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???”.
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 managed to make it through basic, without throwing the pin, is anyone’s guess.
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 an horribly written role, as the dumb muscle.
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.
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).