THE BATTERY | HORROR REVIEW

Oops to THE BATTERY slipping through the cracks – we are a month or two late in posting the review, apologies to Accent Film and Gryphon Entertainment. But you can rest assured it is well and truly out on DVD at the moment. Kernel Mitch hit this one up and he was not a huge fan. I am going to watch this one though – I love the trailer, I love all things zombie and this looks like yet another new take on the genre. I am up for it. From what I have found online it appears to have been made for $6000-???? Is this even possible? I want to see it for that alone – it has been winning quite a few genre awards awards and while a lot of them are probably coming from the effort alone, the trailer looks pretty cool. Add to that Mark L. Miller from Ain’t It Cool News calls it “The best Zombie film in quite a few years.” I am piqued. But I do not wish to detract from Mitch’s review, he knows his horror!! If you want to know more you can visit the Facebook page for THE BATTERY HERE and you can also buy it on DVD HERE. Enjoy Mitch’s humorous review below………all the best………JK.

 

THE BATTERY UK MOVIE POSTER IMAGE
THE BATTERY | SALTY POPCORN HORROR REVIEW | UK MOVIE POSTER

 

REVIEW BY MITCH LEWIS

The Battery is not a movie about a battery or batteries, or a biopic on Alessandro Volta, whom everyone knows as the inventor of the battery. No, The Battery is a road-trip movie that focuses on the hopeless relationship between two baseball teammates Ben and Mickey, an unlikely duo who have been tolerating each other’s company after a zombie apocalypse has all but destroyed human existence.

Duh. Baseball. (Editor’s Note: Australians really have limited to no clue or interest in baseball – just like the U.S. (and JK) is the same with cricket :))

Disclaimer: There is actually at least one or several references to, or scenes including the use of and the need for, a battery and/or batteries for the purpose of powering electronic devices featured in this film, The Battery… which is not about batteries.

If you have made it this far into this review, congratulations, you have been more entertained than if you were to watch The Battery. It’s not that it’s a particularly horrible film, which it’s not, it’s just suuuuch a sloooooow moving slice of life that when it’s sold to you under the guise of a quirky zombie flick, you find yourself confused and disappointed by the lack of zombies, the lack of zombie intimidation and scares and the presence of living human drama and painful on-screen chemistry.

 

THE BATTERY MOVIE IMAGE
THE BATTERY | SALTY POPCORN HORROR REVIEW | BEN (JEREMY GARDNER) AND MICKEY (ADAM CRONHEIM) TRAPPED IN THE CAR

 

The Battery stars Jeremy Gardner as Ben and Adam Cronheim as Mickey. Ben is your generously bearded alpha-male who embraces the off-the-cuff, back-to-nature lifestyle of the apocalypse whereas Mickey cannot accept that life as he knew it has ended and the material and emotional things that he longs for, are gone. Jeremy Gardner is also the writer and director of the film and while he certainly has an eye for scenic visuals and a solid taste in music, he struggles to make the movie feel like it’s moving any faster than the zombies he should be running from but isn’t because they are slower than a one-legged dog on tranquillisers.

Let’s get one thing clear first up, The Battery is certainly not a horror film. It is not scary. There are zombies in it occasionally but they are like cockroaches, you may jump when you first see one but then you let out a sigh of relief before either ignoring it or splattering its guts all over the floor. These are not your 28 Days Later zombies, these are your classic, moan and shuffle zombies, as supported by the fact that they can be out-walked, not outran but literally out-walked. There is a rather entertaining albeit overly drawn out sequence wherein our two leads can even live for what seems like days, weeks even, trapped inside a car surrounded by a sea of the undead slapping on the windows where the only real danger of the situation is being driven insane by the incessant drone of the zombie moans.

 

THE BATTERY MOVIE IMAGE
THE BATTERY | SALTY POPCORN HORROR REVIEW | BEN (JEREMY GARDNER)

 

I really didn’t like the two leads here. I sided with Ben because although I could sympathise with where Mickey was coming from, he was such a whiney bitch about it to the point where I thought, just kill him and push on without him. There is a useless attempt at a much needed but completely denied subplot involving the discovery of other humans via an accidental walkie-talkie exchange. This film could’ve really, really used that subplot, it could’ve made for a far more interesting film. Who were the people? Why were they so hostile to fellow survivors? Where were they based and why all the mystery? Why wouldn’t they allow Ben and Mickey to converse with them or follow them? It would’ve changed the movie completely which in my books, by that point, would have regained my interest but it was washed over almost as if they just couldn’t be bothered to write it. With it, the movie would’ve been an extra hour long at least but at least it would’ve been an interesting hour instead of the hour of dull tension and weird, misplaced attempts at humour that preceded it.

The main story is filled with teasers of what sound like much more interesting stories but are never actually seen. As mentioned above with the discovery of other humans but also there is talk of a violent zombie home invasion and various other attacks that Ben and Mickey have narrowly escaped from so why they chose to focus a movie on a time where literally nothing is happening in these two peoples lives is beyond me, because honestly, this movie is more a movie about how the apocalypse can test a relationship of two people who aren’t really friends but have been forced to live with each other if they plan of surviving.

 

SLOW MOVING ZOMBIES FROM THE BATTERY IMAGE
THE BATTERY | SALTY POPCORN HORROR REVIEW | SLOW MOVING ZOMBIES

 

I will give points to the car sequence during the third act though. Yes, it ran for far too long and was milked completely dry but I commend them for getting it done. The entire third act of the film takes place while these two leads are trapped in their unmovable car. It surprisingly held my attention and strangely seemed to move at a more enjoyable pace than the rest of the film but did jump the shark a little and ran out of steam after a while to which it just kept going, which was agitating. I will also give kudos to a gut-wrenchingly long single take that perfectly evokes the sickening tension that comes with the situation that it is played out for. It is during a part that I am trying not to spoil but when you see it, you will know. To put yourself in that position and for that long would just make me sick to the point of non-function.

However, by the end of the film I just felt depressed. I wouldn’t say it was a powerful film and that it moved me, it was just that it didn’t have a story. It was just a slice of life, lifted out of a cake of existence and left on the bench to dry and crumble. It went nowhere slowly and ultimately ended disappointingly leaving me feeling helpless, depressed and as though I really didn’t have a good time watching it.

The Battery is rated MA15+ and while it isn’t technically a bad film, the above gives you a little insight into why I just didn’t like it.

 

1 and a Half Pops

 

 

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