Battle of the Damned (2013)
Boku and Vividthree films
Written and Directed by Christopher Hatton
Runtime – 89 minutes
Major Max Gatling is hired to stroll into no-mans-land to locate and retrieve the daughter (Jude. Cue music* Hey Jude make a sad song and make it better. Sorry – got distracted!) of the one man (supposedly) responsible for unleashing a deadly epidemic upon a small middle- eastern Township (Malaysia perhaps, but shot somewhere in Singapore) which no one is allowed to enter or leave. Quarantine status, exactly!
What we have here folks is another zombie flick, althought technically it’s not a zombie flick as one of the main cast members in an early scene points out. However, the one major difference is that this stars Russian boxing phenom Drago, rather than the action star of the month (who is it this month? Let me check my calendar) who is better know as Dolph Lundgren of Rocky IV and more recently The Expendables fame. Obviously not billed as ‘Drago’ here.
When most of his team is torn into shrrds and /or chomped upon Max has a choice. Leave or soldier on. And Max being Max he takes the later. After locating Jude (in record time in the locales equivalent to Circle K no less) he’s escorted to ‘headquarters’ and meets the rest of her team. Wait. She has a team, yep and the folks at the United colors of Beneton would be proud!
Duke is the mastermind. But he has a untrustworthy look about him as if he knows something the others don’t. The film gets more intriguing still. Enter a small squadron of space age robots. Huh-? So this film now has (“not”) zombies, robots (these guys were lucky a nearby factory had some to spare), one walks on all fours with a seductive strippers gait, and a kick ass action star. Check off all of the above, not no dragons I am dissapointed! ..”Zombies, killer robots. Nice town you got here!” Dolph nails it!
The film progresses. Tensions get high, a love interest makes itself known and the robots prove themselves to be a damn site more helpful than the rubber hose faceted tin can showcased in the film Lost in Space (Danger, Will Robinson. Danger!).
Naturally this film won’t be blanketed in awards anytime soon and it doesn’t contain nearly as much spilled guts and scenes dripping in torn flesh that I would normally associate with the genre. Regardless, Battle of the Damned still, somehow, remains a fun waste of ninety minutes. Even though at times there were a few instances where I could be heard yelling at the screen in dismay. Seriously, I should write screenplays, if only I wasn’t such a lazy POS. Here is only one of my peeves…Why when faced with the ravenous undead do people still prefer projectiles over blades, I honestly can’t fathom why. Sure it looks cool, but does perishing with a smoking gun (minus bullets) in your grasp still make one look badass? Shit, I’d prefer to perish covered in blood, a mountain of severed appendages sweat and feces (what-?!) atop a singing crimson blade (huh?). Betcha didn’t know my other cinamatic love is martial arts featuring weapons, huh?
To Hone it to a fine point (another blade analogy) Dolph is a badass, the fight scenes could do with a tad more creativity and polishing, the gore is minimal, the dialogue is naff at times, the acting is more than halfway decent, the storyline is easy to follow (even by my standards) and the robots appear from outta nowheresville. In fact their appearance is somewhat reminiscent of the swarm (probably not the word I should use. “A murder…”. Yea that has a ring to it!) of Rocs in the Lord of the Rings movies when the films heros are perched precariously atop a tree draped in flame about to be utilized as toothpicks by a horde of chuckling Orcs. (Ha! Another nod to a Peter Jackson film. Can I be stopped?).
Yes, Battle of the Damned has its faults but as far as Lundgren movies go it isn’t half bad, not brilliant but still utterly watchable.
So what are you waiting for?
Break out the mind altering substances a bunch of co-conspirators and check this puppy out!
Your slave to cinema falling asleep under mountains of dust, often times ignored in favor of multi-million dollar opuses.
Fuck the mainstream, support originality and the ‘small’ guys!!
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