If I were to sit here and list, the amount of plot elements Battle of the Damned has stolen from famous genre films, we would be here all day. Escape From NY, The Terminator, 28 Days Later, Maybe even Chopping Mall? This isn’t necessarily a complaint, more of an observation, maybe even a mild warning. This is not, by any stretch of the imagination, an original film. In fact, while watching it, you can almost picture a play-by-play of the meeting that got the funding for this film greenlit. “Imagine if you will, a zombie movie, identical to every other zombie movie ever made, only with Ivan Drago… and robots. Granted, it’s not evil robots, that Lundgren has to battle alongside the undead, but wayward robots that just appear in the middle of this “Battle of the Damned”, and submit to taking orders from Mr. Lundgren. Convenient, no? If there’s one thing you’d want in the middle of an onslaught of bloodthirsty beats attempting to devour your flesh, it’s giant killer robots, with the power of thought.
It makes little to no sense, why in the middle of battle, random giant robots march across the screen, and it makes even less sense why they show up ready to take orders from this random mercenary sent by an evil father to rescue his daughter from the zombie outbreak that his company caused. But it happens, and it sparks several mildly amusing scenes. It’s never even remotely explained where they came from, how they got there(They walked) or why they were so friendly, but as they make sure to let you know when verbally repeating the orders given to them by Mr. Lundgren, they are here to fuck zombies up, and fuck them up they do. So, in summation, the entirety of the story, and everything else that makes up this film, is heavily borrowed from other, better and more popular films. The very few questions that the film raised were never answered, and there is no real resolution to speak of. But, you get to see Dolph Lundgren doing what he does best, and giant fucking robots versus fucking zombies. That last statement, is a good question to ask yourself before you decide whether or not this movie is for you. Does the promise of robots, in control of Dolph Lundgren, versus a horde of zombies, trapped in a John Carpenter ripoff appeal to your sensibilities in any way? Let your answers guide you.
This is labeled a Blu-ray review, but I can assure you that there is not much to review. It’s a digital movie, in format that displays at crystal level of clarity. The picture quality is impressive, with an immense level of detail. The Dolby TrueHD 5.1 track is more than serviceable. Being a low budget production, it’s nothing that blows your hair back, but it sounds crystal clear, and makes use, during battle scenes especially, of the multiple channel output. The extras are damn near nonexistent. The only supplement on the disc is a generic montage of behind-the-scenes footage. Anchor Bay, unfortunately, has become known to release these vanilla disc releases lately, so when purchasing one of their discs, you’re pretty much going to get what you were expecting.
Battle of the Damned will be released to DVD & Blu-ray on February 18th from Starz/Anchor Bay. You may pre-order your copy here.