What would you really do in a zombie outbreak, other than die, more than likely this – ladies and gentlemen I present The Battery.

THE BATTERY [2012]

Directed by: Jeremy Gardner

Written by: Jeremy Gardner

Featuring: Jeremy Gardner, Adam Cronheim, Niels Bolle, Alana O’Brien

Two minor league baseball players, Ben and Mickey are caught out up-country in New England during a plague of zombies that has cut a swathe through society. Despite being only team-mates and not friends, the pair join forces and wander aimlessly across the backwoods and off-road areas to keep away from the hordes of living-dead flesh-eaters. Even though they are surviving reasonable well their personality clashes make it difficult. Ben is almost happy to be aimless and without real purpose as long as he is safe, he is almost thriving, whilst Mickey finds it difficult in this new post-plague world and wants the comfort and familiarity of a warm clean bed, a girlfriend, and the safety of stronghold. One day Mickey intercepts a radio transmission from what appears to be a successful, thriving, community of survivors, and he knows this is what he wants. The problems is they make it very clear they do not want them or anyone else to join them. Ben can accept this but can Mickey? What will his obsession with finding and joining them lead the men into and will they ever be the same again…

This is a low budget, independently made, zombie film. Oh no not another you say and you’d be right to say that. Only this time writer, director and star Jeremy Gardner has used these limitations to make a thoughtful and probably more truthful, if that is possible considering the subject matter, zombie-plague film.

If you are looking for exploding heads, hordes of angry, running zombies tearing victims limb-from-limb, blood, gore and blood-curdling screaming left, right and centre, there are many other films that cater for this. You will probably dislike The Battery.

Firstly there aren’t many zombies and logically if they did exist and were proper ‘flesh-eaters’, you know George Romero zombies, then as long as there are not a lot of them they are not that much of a threat. Secondly, as an ‘ordinary’ person at the centre of the story, why would you have some grand plan or scheme? Exactly. You would probably wander around aimlessly, scavenging food and looking for useful stuff – as long as you survived.

The main point is the clash between two different people forced together through circumstance who need each no matter their differences. Luckily, unlike ‘The Walking Dead’ on TV it doesn’t turn into a poor day-time soap with gore. The film does not resort to cheap tricks with the almost obligatory ‘hand-held camera’ shots and there are no easy outs for the two characters as their story proceeds.

It has faults. I would have cut or had a different shot for the last scene where we see Ben on the road. I would have had a couple of more interactions with zombies and had a bit less running around an orchard but then I guess it would not have been the same film.

I have read that this film cost $6000 to make. If this is true then everyone involved with the production can be very proud of themselves. As the credits rolled I wanted to know what was going to happen to Ben and how things panned out in this imagined world. If I’m honest after most films finish, particularly in this genre, I rarely think about them again.

A lot of ‘zombie and horror fans’ will hate this film because it really is not full of gore and death and thousands of zombies running here and there and this is why you will not see many films like this nowadays but you will tend to see a lot of Walking Dead and World War Z look-a-likes in the coming years.

I do hope two things though.

This film is never remade on a bigger budget.
There is never a sequel.

Film Cricket was beginning to hate zombies but Jeremy Gardner made him fall in love with them again, a bit, plus he gets the ‘best beard in a zombie film’ beating the many scraggy efforts from Romero’s Day of the Dead (1985).

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