Saturday, 17 September 2011
The Devil's Tomb
THE DEVIL’S TOMB (2009)
Directed by: Jason Connery
Written by: Keith Kjornes
Starring: Cuba Gooding Jr, Taryn Manning, Henry Rollins, Zack Ward, Valerie Cruz, Jason London, Frankie G, Stephanie Jacobson, Brandon Fobbs, Bill Moseley, Ray Winstone, Ron Pearlman
Phew! What a cast. Especially for a low budget and derivative schlocker about a squad of grunts sent into some underground bunker to rescue somebody, only to get trapped and picked off one-by-one. Yep, a bunch of inept military dudes and dudettes are slaughtered while trapped underground in a movie you’ve probably seen a million times. Yet, despite the familiar set-up and a ridiculous amount of B-movie ham and logic busting barminess, this action-horror hybrid is fairly watchable and delivers a good amount of machine action and lots of gloopy gross out gore.
Ron Pearlman (collecting a pay cheque) has been tinkering with God, the Devil and fallen angels in his deep underground desert base and non-surprisingly all hell has broken loose. Cuba Gooding Jr (continuing his seemingly lucrative sideline in straight-to-DVD fodder) and his squad of trigger-happy soldiers are dispatched to retrieve him but as this type of set-up dictates, they get trapped, possessed and ripped apart accordingly. Ray Winstone (collecting a pay cheque) also pops up for some inexplicable reason (mainly in a lengthy flashback: flashbacks seeming to be a prerequisite of all straight-to-DVD Cuba Gooding Jr movies these days) and there is lots of quoting from the Bible shenanigans as the possessed cast go all heaven and hell on us.
Actually, the God and Devil angle is pretty cool and makes for a change from the usual aliens-on-the-loose or experiment-gone-wrong plot hook and provides mucho opportunity for some freaky possession scenes and copious amount of gore. The blood-splattered excesses are in abundance here and the flick is pretty damn gross. The gore is well handled and the film evokes a certain icky vibe that plays well with all the firepower action. Bill Moseley (collecting a paycheque) gets a weird scene as a possessed scientist rabbiting on about this, that and the next thing and somehow on top off all the gore, possession and military styled action the flick also manages to work in some nudity and a pretty gross lesbian scene. B-movie schlock heaven this is.
Cuba looks somewhat lost in all the gore and action hullabaloo and seems a little tired from making one B-movie after another. Winstone and Pearlman are underused but bring some reliable grit to proceedings and the rest of the cast are actually pretty good. They bring a bit more personality to their stereotypical roles and certainly throw themselves into all the gooey gore. Director Jason (son of Sean) Connery keeps everything moving fairly fast, the gore and close knit action delivered at regularly intervals making sure we viewers get our B-movie fix.
Good, silly, platoon of soldiers fighting for their lives in a sealed off underground complex schlockfest