Nazis and zombies always seem to make an interesting mix for cinematic bad guys, whether it be a recent outing like Norwegian export Dead Snow or a B-classic like Shock Waves (starring Peter Cushing, no less). Sadly, they are not all winners, no matter how much we want to like them; occasionally they stumble as the meander their way to the finish line. Such is Outpost: Black Sun. Sure, it has an interesting way of creating its zombies, but the movie just mopes along, ensuring that you never have any actual emotional investment.
It turns out Outpost: Black Sun is actually a sequel. Prior to watching the film, I had no idea, although after reading about its predecessor, I am not sure it really matters not knowing it beforehand. Outpost, released back in 2008, starred Ray Stevensen (Punisher: War Zone) as the leader of a mercenary team that finds itself battling zombie Nazis in an old WWII bunker. This time out we have a young woman hunting down Nazi war criminals who ran the concentration camp her family was in.
Lena (Catherine Steadman, who resembles Maggie Gyllenhaal) is on the hunt for a Nazi named Klausener. Her search leads her to eastern Europe where she teams up with a scientist Wallace (Richard Coyle). They are not exactly after the same thing, but they are headed in the same direction. Before long, they for themselves in the middle of a firefight between a group of soldiers and some seemingly invulnerable Nazi zombies.
The two join up with the soldier squad and move onward to their objective. They wind up in a bunker where they must fight for their lives against, you guessed it, Nazi zombies. Secrets will be revealed and the set up for a third film will be laid down.
Outpost: Black Sun has a pretty big scope. It has some unexplained war going on Easter Europe with the Nazi zombies, a war criminal hunting woman, and a scientist looking for an old Nazi machine. Everything dovetails into one path, providing is our heroes and our Nazi fodder. Still, a lot of it seems unexplained, rather than feeling like a complete movie universe. I always felt one wrong turn away from walking off the set. The only reason for these people to be is the movie, for example, the soldiers know about the magnetic nature of the machine and it's effects on the zombies, evidenced by the presence of an EMP.
The biggest sin the movie commits is that it is boring. It is very slow going and the characters were just not all that interesting. I never felt any reason to care about them. Now, I like plenty of movies that do not have characters I like, but this one felt like it needed them. Lena is clearly the one meant to connect with the audience, but she is ultimately the damsel in distress; despite what you see early on, she quickly becomes the character to be saved, to be hidden from danger. It is a shame as Catherine Steadman could have the screen presence to pull off a proactive heroine. Now, without someone to root far, what else is there to keep you watching? Yes, there are the Nazi zombies, but they don't ave a lot of screen time either. Plus, the blood appears to be all CG.