Review: Outpost 11 / Cert: 18 / Director: Anthony Woodley / Screenplay: Anthony Woodley / Starring: Billy Clarke, Luke Healy, Bernard Hill / Release Date: September 30th
When did they make ten Outpost sequels? They didn't, of course, although Outpost III: Rise of the Spetsnaz is also out on DVD in October. No, Outpost 11 is its own thing, an alternate history in which the world is still run by steam power. Three soldiers, manning an isolated station in the Arctic Circle, find themselves in big trouble when the omnipresent warning light they are beholden to suddenly goes off. It's like Lost in the middle of the Arctic Circle.
That there's a lot of snow will also lead everyone to describe it as being a lot like The Thing. It is, but that's only insomuch as it snows all the time, people die and there's an outside influence trying its hardest to get in. Imagine all this with British accents (and one Irish), and you pretty much have the sum of Outpost 11's parts. While 101 Films are putting out some good stuff at the moment, this isn't among their better releases. Cheap, badly acted, and low on tension and scares, it's worth sticking with only for Billy Clarke, playing angry soldier Graham. He's perhaps the worst of the actors, but there's a magnetic quality about his Irish accent, odd looks and receding hairline. He has a strange charisma, which is at least more than any of the others have. The hitman drama The Devil's Business is a better showcase of his dubious talents, but he is Outpost 11's biggest redeeming factor.
Interesting titbit, fact fans: Clarke also appeared in The Thing: 27,000 Hours, a short fan film in which a group of soldiers try to determine which among them is harbouring a 'thing'. It's facts like that, Billy Clarke, which will lead people to accuse you of making a Thing rip-off. Outpost 11 is no rip-off, The Thing or otherwise. It tries to do its own, uh, thing, but fails rather miserably. While the concept is interesting enough to sustain viewers for a while, it's too slow and dull to be worth recommending. When the biggest thing your film has going for it is an enjoyably crummy actor, you know you've gone wrong somewhere down the line.