The Direct to Video Connoisseur
I'm a huge fan of action, horror, sci-fi, and comedy, especially of the Direct to Video variety. In this blog I review some of my favorites and not so favorites, and encourage people to comment and add to the discussion. If you click on an image, it will take you to that post's image page, which includes many more pics from the film and other goodies I couldn't fit in the actual review. For announcements and updates, don't forget to Follow us on Twitter and Like our Facebook page. If you're the director, producer, distributor, etc. of a low-budget feature length film and you'd like to send me a copy to review, you can contact me at dtvconnoisseur[at]yahoo.com. I'd love to check out what you got.
Friday, May 27, 2011
The Devil's Tomb (2009)
My Netflix Instant Queue is a big void where movies available on Watch Instantly get dumped, often never to be seen again, at least until Netflix decides it wants to remove a film, and then I have to decide if I want to watch the movie before it gets the ax, or let it go and get it later on DVD. I almost never want to resort to the latter, so when this Cuba Gooding Jr. flick The Devil's Tomb was set to be removed, I bumped it up in the rotation to get it in and avoid having to use a DVD slot for it.
The Devil's Tomb has Gooding Jr. as the leader of some special ops wet-works team sent to extract Ron Perlman from some underground research facility in Afghanistan. When they get down there though, things aren't what they seem, as gross dudes with gross sores start coming out of the woodwork, quoting scripture and spitting black grossness on people. To make matters worse, Gooding's team start hallucinating. And then, Henry Rollins shows up, overacting more than a rapper in his first film role-- that might be the scariest thing of all...
I don't know, bad horror I guess, that's what this is, but not fun bad horror, more like dreary derivative bad horror. The religious bent made it even weirder. Gooding Jr., along with Perlman, and Ray Winstone in a small part, try their best to save this from blah-dom, but it was too much of an uphill battle. You've seen this before, and you've seen it better before.
This movie, perhaps more than any of Cuba Gooding Jr's DTV stuff we've done on here, really shows how much better an actor he is than the material he's forced to work with. If it wasn't for Perlman and Winstone, I would've felt really bad for him, but he had those two to share in his misery. Word on the street, if imdb is to be believed, Gooding is attached to a project called One in the Chamber, co-starring the Babe Ruth of DTV, Dolph Lundgren! I can't think of a better guy for Gooding to learn under as he gets the hang of this whole DTV thing-- of course, my posts are littered with mentions of upcoming projects that two or three years later I look back in the archives and am like "wow, that one never happened." Cross your fingers.
This is directed by Sean Connery's son. He didn't do a bad job, this just wasn't a really great or original concept, so it just was what it was. I don't even know if an assist from his dad could've saved it. Maybe, if they tweaked the script some, and had Gooding play an immortal from the Highlands of Scotland named Cuba MacLeod. "You can't die Macleod."
This had a few other recognizable names. Jason London, not to be confused with his twin brother Jeremy, Taryn Manning, and Henry Rollins were probably this biggest. I don't really know what to make of Henry Rollins, not just in this, but period. I know people who think he's the bee's knees, so maybe it's more me than it is him. I will say he was guilty of overacting in The Devil's Tomb, which meant I knew even less what to make of him.
I have a habit of calling Ron Perlman Bruce, I guess mixing him up with former Tennessee head basketball coach Bruce Pearl. I bet as I go back through this to proofread, I'll find some "Bruce Pearlmans" that need fixing-- and I may even miss some! I know upon seeing that the queue is starting with people wanting to hit me with the corrections comments: "you know, his name's RON, not BRUCE, duh!", and I could call him Ron for 90% of the post, but one Bruce, and boom, there's the comment letting me know.
All right, before I alienate all of my readers who scan my posts for brainfarts they can jump on-- hey, they still count as traffic and comments, so keep up the good work!-- I'll wrap this up. This film's days are numbered on Watch Instantly, but DVD is still an option, though I'm not so sure that's a good thing. Also, the Watch Instantly version was in full screen, but maybe this was originally Made for TV and no TV channel wanted it, as opposed to crammed into Pan and Scan from a widescreen cut. For our UK readers, our friend Lee Nicholson at Straight to DVD Heaven mentioned in the Sacrifice post that this finally came out on DVD over there. We wait for Seagal flicks, they wait for Cuba Gooding Jr. flicks, go figure.
For more info: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1147687/