The marketing of low budget films is almost an art form. Find a movie with just enough good scenes to be able to cut into a compelling trailer, give it a great poster and put it out there to make a quick buck before word gets out that it doesn’t live up to its hype. This would explain why the Australian alien invasion film BATTALION got released.
Robots from a parallel dimension attack Earth leaving Los Angeles a smoking crater. Surfer dude John Blake (Jesse Richardson) enlists in the USMC and is shipped to Australia to fight the Pacific based invaders. Dull, badly shot battle scenes follow.
It’s fairly obvious all of BATTALION’s budget went into its effects, especially the shots of the giant alien ships hovering over cities that make up most of the film’s trailer. Just about everything else, however, is a total disaster. The script jumps around in time for no reason, mixing past, present and future events almost randomly leaving the viewer frequently wondering what’s going on. It’s especially bad at the film’s beginning and makes getting into the plot almost impossible.
The production values are almost nonexistent. The film’s $50,000AUS all seems to have gone for effects. Shots that are supposed to take place at the sprawling Camp Pendelton look like they were shot in somebody’s backyard and a high school gym. Uniforms have no rank or unit patches or insignia, indeed they look like Halloween store costumes and hunting camo from the actor’s closet. Oh, and if you’re wondering, a battalion has between 300 and 800 troops in it. This film centers on a crew of 5, but I guess SQUAD doesn’t have the same impact.
BATTALION was filmed in and around Queensland Australia with local talent. The result is that it sounds like the USMC is composed of nothing but Aussies. I kept expecting their marching cadence to turn into (my apologies to Men At Work)
This movie comes from the land down under
It’s so bad it’ll make you chunder
Watching it is a big blunder
You better run, better take cover
Why they didn’t just make it about the Australian military and avoid the problem is beyond me.
BATTALION is available on VOD from High Octane Pictures.