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“The Battery” Review – A Tale of Baseball & Survival

Hi, I'm Sam, I love movies. My main interests are science fiction and zombie movies. I also enjoy pessimistic and survival films a lot.

"The Battery" movie poster.

"The Battery" movie poster.

Zombie Movie?

The debate about if The Battery is really a zombie movie could have some traction.

Certainly, this is not a splatstick festival, with prostheses, viscera, and gallons of fake blood flapping on the screen every 3 minutes. Nor is it a zombie comedy, where the protagonists look for fun ways to end the undead. Nor is it a serious scientific drama, full of threatening zombies.

But does it has zombies? Yes. And maybe that's more than enough to end the debate.

In this zombie apocalypse, we witness the survival story of two former amateur baseball players in Massachusetts. Ben (Jeremy Gardner, who is also the writer and director of the film) is a catcher, robust, bearded, cynical, and charismatic who has long adapted to the new life. Mickey (Adam Cronheim), pitcher, thin, rather sad, spends his time listening to music in a Discman.

Mickey listening to his Discman.

Mickey listening to his Discman.

An Indie Made With Borrowed Money

The Battery is also part of that strange, not perfectly determined genre called "independent films."

The film cost $6000 dollars, which Gardner obtained after asking 600 dollars from 10 different friends. It was recorded with a small Canon 5D Mark II DSLR digital camera. A camera that any photographer out there has. And if that doesn't say enough about the feel of the film, then the scenes will definitely reinforce the indie spirit. The Battery is full of several minutes of static shots showing everyday actions such as brushing teeth, eating tuna, listening to music, or playing catch.

Yes, that structure may sound boring and unpopular for genre enthusiasts, but The Battery is much more than lens flare and cheap production values.

For starters, the performances of Jeremy Gardner and Adam Cronheim carry the entire film. The dialogues, fresh and genuine, make us empathize with both characters quickly. They are two very different people, with radically opposed views to the tragedy they face, who slowly and progressively form a friendship.

Ben and Mickey having a drink.

Ben and Mickey having a drink.

A Study in Contrasts

And that connection is the title of the movie. Originally called Ben & Mickey Vs. The Dead, in the end, they made the right decision to re-baptize it as The Battery, hinting at the relationship between the pitcher and the catcher and the need to be in tune to successfully achieve the goals.

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Ben flipped the switch a long time ago and is a model survivor. As a good catcher, he is not afraid of getting his hands dirty when the play obliges him. He is an expert and stoic zombie killer and an expert scavenger. He is also convinced that the key to survival is to always be on the move. In general, he seems to have a fresh and relaxed attitude towards the matter. Everything with a bat in hand.

Mickey, on the other hand, has never killed a zombie. As a good pitcher, he is somehow isolated from the rest of the players. He uses a lot of time in himself, taking shelter in his headphones. He left all the dirty work to Ben. Mickey just wants his comfort back. In the meantime, he will enjoy all the escapism possible.

Zombies attack in "The Battery."

Zombies attack in "The Battery."

The relationship consists basically of Ben wanting Mickey to be more prepared for the new reality. Mickey just wants to stop moving. That dichotomy gives rise to great moments, such as the scene in which Ben, fed up with Mickey never being aware of the threats, forces him to get rid of a zombie on his own.

Mickey's obsession with the past and "normality" reaches worrying levels (or a hilarious one, depending on your mood). When locked in a van, he observes a zombie girl repeatedly hit his window. Mickey cannot help but fantasize about the normality of a sexual relationship, masturbating while trying to see the cute girl underneath that zombie.

Zombie Movie Details

Title: The Battery

Release Year: 2012

Director(s): Jeremy Gardener

Writer(s): Jeremy Gardener

Actors: Jeremy Gardner, Adam Cronheim, Niels Bolle, a.o.

Runtime: 1 hour 41 minutes

Language: English

© 2021 Sam Shepards

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