22nd Jul2014

‘The Battery’ Review

by Paul Metcalf

Stars: Jeremy Gardner, Adam Cronheim, Niels Bolle, Alana O’Brien, Jamie Pantanella, Larry Fessenden, Kelly McQuade | Written and Directed by Jeremy Gardner

the-battery-cast

You can either love or hate zombies but the fact is they are one of the monsters that just refuse to lay down and die (again).  A part of pop culture they are part of one of the most popular television shows in the form of The Walking Dead and have a strong influence in the gaming world with games such as Left 4 Dead.  One of the problems though is they tend to lack originality, they need something to refresh them…could The Battery be the movie to do this?

The Battery focuses on two baseball players Ben (Jeremy Gardner) and Mickey (Adam Cronheim).  Forced together for survival they survive day-to-day on mutual hate and the need to stay alive.  Sticking to back roads and forests they find the best way to survive is to stay away from other forms of society, and most importantly stay away from any signs of zombies.  When Mickey makes contact with a woman though on his radio he feels the need to find her, even though warned away by the community she appears to be a part of.  Will this spectre of the woman in their future see an end to their survival?

The Battery is a film that wants you to think it’s a zombie movie, but in truth it is about human nature and survival.  Ben is a character who is simply an asshole who hates society and seems to thrive on the fact that he can kill zombies and stay the hell away from anything else with a pulse everybody else (other than Mickey of course).  Mickey in contrast has a need for other company other than Ben, he has a naïvety of the situation he is in and often walks straight into danger much to the annoyance of Ben.  Ben even pushes him into dangerous situations just to try and make him wake up to the situation they are in.

Even though we see the zombies that have invested the world that Ben and Mickey must survive to a point they are just there, constantly in the background.  While Ben keeps a control the creatures are little trouble, which shows the weakness of “the Battery” that the two are.  Mickey has no self-awareness in a world so ready to consume him, he is the weakness that in the end could destroy them, but there is Ben always ready to protect him.  It’s a bromance doomed to fail, but what else do you expect when the apocalypse hits? Everything will fail, that is the dystopian future zombies create.

For most of the film we are pulled into the little community that is Ben and Mickey, Jeremy Gardner and Adam Cronheim play the characters with a feel of being real believable people trapped in a world out of control.  These two men aren’t going through the movie to realise that they are heroes, this isn’t about a personal journey, just survival.  The fact that a woman’s voice comes between them pulls them back into the danger of society, a society that controlled by zombies and lack of control.  The way to survive is obviously to stay out of communities and stay in small groups.  Humans are the food source, so in small groups the zombies are more than likely to not be intensive in their assault.  Move into the community then you are a herd of cows waiting for the slaughter.

The Battery has effective scenes because of its focus on the two characters and the effect the zombie apocalypse has on them.  They may hate each other at times but the fact is they keep each other alive.  They’ve done it before we meet them and use these past experiences to help them survive.  If I get anything from the enjoyable experience that is The Battery, it’s to be an asshole and keep away from other people, it’ll keep you alive.  Let the others become zombie cuisine instead.  The Battery may not be the best zombie film released over the past few years, but it’s a refreshing take on a subject that is always popular with horror fans and doesn’t just take the easy route to be just another zombie movie.

The Battery is available on DVD and Digital now from Metrodome.

****½  4.5/5

Review originally posted on PissedOffGeek
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