The Battery (2012) [Blu-ray]

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After a zombie apocalypse has overtaken most of the country including New England, former baseball players Ben and Mickey have found themselves stuck together. They’re too frightened to be alone, and yet don’t like one another enough to stay together. Thus they form an uneasy pact with one another, roaming the more desolate landscape of New England looking for food, shelter, and new means to keep themselves from going absolutely stir crazy. With the rising population of the dead, and the lack of human contact, it’s becoming a task that’s increasingly difficult to conquer day by day.

“The Battery” is a prime road trip film set amidst the back drop of the zombie apocalypse, and director Jeremy Gardner builds an impressive world out of a very small budget. Rather than implementing zombie chaos at all turns, “The Battery” is first and foremost about living life during the zombie apocalypse, and how it can oddly enough fall in to the realm of monotony and tedium. Gardner wisely restrains any and all zombie carnage until the narrative rightly calls for it, and instead uses the monsters as a means of exploring the psychology and dynamic of his characters. Surely the pair of men aren’t awful human beings, but they’re merely just acquaintances in a former life forced to rely on one another to survive another day in the end of the world. Gardner dives head first in to exploring these pair of survivors and what keeps them going day to day.

Mickey is especially an interesting character who’s managed to drown out the reality around him by listening to music all day, causing tensions to rise with his partner Ben. Not only is he tearing through their supply of batteries with his CD player, but Mickey has to be extra alert for threats from around their environment. Much of the dark humor revolves around the men clashing and figuring out ways to cope in the land of the dead that’s now become the new norm. Jeremy Gardner’s “The Battery” is a masterpiece that molds drama, comedy, and horror altogether to depict a side of the zombie apocalypse that’s rarely touched upon. It’s a stellar and shockingly gut wrenching zombie film, and one that will get replayed over and over now that it’s a part of my collection.

Scream Factory gives “The Battery” the Blu-Ray treatment is deserves, supplying fans a glimpse and insight in to the production of the small scale film shoot. There are eleven minutes of outtakes, an eleven minute rehearsal with band Rock Plaza Central as they prepare for a live show, the film’s original movie trailer, and a very entertaining and informative audio commentary from with Writer, Director, and Actor Jeremy Gardner, Producer and Actor Adam Cronheim, and Director of Photography Christian Stella. The trio really indulges audiences in the ins and outs of the film, and it’ll definitely lend some knowledge to aspiring filmmakers. Finally there’s the fantastic ninety minute making-of documentary titled “Tools of Ignorance.” The folks behind the film really get deep in to the nitty gritty of the production with excellent behind the scenes, the film’s conception, the casting, and bringing the world to life. This is another fine tool for any indie filmmaker interested in bringing their own horror film to the world in a tight budget. It’s a wonderful Behind the Scenes feature for a film deserving of a much wider theatrical release.