Battle of the Damned (2013)
Written and directed by Christopher Hatton
We’re back. To those of you who thought we were gone, I say HA! Anyway, let us consider for a moment the actor Dolph Lundgren. Yes, I said the actor Dolph Lundgren.
I grew up on Dolph Lundgren movies and I have to hand it to the guy—he has been consistent in his B-movie career when it comes to delivering some solid efforts. So when I heard that Lundgren was taking on the undead in Battle of the Damned, I had to see the movie and thankfully it wound up being a low=budget blast!
What can I say? It’s Lundgren versus the undead, backed up by killer robots! Yeah you heard me, freaking robots! I couldn’t have dreamed up a better concept. The flick was pretty basic in its structure, and that was part of its charm: Act 1 action, action, action, Act 2 blah blah, action, blah, blah, Act 3 action, action, action—roll end credits. There were no pretenses here! This was a fun-times B-movie through and through, one that was solely there to entertain, and entertained I was! Action-wise we got all kinds of goodies! From Lundgren killing countless zombies with automatic weapons or hammering them to death, the axis was on variety and I was well served! On his end, director Christopher Hatton kept the movie moving at a brisk pace, infused his action scenes with a lot of energy while doing a fairly fine job in covering up the lack of money he had to work with.
What about the cast, you may ask? Well, Dolph’s role of Max Gating was no big stretch for the guy. The character was low on words and high on action. But hey, Lundgren is a veteran at this point, knows the camera well, and is able to communicate a lot with just one stare or a movement. Cutie Melanie Zanetti owned it! She was intense and affable as Jude. Matt Doran did fine as Reese, I loved to hate David Field as Duke. Add to all that gritty cinematography (by Roger Chingirian), a handful of smile-inducing money shots (Dolph and robot back to back blasting zombies) and an engaging score (by Joe Ng and Ting Si Hao) and you get a cheesy and fun action horror party!
On the flipside, the middle section was a pinch tedious, with some of the drama not doing much for me and some of the side actors stinking up the joint. The budget limitations resulted in two things that irked me: 1. Too much shaky cam to hide stuff, especially during some of the action scenes. 2. Not going all out with some of the cool concepts they had going for them (those robots should have caused further damage).
On the whole, though, Battle of the Damned gave me exactly what I craved it from it: Dolph Lundgren mowing down the undead, and then it gave me a bonus—a gang of robots backing him up! What else do you want? You dig zany B movies filled with lots of action? Join this battle!