When military veterans put their minds to it, it shall be done. Add in entrepreneurship and a little “I wish a motherfucker would” attitude, you end up with individuals like Mat Best, Nick Palmisciano and their collective crew. Helming their very own clothing/media companies “Article 15” and Ranger Up (respectively), these two former Army Rangers have now done what would have otherwise been thought impossible to the average person; they’ve given a giant middle finger to Hollywood whilst having the star power of Hollywood itself.
Range 15 is a zombie apocalypse film…ok, a dime a dozen right? Wrong. While the genre may be worn out in general, Range 15 has a different take to offer. It pits zombies against the world’s finest, the American soldier. Now, before you go assuming that you’re getting the same ol’ “Hollywood soldier” I.e. cliché and cheesedick, take a good look at the operators conducting this mission. If you take the time to observe their YouTube videos or clothing being sold, you’ll see that these guys are dead serious about not being serious. They aim to utterly destroy the Hollywood stereotype of the US soldier by inserting their very own real world experience and humor into the mix. Funded by not only themselves, but also an online crowdfunding effort that shattered all expectations (total final budget of around $1.5 million), they set out on their personal mission to bring real military humor to the big screen. Admittedly, Nick Palmisciano in an interview stated that that this film is by and for veterans and that if civilians didn’tlike it “They can go fuck themselves”. This sentiment is echoed by the rest of the (mostly military) cast and crew.
As a civilian myself (born and raised in a military family) I was extremely excited to see this film. I’ve been a fan of these guys for awhile, I even own a “Capitalism” shirt and sport a “Keep Calm and Freedom On” sticker on my car, both made by article 15 clothing. I was not only happy with the film, I was loving every minute of it. My father (a four time combat veteran) and I saw the movie at a packed theater in Phoenix Arizona. The viewing, packed with veterans, was not only one of the funniest movies I’ve ever seen, it was the most fun movie experience I’ve ever had. Screaming, yelling and jokes at everyone’s expense was common place,..and it was glorious. That theater was a beautiful collective of dark humor, patriotism and jokes that would make a college social justice warrior cry, wet themselves and run for a safe space.
The movie itself features the aforementioned American badasses along with more top tier heroes such as Leroy Petry and Clint Romesha (both Medal Of Honor recipients), Tim Kennedy (US Army Special Forces and UFC MMA fighter), Marcus Luttrell (Navy SEAL and “Lone Survivor”) and countless other American warriors. Joining the team are some Hollywood greats such as William Shatner, Danny Trejo, Sean Astin and Keith David. The film’s director, Ross Patterson, even plays a part as what I would consider to be a caricature of the cliché “Hollywood soldier”…and he fucking nails it. As you would expect, some of the humor may go over the heads of some civilians but that’s ok, this movie, as previously stated, is by veterans, for veterans.
Range 15, for all it’s glory, is one of the funniest movies I have ever had the pleasure of seeing. It not only showcases the darkest and most untouchable humor often found among veterans, it truly is a testament to the determination and dedication of said veterans. They prove everyday that they can not only overcome adversity, but can make it their bitch.
Follow: Official Range 15 Twitter – @range15movie
Mat Best – @MatBest11x
Nick Palmisciano – @Ranger_Up
Range 15 is available on DVD and Blu-ray or digital download through Amazon and iTunes.