Quickie Review: ‘The Devil’s Tomb’ (2009)

The road to hell is paved with Cuba Gooding, Jr. movies like "The Devil's Tomb".
The road to hell is paved with Cuba Gooding, Jr. movies like "The Devil's Tomb".

Directed by: Jason Connery
Written by: Keith Kjornes
Starring: Cuba Gooding, Jr., Taryn Manning, Henry Rollins, Valerie Cruz, Ray Winstone, Ron Perlman
Running time: 90 minutes
Rated: R

PLOT
A team of mercenaries under the command of hard-charging war veteran Mack (Gooding Jr.), are contracted by a mysterious CIA operative named Elissa (Cruz) to rescue a scientist (Perlman) working on an archeological discovery deep under the Middle Eastern desert. With the help of a mysterious priest (Rollins), Mack and his team soon discover the true secret of what lies beneath the sands. A secret that has been protected for thousands of years. A secret that is not of this Earth. (from IMDb)

Quickie Review

Lately it seems like every time a new Cuba Gooding Jr. movie comes out, I say, “Oh, how the mighty have fallen.” “The Devil’s Tomb” doesn’t change that. The long, slow, hellish descent of Cuba Gooding Jr.’s career continues ninety minutes at a time with this direct-to-video waste.

I first heard about this movie thanks to its similarities with one of my favorite video games right now, “Clive Barker’s Jericho”. “CBJ” is by no means the pinnacle of gaming achievement – hell, it’s not even as creepy as his first game, “Undying” — but it’s entertaining, which is more than I can say about “The Devil’s Tomb”. It is virtually everything that’s wrong with the horror genre today: It’s boring, predictable, ridiculous, and worse still, it wastes the talents of Gooding, Ron Perlman, and Henry Rollins. The story follows a supposedly elite mercenary squad into a secret underground base in the Middle East… except the majority of the squad is dumber than a bag of hammers. Madcap horror mayhem ensues.

It does, however, leave us with at least one valuable lesson. If you are a member of a crack mercenary team in a sealed bunker almost two miles underground and a hot, naked chick appears out of nowhere – DO NOT make out with her. She’s most likely an illusion created by an evil priest who will break your arm, spit black stuff into your mouth and then drag you off to your well-earned demise for being so frakkin’ stupid.

The tagline for this movie was, “An evil entombed for 2000 years… until now.” It’s a pity we couldn’t have kept it buried. Sadly, “The Devil’s Tomb” is nothing more than another milepost on Cuba Gooding Jr.’s own road to hell.

Joe Lopez
Dubbed, "TerrorScribe" by a former editor, Joe made the conversion to horror sometime in the mid-2000s. Little did he know he'd favored the genre all of his life. When not struggling with short stories, he provided genre film reviews for local entertainment sites and later genre sites who could suffer his cynical views.

It was that same cynicism - and some might say hubris - that lead him to have a brief flirtation with filmmaking. His first two efforts, "Annotated" and "Antes Que Seja Tarde (Before It's Too Late)" both premiered at a local H.P. Lovecraft film festival. A third short, "Survivor Girl" proved to be his undoing though plans are in the works to revived the cursed project.

Born and raised in Dallas, TX., Joe now resides in a small Texas town. Statistics say more dead bodies turn up in small towns that big cities... though he claims to have NOTHING to do with that.
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