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The Tomb: Devils Revenge (DVD film review).

September 14, 2020 | By | Reply More

Well, reading through the press release this film a couple months ago when I watched it, ‘The Tomb: Devils Revenge’, would appear to have a lot going for it. The screenplay was written by Maurice Hurley who had worked on ‘Star Trek: The Next Generation’. Continuing the ‘Star Trek’ connection, we have Jeri Ryan (7 of 9 from ‘Star Trek: Voyager’), Jason Brookes (‘Star Trek’ 2009 film) and, of course, the man, the myth, the legend that is William Shatner. He is of course billed as the star of the film.

All of this ‘Star Trek’ connection is proudly shouting at you from the press release accompanying the film and is a blatant piece of marketing. Apart from sharing some actors and a screenwriter, ‘The Tomb: Devils Revenge’ has no connection with ‘Star Trek’ whatsoever.

Now I have got that off my chest lets evaluate the film on its own merits. Although I must admit I was eager to see Jeri Ryan in another film. I thought she gave one of the standout performances in the Amazon series, ‘Picard’. Anyway, while Shatner is billed as the star of the movie, I would say that Jason Brookes who plays Shatner’s son, John (he might also be known as Sergio), is the leading man. He’s onscreen a lot more than Shatner, too. Jeri Ryan plays his somewhat bewildered wife’ Susan.

Before I tell you what the film is actually about, here are some excerpts from the press release: ‘The Descent meets The Exorcist, with a dash of Raiders of the Lost Ark thrown in for good measure, in this suspenseful thrill-ride…’ and featuring, according to Nerdly, ‘absolutely AMAZING creature designs”, buckets of blood, and, of course, Shatner on top form, The Tomb: Devil’s Revenge is B-movie mayhem that delivers demonic thrills and underground chills.

The movie is set in current times and follows the progress of archaeologist John Brock, who at the start of the film descends into some caves located somewhere in rural Kentucky. He is looking for something called the Relic and he’s desperate to retrieve it. So desperate in fact that when one of his companions’ stumbles down a slope and breaks his ankle. John is quite happy to leave him there while he has a look around.

While he captures a fleeting glimpse of the Relic, John finally returns to his injured companion to find he’s been injured a bit more. Quite a bit more actually. Hacked to death by a ghoulish figure with a stupendously big sword would be about right. As any sane person would do in this position, Sergio runs for his life with the other surviving companion.

The next we see of John he’s driving home, alone in his SUV at quite a sedate pace. Following a phone call from his wife, Susan, things go from bad to worse for John as he crashes the car goes to hospital and apparently dies, but then lives. Confused? Well, so is John and everyone else at this point. There is a clear blurring of what might be real and what might be imagined but it’s not being made obvious to the audience.

There is a clue, though. Before driving serenely in his SUV, John was fleeing a cave after a man had been hacked to death. Now even in the USA, I should imagine the police are going to be asking some pointed questions about this rather nasty death with only two suspects but there’s no indication that any of this happened. Something must have happened, though, as they go to his companion’s funeral. It’s all a bit odd and the film gets even odder by the minute.

John starts to see visions and an odd set of characters keep intruding. They are sort of demon-like and have very big swords which they aren’t afraid to use. Perhaps the oddest moment is when John meets up with his dad, Haynes. Shatner delivers an emphatic, passionate monologue which could easily be mistaken for the loud ramblings of an elderly gentleman who’s lost his marbles. Rest assured, though, Shatner gets his act together and puts in a rousing performance with a grenade launcher.

The problem with this film is that it is really a series of unanswered questions and inconsistencies. Haynes in one of his more lucid moments tells us that the family is cursed but we don’t know why or what shape the curse takes. We know the gods confined the devils demons in the Relic, so why is John so keen to find and destroy the Relic? To set the demons free? They seem to be free to wander about as they please killing people without any help from you John.

It’s all a bit confusing and as the credits roll up at the end, disappointing, too. It’s a very odd film which may improve with re-watching, but it’s a braver man with more fortitude than me who will answer that question.

You may have noticed that I don’t really mention the rest of the cast and, to be honest, they don’t really feature to any real extent. It is essentially about father and son and the Relic, with some mysticism and blood thrown in.

Shatner’s contribution to this film comes in three parts. Firstly, there’s the monologue at the stud farm he calls home when his son John arrives back from his failed trip. Secondly, there’s the episode with the grenade launcher which is short but enjoyable. He also appears at the end of the film to ask his son John some interesting questions and makes some pointed observations. I’d still say Jason Brokes was the leading man, though.

One last note. On the press release, Jason Brokes character is billed as John but in the end credits as they roll up the screen it is given as Sergio. The confusion continues….

Andy Whitaker

August 2020

(pub: 4DigitalMedia. 1 DVD 98 minutes. Price: £ 8.99 (UK). ASIN : B088GDFNN9)

cast: William Shatner, Lea Hutton Beasmore and Jason Brooks

check out website: http://4digitalmedia.com/

Tags:

Category: Films, Horror, MEDIA

About the Author ()

I live in deepest darkest Essex where I enjoy photography, real ales, walking my dog, cooking and a really good book. I own an e-book reader which goes with me everywhere but still enjoy the traditional paper based varieties. My oriental studies have earned me a black belt in Suduko and I'm considered a master in deadly Bonsai (there are very few survivors).

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