The Battery (2014)

Directed By: Jeremy Gardner
Written By: Jeremy Gardner
Starring: Jeremy Gardner
  Adam Cronheim
The Battery

Low budget zombie movies; not exactly uncommon to see, and rarely do they say or do anything different. Have you had enough of generic, carbon-copy zombie films that take zero risks and feel fantastically familiar? Then perhaps The Battery is for you.

The Battery is a different take on the zombie film. Very different. Barely a Horror film at all, it focuses on two ex-baseball players ambling through the wasteland of America, enduring life and generally doing nothing. Literally nothing.

Mickey and Ben (Adam Cronheim and Jeremy Gardner) are months into the zombie apocalypse and haven’t seen another live human in a long time. Moving from place-to-place with no purpose, Mickey is keen to settle down, but Ben wants to move…

And that’s the plot; Mickey wants to stop and Ben wants to keep going. There’s a lot of emotional, unresolved personal issues bubbling under the surface, but it doesn’t seem deep enough to warrant an entire movie about two guys bumbling about post-apocalyptic rural America.

The Battery is written, directed, produced by Jeremy Gardner, who also plays lead character Ben. It is a bold or bonkers filmmaker that decides to spend so much time focusing on two characters cleaning their teeth on the driveway or waiting in a car for a friend to return.

These elongated ‘nothing happening but life’ scenes seem to last forever, and so much so it becomes almost like a voyeuristic hidden camera show… especially when Mickey has an impromptu zomb-wank in the car…

There are moments of levity and the characters are enjoyable company for the most part, but with no real storyline, a subplot revolving around a mysterious woman called Annie (that amounts to nothing) and the biggest threat being a nerdy douche with a knife, most Horror audiences will become quickly frustrated and – worse – bored witless by the nothingness on offer here.

The nearest comparison to The Battery would be 2010’s superb post-apocalyptic vampire horror Stake Land, which took us on a trip through rural America following two very different individuals… except that never slowed. It kept going. They had a goal. There was an actual, palpable threat. The Battery, however, ‘keeps going’ in a very different way, and deliberately so. Some will find this an appealing change to the churned-out mess of recent zombie offerings… but others will just be utterly bored.

What about the zombies?! Well, much like many low-budget zombie films, the undead are hardly believable; shambling, moronic moaners with dabbles of fake blood that don’t feel remotely threatening or even that bothered about biting anyone. This, however, isn’t the point – the film is about Humans.

The biggest plus-point for The Battery is the music. Regularly punctuated by the characters listening to music on their clapped out CD player, the music becomes an important part of their aimless journey. Luckily the music is excellent and catchy, and you’ll find yourself smiling openly when Ben decides to do a late-night dance… with a bottle of whisky and a gun for company. The Battery is surprisingly endearing in places.

The Battery is an unusual film. Deliberately aimless, deliberately focusing on human day-to-day actions rather than zombie attacks and deliberately refusing to give us a plot, this will alienate a LOT of audiences, but it may find some fans in viewers desperate for something very different in their zombie film. Most however, will be left cold… and incredibly, incredibly bored.

Rating: ★★★★☆☆☆☆☆☆

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