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3.7 out of 5 stars
The Battery [Blu-ray]
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62 of 73 people found the following review helpful
Format: Amazon Instant Video
The Battery is about two guys trying to survive the zombie apocalypse. But wait! Before you shake your head and go back to looking a naughty pictures of people doing naughty things, let me stress that this film is damn fine. The film is essentially a road film/buddy flick that probably could have taken place sans zombies. The zombies are there and are definitely a threat but the film is much more about the relationship between the guys and their individual relationships with their surroundings. It's not scary per se, though there are definitely horrific moments sprinkled throughout. Gorehounds will be sorely disappointed here as well. The film doesn't have much of the red stuff. So, it's not scary and it's not gory which should mean it should be terrible right? On paper it sounds cliche and dull. But the film itself is very compelling. Their surroundings are captured beautifully giving the film a strong sense of place. It's not a generic suburb or faceless city but a beautiful countryside filled with forests, streams, and isolated homes. The soundtrack also helps build the sense of place with jangly guitars, soulfully played. The gorgeous compositions mixed with perfect music build this humble film into something truly worth seeing. The film honestly feels like "post-horror" if I may be so bold. It's arty without being pretentious, thoughtful without being too intellectual.

The zombies are slow moving with no wall climbing spider zombies being present. They're threatening but only in large numbers. The two main characters travel along the countryside, never staying in one place too long so that they never become surrounded by zombies. One of the men is totally acclimated to the wandering lifestyle, the other hungers for community. This is the conflict of the film, each fighting for dominance and direction. Should they look for others? Should they continue to stay away? Though the conflict here for the most part between the two involves jokes and mild arguments thankfully. I was afraid the film would devolve into both characters hating each other but they only bicker as best friends and siblings do. The camaraderie between the two made the film compelling, funny, and engaging. I felt like I knew both of them by the end and could understand each point of view.

The Battery is a sold film that lives in the place where indie art house and horror meet without being preachy or obnoxious. It's just plain good. The kicker is that the film only cost $6,000 was filmed on a Canon 5d and edited on a PC. It's inspiring that a smart group of people could make such an outstanding film for so little, using technology within easy grasp of many folks. It proves yet again that you don't need a lot of money to make a good movie, just a solid script and determination.
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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on July 2, 2013
Format: Amazon Instant VideoVerified Purchase
This movie blew me away. Not with its special effects, or its world with tons of backstory, because those details are light at best in this movie. No this movie is about two guys who could actually exist. Two guys that have been driven to two completely opposite ends of coping with a world that is no longer what they have grown up to expect. Mickey and Ben were like any of my friends, and all of them, I cared about them, and you will too if you invest in the time to watch this movie. For being made for 6 thousand dollars, this is by far the best zombie movie I have seen. Awesome stuff.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on September 23, 2014
Format: Blu-ray
Let me start by saying to all the people that gave this a 1-2 star rating WAKE UP! the zombie genre has been done to DEATH , so when an fresh new attempt at it comes across to others and they like it just means we have no blinders on our eyes .Take Pontypool.This movie about zombies on a language point of view was brilliant and intense , same goes for this movie low budget and just brilliant in its motivations of doing the hole zombie thing but making it their own take on it . Zombie genre / behind the camera genre they have been done to death but there are next levels of fun to these genres . thanks for reading ..Enjoy .😊
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Format: Amazon Instant VideoVerified Purchase
I've seen a lot of micro budget horror movies, many of them involving zombies (a trendy subject right now). Netflix has got countless of them on their streaming service, old and new. The vast majority of them are awful, nearly unwatchable to even a diehard horror lover like myself, but when you finally find one of these made on a shoestring, shot in their backyard indie movies that is good, it makes it all worthwhile. If you're looking for a lot of zombie mayhem, you won't find it here. This is a character driven movie, focusing on the relationship of a couple of guys who were just friendly acquaintances before the outbreak but now have to deal with being stuck with each other every day of their lives as well as with the flesh hungry living dead.

It's something most of those other indie horror movie makers probably don't have the writing chops to pull off, so they give us Romero imitations with weak special affects. When there is violence, it tends to happen off camera. I'm guessing Gardner and his crew would have liked to include a little more action, but just didn't have the special affects budget to show you zombies getting their skulls crushed in convincingly. Personally I didn't miss it too much. There are plenty of horror films in which you can get your fill of that kind of thing. It's much rarer to find one that is this smart and well made. It's not just the writing that's a cut above what I've come to expect from these kinds of movies, but the cinematography, the acting, the make up (keep in mind this thing obviously had a very low budget). A lot of it was shot with a handheld, but they wisely resist the temptation to try to impress us with a lot of those Saving Private Ryan-esque shaky cam shots.
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24 of 32 people found the following review helpful
on June 5, 2013
Format: Amazon Instant VideoVerified Purchase
This movie is great. I believe it had a budget of $6,000 but you wouldn't guess it. This movie is complete proof that a good story and good acting make a movie, NOT hundreds of millions of dollars in CGI/marketing. I will recommend this movie to all of my friends. It does start out slow, DO NOT give up on it. It gets much much better as it goes along. The first third of the movie is introducing the characters and their personalities, the second third is about them continuing their survival, and the final third of the movie is just unbelievably amazing. I won't spoil it. I can see now why it received rave reviews at various movie festivals. If you are a fan of the zombie genre, you need to watch this movie PERIOD
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format: Amazon Instant VideoVerified Purchase
This film rewards you right away, because it's a movie about a zombie apocalypse, and it's serious, as in not campy or tongue-in-cheek, but it's funny and fun in precisely the way that post-apocalyptic zombie movies tend not to be. In general in movies when it comes to post-apocalyptic movies of all stripes, the first casualty is the human personality. It tends to be replaced by characters that are meditations on something philosophical: good and evil, civilization vs. brutishness, the weak and the strong...
This movie is about two guys who survive. It's wonderfully touching to watch them. Jeremy Gardner's Ben is a man who has sort of found himself in the apocalypse. He likes to kill zombies, goes out of his way to do it even when there's no real need. And basically he does all the work, makes all the sacrifices, for his friend Mickey (Adam Cronheim), who perhaps at one point was a bit of a lady killer, a hipster. Sure, Ben gets on Mickey's case sometimes, especially about the way he's always listening to music on his big headphones. Ben is convinced this will kill him. Gradually, without pretension, the headphones become a symbol of Mickey and what Mickey finds he needs of humanity to hold onto. And for Ben they are a symbol of what he needs of Mickey. A really great film.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on November 14, 2014
Format: Blu-ray
Even knowing going into this movie that it was not going to be an over-the-top zombie-fest, this buddy flick still didn't deliver as I was hoping for. I knew it was going to be a slower paced film, focused primarily on the relationship between the two main characters. I can totally dig a movie like that, have before and will again I'm sure. But The Battery just didn't deliver. Even though these two characters are totally different in every way that leads to conflict and arguments throughout the film, both were completely unlikeable. Neither of the characters were sympathetic, and I spent most of the film just wishing a zombie would finally show up and eat both of their brains classic Romero-style. I think this movie would have benefited big-time with some comedy. It did try to be funny at times, but it didn't suit my tastes, it was too subtle and tame. I will say The Battery did pick up towards the end of the film, which somewhat raised my spirits, but it took the first eighty-percent of the movie to get there. Obviously this movie is more a drama than a horror movie, and I can appreciate that, but to me The Battery was a drawn-out, boring, tour of the country-side by two jerks with an occasional zombie. That's it. 2/5.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on June 20, 2014
Format: Blu-ray
I was motivated to write this after seeing some of the two and one star reviews below. I'm not sure what these writers were looking for, but this is probably the best zombie movie since the Ford Brothers, The Dead. The acting is amazing, especially by writer-director-actor-superman Jeremy Gardner. Gardner plays Ben, the catcher half of the battery (a pitcher-and-a-catcher make up a battery). Along with his cohort, he is a surviving member of a minor league baseball team which happened to be playing in upstate New York when the apocalypse went down.

What I found especially cool about the setup is that before the zombie outbreak, the two weren't exactly friends. They ended up together by chance. I sort of imagine that they were on the field in the bottom of the ninth when zombies attacked and fled together. So, they don't exactly mesh when it comes to their philosophies of survival. This creates the dramatic tension in the movie.

As far as the ending, I thought it was perfect. My friends and I watching this on movie night found ourselves wanting more. I would love for there to be a sequel-- hopefully not called The Battery 2-- where we find out what happened after.

Oh, and the blu-ray release is by Shout! Factory, the gold standard in horror. That alone says a lot.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on September 22, 2014
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
Zombie movies are not a homogenous genre, and if you watch zombie movies for gore and action, please don't waste your time. But if you are a fan of the character driven zombie movie, this is one of the best, if not THE best. There are a few flaws here and there (hard to get everything right on such a low budget), but nothing detracts away from the story of the relationship of these two guys trying to survive in post apocalyptic times. They're bored and aimlessly wandering around, staying on the move so zombies dont get them, so yeah, of course there are long drawn out scenes.....that's what the movie is about!!!!! If you cut those scenes down, you'd lose the whole feel of the movie. Nice camera work, beautiful scenary, good drama between the two leads, great writing, dialogue and acting......and some zombie action. If you want to feel stuck in the apocalypse with them, watch it....if you want to watch gore and action, watch a george romero or a resident evil movie.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on September 3, 2013
Format: Amazon Instant VideoVerified Purchase
This isn't just a great zombie film, or "great for a zombie film" -- it's a great film, and that's the exact kind of horror film I'm always hoping to see. On a micro-budget, the filmmakers and actors have created something genuine, and they make continuously bold choices along the way. The final epic sequence in the car is going to be the litmus test for most audiences, but for me it was a stroke of genius and showed the willingness of those involved to keep the POV tight and to really let the audience feel the agony of the situation.

Also clever was the amount of world-building they were able to do through the simple use of a couple walkie-talkies, two cars, and three actors. They made the most out of the precious few resources they had to work with.

A few little details stuck out here and there (Mickey always seemed too well-groomed to me, but it's in character, so I'm fine with it), but overall the acting, writing, soundtrack, and cinematography (this film was often hypnotically gorgeous) were exemplary.

I have no doubt these filmmakers will be increasingly successful in the coming years.

Smart, funny, beautiful, and suspenseful -- I fell in love with this one. The $6 I spent to buy it for my Amazon Instant video library were $6 well-freakin-spent.
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