The Devil’s Tomb (Jason Connery) 2009
I seriously can’t explain Cuba Gooding Jr.‘s career. I really can’t. I don’t know if he picks these roles or if he, in fact, the worst agent in history. But whoever it is, he needs to give that power to someone else. I would seriously buy a justified homicide defense if he killed his agent for thinking Chill Factor was a good follow up project after Jerry Maguire. I’m sure he could still land big roles if he wanted to, but every year you see a Norbit, or a Daddy Day Camp, or a Boat Trip. I needed a reminder though of how bad his career is so I chose the horror film for Halloween. I thought this DTV film might have more of a chance than others because it also had Ron Perlman, Ray Winstone, and Henry Motherfuckin Rollins (I’m pretty sure Motherfuckin is his middle name).
In the Devil’s Tomb you have an “elite“ group of soldiers which is led by Mack (Cuba Gooding Jr.) which is sent to an underground (aka cheap shooting location) lab in…Iraq? Afganistan? I don’t think they really say where. Anyway, there is some ancient evil that is getting out and the squad has to find Wesley (Ron Perlman) to extract him. Oh, and they run into a priest (Henry Motherfuckin Rollins) who likes to yell a lot.
It is bad when after only the first five minutes I sigh and say to myself “I think I made a big mistake“. We are introduced to our squad which is our rip off of Aliens and we only need five minutes to know we are going to hate every one of them. They are all dickheads who harass one another, who are rock stupid, and who don’t know how to follow orders if their lives depended on it. Their lives did depend on it so they didn’t.
So, yeah, all the characters need to die. But I’m watching The Devil’s Tomb. I knew I was getting into Direct to Video schlock and not getting The Exorcist. All I was expecting was some decent action, some good effects, and some cheesy lines from our all star cast. I knew the movie would be shit, but I at least wanted it to be some entertaining shit. But in the Devil’s Tomb there is no fun, and that is the most horrific thing of all.
For the most part, the film makers were too cheap to do any real special effects. There are a few scenes where characters get massive cuts or skin legions when they turn evil, but that is it. I want Event Horizon gore, and instead I get cheap Halloween scabs. Instead of actual demons or spirits in this Devil’s Tomb, our characters are lured to the dark side by being tempted. When they turn evil, they just have pale skin and have some legions on their face. The action in this movie is just the characters standing out in the open and shooting the zombies wherever. Strike three comes when you see the acting. Ron Perlman makes the easiest money as all he has to do is make some Vlogs which play on the screens of the facility. I didn’t even know Ray Winstone was in this movie till the last five minutes when he takes off all his military garb and they wash his face and even then he is only in the movie a few minutes. Cuba Gooding is embarrassed to be there and grunts out bland orders to everyone. Henry MF’n Rollins tries to ham it up but isn’t given enough material or screen time to make a difference.
So honestly four strikes and this movie is more than “out“ for me and that is even before getting to the completely shit story. I absolutely love it when the characters point out the blaring plot holes. The reason behind this mission was to get into the base and trigger a self destruct mechanism so basically a demon couldn’t escape. One of the soldiers asks “So, why couldn’t we just bomb this facility from the air?“ to which I could swear I could hear one of the writers exclaim “Fuck!!!“ as he realizes the hole he dug himself into. I also don’t know if these characters are being tempted to the dark side or if they are simply having their minds taken over. Because if it is the former, then these people are beyond rock stupid. I’ll give you two examples. The first is when a female member of the team sees a little girl and she runs after it. The squad member then sees the little girl turn into a demon and try to snack on her, but is saved at the last second. No more than fifteen minutes later, the squad member sees THE SAME LITTLE GIRL and she runs after it again at which point she turns into a demon and snacks on the squad member. Example #2 The horn dog macho dude is ordered to sit and protect the corridor. Keep in mind all this guy has seen in this lab are horrifically mangled dead bodies and infected people. He is sitting there when a completely naked woman comes out and basically orders him to have sex with her right then and there. One would think and ordinary person might think that a tad peculiar. You know, being in the middle of nowhere in the Middle East in an underground bunker with no women and everyone is murdered he runs into a naked women who doesn’t even bother to say “Hello“ but wants to hump the shit out of him and he doesn’t find that the least bit odd. Now is his mind being controlled or is he really THAT stupid.
With even my lowest expectations of Z grade schlock there is nothing to like about this movie. The acting is non-existent, the action is nil, the effects are ten times worse than lame, the characters are annoying, and the writing is bad and not in a good way. Everyone now is dumber for having witnessed what you have filmed. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.