Friday, July 13, 2018

The Outpost - One Is the Loneliest Number

Even with accomplished actors, a substantial budget, and intelligent writing, it's difficult to make fantasy work on-screen. The Outpost has none of these things. A cross between a fan film and a larping expedition, the opening episode of The Outpost introduces us to an elfish young woman named Talon (Jessica Green) who has lived in hiding as a human since her family was butchered by human soldiers 13 years ago. Working as a barmaid has its privileges it seems, as it has somehow also given her great abilities with a sword (enough to kill several fully-armed soldiers). After waiting for years, Talon is off to find and murder the men responsible for the death of her family which leads her to an outpost on the frontier where she comes face-to-face with her first intended victim.

Green is a problematic lead. Better suited to a soap opera, the actress' constant over-acting does nothing to help the smooth out the dozen or so other issues with the episode. The shoestring budget doesn't help either, as you can see where money was skimped on effects, make-up, and stunts. The basic revenge story is likely the biggest strength (that or the actress' eyes, which are lovingly framed in every shot possible). Even here, the episode presents pacing problems, unnecessary supporting characters to be discarded, and odd gaps in time as the story jumps forward over what would likely have been an interesting journey across the entire known world (barely glimpsed in a montage). Sadly, the show isn't bad enough to be laughably awful. Instead of laugh, all we can do is watch as its bloated carcass slowly decays in front of our eyes.

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