The Devil’s Tomb (2009) Review

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Sealed Evil In A Can

The Devil’s Tomb (2009): 4 out of 10: Not since “Killer Flood: The Day the Dam Broke” has a movie’s title rendered about eighty percent of the plot development mute. Dumbass spoiler alert… Hey, the mysterious underground archaeological site turns out to be a tomb. Whose tomb you ask? (IN MY BEST CHURCH LADY VOICE) “Could it be Satan???”.

Cuba Gooding Jr’s career choices are the least of his worries nowadays.

Okay, so The Devil’s Tomb is a remake of Prince of Darkness, but with the Space Marines from Aliens after a tragic mass lobotomization. Look, I realize that not every American soldier is a fully fledged genius; but how any of these thunderheads made it through basic, without throwing the pin, is anyone’s guess.

Well, at least the mask is covering their nose.

The script is to blame. Since the soldiers simply are not believable, the rest of the film falls apart; (Not that the script improves all that much when the mumbo-jumbo starts.) This is a shame because the acting is game. Now when you have Cuba Gooding Jr., Ray Winstone, Ron Perlman and even Taryn Manning (who really surprised me with a fun performance.); you are going to have decent acting. Throw in a fun Henry Rollins as a priest bit and an over the top performance by Bill Moseley and you have one of the best cast B movies this year. Only Franky G drops the ball, in a horribly written role, as the dumb muscle.

No, Henry the Devil was inside you all along.

The direction is by Jason Connery, best known as Bennington in the TV Series “Mary-Kate and Ashley in Action!”. (His dad was in Highlander apparently). The direction is serviceable, though he really needed a military adviser on set; or, at the very least, someone who has played paintball. The actors did not seem to know what to do with their rifles and kept pointing them at each other. In addition, if you are firing a kill shot, you want to line it up AWAY from the hostage.

So much wrong.

Special effects and other items are okay. Heck, there is even a lesbian subplot that threatens to make the movie interesting (Though the script drops the ball on that as well.) If you can get through the first twenty minutes without your eyes rolling out of your head, The Devil’s Tomb turns into a collection of interesting performances looking for a purpose. And figuring out who is buried in the Devil’s tomb will not keep most people entertained. (And no, it isn’t Ulysses S Grant).

There is a scene in Alien Hunter where James Spader causally mentions he needs a shower, and the delectable Leslie Stefanson asks to join him. He turns her down. This scene is almost that level of hair pulling disappointment.
The many expressions of Taryn Manning.
Valerie Cruz got lost on her way to her one hundredth TV pilot.
Nah, he seems fine.
Just wait till he takes off his shirt.
Honestly, he wouldn’t be out of place with the other religious nuts protesting at Comic-Con.
I know I keep beating this dead horse but the guy on the right. What are you doing?
My last intervention looked exactly like this.
Every haunted house movie (And the Devil’s Tomb is at its core a haunted house movie) has this scene where a dim member of the Scooby Gang comes across a beautiful model that wants to have sex with him and surprise surprise she is a ghost, demon, or a Kardashian.
Un Chien Andalou the direct to video version.
Looks like Taryn read the script.
I try not to be all male gaze and sexist in my reviews and comments. But Stephanie Jacobsen’s lips… I have never been a fan of the plump lip look, but good God, those work.
Taryn giving her best come hither/possessed by demon look.
Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer have had a rough summer.
The long arm of the law coming for Cuba.
 I don’t mean to sound forward – I mean, I know I don’t know you,
but I don’t think that we’re going to live through this.
 And I’ve never been with a man before.
I know that this isn’t the right place.
Until we get through, our hands are tied. We need plans. (Nobody quotes Airplane II: The Sequel)
You know I have a product that will clear that right up.
Again, you are in a demon tomb in Iraq. Half your crew is dead.
Wow, Ron Perlman is half a chin away from Robert Z’Dar in this scene.
Tanning booths have a timer for a reason, Ron.
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[…] Good: Much like Killer Flood: The Day the Dam Broke or The Devil’s Tomb; Brittany Runs a Marathon’s title gives away its ending. And yet here I am choking back tears […]