Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Battle of the Damned - Lundgren, infected and robots

A contagious virus escapes from a research facility turning people into flesh eating killers. The city is quarantined and a soldier and his team are hired to rescue his daughter.

Christopher Hatton writes and directs this low budget science fiction romp that fuses two sub-genre subjects, the modern zombie-infected and Robots. Coincidently it shares the same basic concept as Zombie Massacre (2013) and elements from a lesser known zombie film Severed: Forest of the Dead (2005).

Shaky camera shots aside it's a b-film that has atmosphere thanks to the unusual Malaysian location and interesting architecture. The generic costume design fittingly works, the music by Joe Ng and Ting Si Hao although borrowing from many sci-fi films is excellent. The violence is aplenty, with the gun and abundance of knife play being effective enough.

There's no small Dolph Lundgren cameo it's very much is his film focusing on his Max Gatling character throughout. Both actresses Oda Maria as Anna and Melanie Zanetti as Jude are notable with the rest of the cast being adequate given Hatton's limited script. The zombies sadly are not the slow shambling kind and the robot CGI effects are a mixed bag. Nevertheless, the relationship between both the main robot (voiced by Tim Cooper) and Max is quiet interesting and humorous. Beneath the low end production there is quite a good story even if it swaps development, depth and pacing for action.

Don't expect too much, Hatton has a lot on his hands juggling all the high concept elements coherently and keeps it linear but what is on offer is the infected, robots and soldier high-jinks and basically that's what it delivers.