. The 5.1 DTS-HD master audio mix is equally strong, with gunfire and action engulfing you where appropriate.

Producer Kieran Parker discusses "Outpost: Black Sun" in a making-of featurette. The "Outpost: Black Sun" main menu is filthy on DVD (seen here) and Blu-ray.

BONUS FEATURES, MENUS, PACKAGING and DESIGN

Each disc contains just two basic extras.

A short making-of featurette (5:06, SD) draws comments from producer Kieran Parker, director Steve Barker, and stars Catherine Steadman and Richard Coyle, the latter of whom provides a little set tour. Spiced up with handful of behind the scene clips, the piece focuses on this sequel's story, while touching briefly on financing.

An Outpost: Black Sun trailer (2:05, HD) is also included.

The discs opens with trailers (HD) for other low-budget horror movies: The Thompsons, Bigfoot: The Lost Coast Tapes, Greystone Park, and Gangsters, Guns and Zombies.

The menu plays clips from the film under a layer of filth, the significance of which is unclear.

The uniquely-labeled discs claim opposite sides of an eco-friendly Blu-ray case, joined by no inserts or slipcover.

Missing scientist Francis Hunt (Julian Wadham) finds himself tangled up in Nazi machine cords. Bolts of electricity turn a Nazi zombie blue.

CLOSING THOUGHTS

Though more polished than I expected, Outpost: Black Sun is a dull and lifeless horror movie. The only way it'd be worthy of your time is if you enjoyed the movie that it follows and even that is no guarantee. The Blu-ray combo pack is low-priced and lightweight, adding nothing unexpected to the lackluster film.

Buy Outpost: Black Sun from Amazon.com: Blu-ray + DVD / DVD

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Reviewed November 6, 2012.



Text copyright 2012 DVDizzy.com. Images copyright 2012 XLrator Media, Content Media Corporation International, Creative Scotland, Matador Pictures,
Cinema Two, Regent Capital, VTR Media Investments Ltd., Creative Film Finances, and Black Camel Pictures. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.