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Overall Rating

Awesome: 0%
Worth A Look: 16.67%
Average: 0%
Pretty Bad: 8.33%
Total Crap75%

1 review, 6 user ratings

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Death Tunnel
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by Scott Weinberg

"OK, let's start with the DVD cover..."
1 stars

"Death Tunnel" is about a bunch of half-naked college girls who agree to spend a night in an abandoned lunatic asylum. Now look at the DVD cover and tell me what you see. You see a flat-chested girl who is underwater and wearing a gas-mask. Thus begins the Odyssey of Stupid that is The Death Tunnel Experience.

Take a huge dose of Session 9, more than a few inspirations from Saw, and trot out the ridiculously old "college hazing turned horrific" concept that was old hat back when Hell Night hit the screens (which was 1981), and you're left with Death Tunnel, an aggressively over-directed and underwritten piece of wannabe horror tripe. And it's not even bad enough to be "fun bad," either.

Five hot college girls agree to spend the night in a horrific old lunatic asylum, while a few snickering boys pop through the background and try to scare 'em but good. Yawn. The girls simply wander around, clad mainly in underwear, perpetually yelling each other's names, their collective aimlessness punctuated by sentences like "this isn't funny anymore," before a listless kill scene occurs and we get a few glimpses of otherworldly weirdness. And on and on and on... So if I told you that the "sanatorium" turned out to be haunted by actual ghosts, as well as a slasher-type dude dressed in a gas mask and a big garbage bag, I doubt you'd express much in the way of surprise or amazement.

What I find amazing is that a flick this awful could land a DVD deal from Sony, but hey, that's just me.

First-time fraternal filmmakers Philip & Chris Booth have one small asset on their side: They got access to the amazingly creepy edifice known as the Waverly Hills Sanatorium, which is a predictably run-down, deserted, and terrifying building located in Louisville, Kentucky. Other than their creepy location, though, the Booth brothers are shooting blanks.

Putting aside the fact that the screenplay is 11 parts rehashed and plagiarized horror hokum and that the flick contains some of the most amateurish acting performances I've seen in years, Death Tunnel is directed with an epileptic approach that coasts right over irritating and borders on maddening.

Not content to let its one-note story ferret itself out in a linear fashion, the flick offers a collection of insta-flashbacks, -forwards, and -sidetrips -- without ever stopping to notice that not one of the subplots, regardless of time frame or location, is even remotely fresh, exciting, or scary. A bunch of girls wake up in their asylum room and then *whammo* we're hit with a fascinating flashback to the party that preceded their hazing rituals. Why? To make the thing run a full 90 minutes, I suppose.

The filmmakers also help to distract from the aimless directorial stylings by employing all sorts of camera trickery, stuff like speedy-flipout-face-cam and goofy blood-splatters on the lens and all sorts of Tool video-style silliness. It's not just that Death Tunnel is cheap, derivative, and clearly made by folks with more enthusiasm than talent; it's that Death Tunnel is the horror flick equivalent of elevator Muzak.

( Review reprinted from DVDTalk, with permission from the author (me) and the DVDT management. For the full DVD specs on this particular movie, please visit and get friendly with the search bar.)

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originally posted: 02/13/06 20:10:28
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User Comments

3/24/12 Ted Great movie. 4 stars
6/29/11 Nicolette scared the shit out of me when I was little but today is now just shit. 1 stars
11/27/06 Shammy Feen Truly appaling movie. badly directed, badly acted & badly shot. Avoid. 1 stars
10/25/06 Ben Estes This is a very good movie!! 4 stars
4/05/06 Lex Abysmal! Pitiful! Tedious! Pathetic! MAN this movie SUCKS! 1 stars
4/01/06 WNM Bad film but the opening Credit sequence is very well done. I watched the sequence twice. 2 stars
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  28-Feb-2006 (R)
  DVD: 28-Feb-2006



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