Culture & Conversation

The walking undead that chart their own path

Don’t get bit!

That seems to be the cornerstone of every zombie movie ever made. That, and the guy or gal who seems to be trying to get everyone killed through stubbornness or stupidity. Thankfully, The Battery takes its own path when it comes to the “z-word” in cinema.

Instead of focusing on the seemingly impossible scenario of survival, this film focuses on Mickey and Ben; two baseball players, from the same team, who had little contact with each other prior to life turning upside down. The movie itself begins by showing these unlikely companions having already formed an awkward, but functioning duo. Mickey plays the brooding defeatist who leaves the killing to Ben, the former catcher with zen-like patience for Mickey’s silent whining. As the story progresses, and the characters grow, it becomes evident this isn’t just another zombie movie. It’s a philosophical journey of two men coming to terms with a drastically changing world – a recipe relevant to everyone in this real, ever-changing adventure called life.

Though burdened by a low budget and a small cast of extras, the film manages (by accident, according to Director Jeremy Gardner) to turn this disadvantage into a meaningful character study about these two individuals. Taking cars when gas is available, the movie takes on a road trip groove made special by the near-total absence of human interference. Aside from Mickey’s headphones and CD player, there are no more modern distractions to keep people from looking inward and re-evaluating themselves. The change by the end, though sad, expresses a level of human development not found elsewhere in the zombie/horror genre.

This film premiered at Concordia’s J.A. De Sève Theatre as part of the Fantasia Film Festival. It was sold out in a flash with limited seating, and a strong local fanbase for the walking undead. Montreal is well-known for its annual Zombie walk in October, where everyday civilians don ragged outfits covered in fake blood and coat themselves in makeup to resemble decaying flesh and morbid wounds. It is no wonder The Battery had the warm welcome it did.

For the rest of 2013, this movie will travel the globe, visiting one festival after another. Several cities in Germany will be next to experience the film through August and September. To get a chance to see it yourself, their official website offers it via iTunes and Amazon’s instant video.

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