It’s not easy to explore genre films nowadays without running into the zombie apocalypse sub-genre: a popular topic for both studio and independent films, the scenario has been explored from almost every angle imaginable. However, Jeremy Gardner’s genuine gem of a movie The Battery manages to inject it with some much needed adrenaline, using its low-budget roots to intelligently revisit the tropes of the sub-genre.
The Battery concerns two ex-baseball players, Ben and Mickey, who find themselves forced to survive together despite their clear character differences. While Ben accepts the apocalypse and tries to adapt, Mickey is adamant in holding on to his old lifestyle – needless to say the two are constantly at odds.
As the two men make their way through a desolate landscape, we learn more about their past as well as the world in which they exist. The Battery is a subtle exploration of the aftermath of a tragedy, and a film inhabited by characters with more than just two dimensions.
To reveal more of the story would be unfair to those venturing into this land for the first time; instead let us say that this clever, exciting film uses the limitations of its budget and production to create a convincing world within which real people commit some very desperate acts.
The music, and the lack of it, play an important part. The film uses its soundtrack cleverly, involving the audience emotionally in ways they might have otherwise missed. The cinematography also deserves applause. Through clever framing and extensive use of natural light the filmmakers are able to conjure up a wholly believable apocalypse without ever resorting to the sort of post-production work that can prove distracting.
The Battery represents independent, low-budget filmmaking at its absolute best. It’s a film made with care and thought, bringing a hitherto unseen intelligence to a genre fast decaying into familiarity.
Watch the trailer: