Reviews of "The Battery" from ZombieCon 2013

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Reviews of "The Battery" from ZombieCon 2013

Post by Doctor Jest » Sun Jun 23, 2013 5:05 pm

Those of us at Z-Con got to see a top-notch zombie film called "The Battery." There was a small crowd there (thanks to the lightning storm previous to it) but those that stayed enjoyed the movie. There may be spoilers below....

I thought it was a very good movie. The two main characters had an interesting relationship, like two brothers with the kidding and jokes, despite the grim situations they find themselves in. But I had little real sympathy for the younger (non-bearded) guy. I was amazed that he had survived, considering his habit of wearing headphones and not stepping up to the plate.

The scene where they brushed their teeth was priceless, and the entire crowd laughed loudly when the bearded guy caught the other guy with the girl zombie pressed up against the window.

The Annie part of the plot puzzled me. She seemed so sympathetic to the guy over the radio, but was really stone cold when they met. The part where she shot the bearded guy caught me off-guard; it reminded me of a similar moment in "Taken" when Liam Neeson's character shoots the cop's wife in the arm. But I thought that more about Annie would be revealed than was included.

The scene where the young guy jumps out the sunroof to go try and find the keys was interesting. It was a interesting angle to only show the bearded guy inside the car. That built tension. But it seemed to go on too long. I also wondered why the bearded guy didn't tear down the window coverings at that point - I sure would have wanted to watch the other guy and see what was going on. They didn't work out any signals or anything.

Overall, I thought there were a lot of funny moments, and some really tense moments. I'd give it a B+, and considering it was shot on a very low budget, that's not bad.
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Re: Reviews of "The Battery" from ZombieCon 2013

Post by imrcly » Tue Jun 25, 2013 2:31 pm

I enjoyed this movie even after the canopy adjusted and dumped water on my lap. What I enjoyed most about it is how the two dealt with the zombies differently, ignoring the problem the best he could and taking it head on protecting his friend.
Also the zombie hottie was hilarious.
All said I can't wait to see the story continue.
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Re: Reviews of "The Battery" from ZombieCon 2013

Post by TheBattery_Christian » Tue Jun 25, 2013 4:28 pm

Thank you guys for the reviews. Hope the whole event went well before the rain.

I can answer any questions about The Battery if anyone has any. I was the director of photography amongst other techy jobs on the movie. We respect honest opinions too. I gotta say, I was worried about the Zombie Squad crowd from a survival scenario standpoint... What I mean is, you guys know your shit.

SPOILERS: Dr. Jest, I believe the way Jeremy sees it, Annie can't make the decision to help them on her own and warns them to stay away. In a twisted way, the gunshot can be seen as an act of kindness that is meant to both help them and herself. She was told by Frank on the radio not to talk to them, then she still spoke to Mickey in the cabin. Once she realizes that they are the same guys, she doesn't want to risk them following her, either for fear of what Frank and the others at The Orchard will do to them or for fear of what they would do to her for not following orders. The gunshot is purposefully superficial (in the movie world, where most audiences don't think a leg shot can be fatal). It is meant to keep them away from The Orchard (not Annie) and also make Annie look as though she is following orders in front of Egghead from The Orchard. Throwing the keys is a further step to keep them from following, however she has no idea that a zombie horde is nearing, she is simply thinking it will take them at least several minutes to find them.

As for removing the sheets in the car... Yeah, he probably should've and would've done that. From a filmmaking standpoint it obviously helped to not have to worry about the zombies looking at the camera or scratching an itch toward the end of a 9 minute take. It was raining and miserable too, so that's an area where our budget definitely came into play. However, we like that the sheets put all of the focus back onto the characters for the very end of the movie. We wanted to make the audience wait like Ben and feel that frustration... And it's long and boring and we honestly expected a ton more backlash for doing it, but people really respect that we did that for the most part. That surprised me.

END SPOILERS

We had to take risks with long, mundane shots, as we wanted to do something different. With nearly no budget, you HAVE to do something different. We are extremely humbled by how well the movie has done so far though. It's been in the top 10 horror films since release 3 weeks ago (#4 for the past week). Our little $6,000 movie is doing better than multi-million dollar blockbusters (that must be making their money somewhere else!)

Finally, I will add that the zombie girl is my wife, which always makes for fun at screenings and when I read her the reviews.

Then, a sequel... It's looking like that's going to have to happen, but it wouldn't necessarily be our next movie. Jeremy has an idea for "The Orchard" that would start where The Battery left off, cost a heck of a lot more to make, but still keep the story grounded and down to earth.

Christian Stella

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Re: Reviews of "The Battery" from ZombieCon 2013

Post by Doctor Jest » Tue Jun 25, 2013 7:44 pm

Thanks for the reply! I really did enjoy the movie. It's funny that the zombie girl is your wife. As I said, that moment got the strongest comedic reaction in the movie, though there were plenty more. We were laughing so much it caught the notice of the people at the bonfire, who commented about it later.

With the miniscule budget you had to work with, you have made an outstanding film. I have seen many much higher-budget films that were far less interesting than The Battery. Usually characters in a zombie movie are just sorta meat for the grinder, but by the end of your film I really felt for the two main characters, particularly the scene when they were stuck in the car. I don't think that part was too long - it very aptly portrayed the mind-numbing horror of being trapped in that situation. It was only the scene when Micky ran off for the keys that I thought stretched too long without Ben looking for him.

Funny comment about how most people don't think leg shots are potentially fatal. I remember seeing a movie where a guy gets shot in the leg by a rifle at close range, and just limps around for a scene or two.

Good movie. I'd buy a copy if it were commercially available.
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Re: Reviews of "The Battery" from ZombieCon 2013

Post by drewder » Mon Jul 01, 2013 4:06 pm

I really liked it for what it was but I had a few questions:

Where were our characters driving to? They seemed to be driving a lot, but always in range with those sh!tty gmrs radios to talk to Annie.

The zombies were slow. So why didn't Mickey or Ben go apeshit with the ballbat at the end? They played baseball a lot and were in shape to knock a skull, then run back...then knock another skull. I mean, they could hop out of the car for the keys, but not to dispatch a few zombies in small increments? It kinda worked with the gun.

Also, if you have 1 melee weapon (the ballbat), wouldn't the tire iron on the Volvo be a great 2nd weapon for Mickey?

At the end, Ben's motivation was to find Annie and take care of her. Wouldn't he want to take care of the fifty few zombies behind him so he could hobble at his own pace?

I absolutely love that this movie was made with just $6000. The long drawn out periods really bothered me, but then again...when you are waiting for something...your anxiety tends to shoot through the roof. It kind of put me on their level.

Something else that I REALLY enjoyed about this...our characters found ways to pass the time in such a shit situation. They also stayed in shaped by playing ball. Showed how resourceful they were in the Orchard with the apples, at the lake with fishing, using creeks to bath in, finding toothbrushes and toothpaste for hygiene. Lots of these things are completely missed in a lot of other big name movies. I found myself saying, "yeah, I could see myself doing that in the Z-Paw."

I give it a solid B.
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Re: Reviews of "The Battery" from ZombieCon 2013

Post by TheBattery_Christian » Wed Jul 03, 2013 1:26 am

Thanks Drewder... The radio thing is definitely a movie "cheat". We overanalyzed this stuff to death, but then we'd watch something that took far bigger liberties and feel better. We actually spent a few days looking for more heavy duty radios... Must have gone to 20 stores before we gave up and decided that we liked that most of their stuff looks found in real garages. They actually only drive before they find the radios. I think it was our feeling that Mickey keeps them in the area after their first contact with hopes of further contact. That said, we know those radios are shit! Originally, there was a nail gun as a weapon but we didn't think people would buy that it worked, even when we rigged it up with a fake air tank... So it was cut. Then I saw the new Evil Dead had a nail gun that didn't seem to have a power or air source and nobody questions it.

Ben does try to shoot them out the sun roof... It's in the script that more and more keep coming, but obviously our budget limited us there. I believe they kill so many in the script that they realize that even if they get the keys the car is going to be stuck with all the bodies piling up.

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Re: Reviews of "The Battery" from ZombieCon 2013

Post by Evan the Diplomat » Wed Sep 02, 2020 12:39 am

Seven years later I found this movie after an article on ScreenRant that said it was made for $6000. What a delightfully original take on the zombie apocalypse.
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Re: Reviews of "The Battery" from ZombieCon 2013

Post by MacWa77ace » Thu Sep 03, 2020 8:15 am

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