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Overall Rating

Awesome: 12.12%
Worth A Look39.39%
Average: 36.36%
Pretty Bad: 6.06%
Total Crap: 6.06%

3 reviews, 15 user ratings

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Cube Zero
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by Scott Weinberg

"I may not understand the math, but I sure do dig the GORE!"
4 stars

SCREENED VIA THE 2004 L.A. SCREAMFEST HORROR FILM FESTIVAL: You wake up trapped in a giant steel box, narrowly dodging a giant buzzsaw blade as you bend down to pick up your shoe. The only exit leads to another steel room, only this one houses a stream of flesh-melting acid and an unhappy looking corpse. But wait...there's another door over there...

Welcome to the world of Cube, the low-profile series of direct-to-video horror movies that Lions Gate has been releasing for the past few years. The first Cube (1997, Vincenzo Natali) was a razor-sharp little cult classic, while the overbaked Cube 2: Hypercube (2002, Andrzej Sekula) offered very little besides some gruesome gore and a whole lotta hooey. So where would the third installment, Ernie Barbarash's Cube Zero, take us?

Back to the source, baby.

A huge improvement over the second installment and a pretty solid horror flick, sequel status aside, Cube Zero is a clever, creepy, goopy and surprisingly inventive little thriller. Fans of the series will be thrilled to learn a little bit about the "other side" of the Cube's purpose and maintenacne...but I'm not about to spoil the goods, people.

The plot is your standard Cube fare, for the most part: a disparate group of amnesiac bicker-bodies find themselves imprisoned within an unending series of booby-trap-laden chambers. The smartest and least confrontational prisoners survive to figure out the cube's design structure, leading to a blood-drenched trek to the exit signs. But added here, in the third trip to Cube County, is a slick and satisfying subplot involving some of the Cube's "operators". First-time writer/director Barbarash has figured out a canny way to open up the series' structure, doling out a few long-overdue answers - while not spoiling the mystery of the crazy Cubism altogether.

Performance-wise, this third chapter might be the best movie of the bunch. Young Canadian actor Zachary Bennett offers some particularly strong work, here playing an ingenious Cube technician who has a sudden change of heart before tossing himself into the stadium-sized deathtrap...on purpose! The lovely Stephanie Moore gives us a heroine worth hooting for, while the rest of the supporting cast does precisely what's asked of them: wander around convincingly, contemplate how much they hate cubes, and then get slashed / torched / melted / squashed by the next available stainless-steel doo-hickey from Hell.

Cube Zero moves along at a brisk pace, doling out its death-knells in a reliable cadence, delivering a surprisingly solid balance between high-end gore and a nifty narrative that actually makes sense. (Those who struggled through Hypercube know what I'm talking about.) It's a Part 3 Slasher Flick mixed with a particularly nasty Rod Serling-style nightmare as written by a math wiz, and it's a sequel that does its part to right a series that could have been destined for the oblivion of fanboy apathy.

Special kudos are due to the FX freaks who toiled to make "Cube Zero" and its demises as grandly goopy as they are devilishly creative. Old-school Cube-heads will most likely appreciate what's offered here, and the flick's just good enough to stand on its own, too. Not bad for a third-generation direct-to-video Canadian horror sequel, eh?

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originally posted: 10/12/04 21:26:43
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For more in the Direct To Video Sequels series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2004 ScreamFest L.A. Horror Festival. For more in the 2004 ScreamFest L.A. series, click here.

User Comments

7/25/12 Nathan love this movie 5 stars
10/07/11 Ad.S What a shame. The "villain" ruins the film. 2 stars
7/27/10 JM Synth Naff villain can't spoil clever and engrossing sci-fi thriller 4 stars
3/28/10 mgabrys Hypercube is akin to Highlander 2 - it steps outside of the premise - Cube Zero is it 4 stars
11/23/09 oKTcOH Hi! ralsyZN 1 stars
7/08/09 Adam Seely I wish we could see what happened to Eric after it ended. 4 stars
6/10/09 Julien Because it goes into deeper back-story of the "Cube", I find it a more complete sci-fi exp. 4 stars
1/15/09 FrankNFurter About as exciting as watching mold grow in my sliced cheese in the fridge.Zzzzzz! 1 stars
8/07/06 Spoom Even better than the first, a must see. 5 stars
2/11/06 Josh Standlee All questions are answered! Pray for a Cube 3!!! 5 stars
6/21/05 Mark Louis Baumgart A dark paranoid near-future thriller that will have you believing the worst of governments. 4 stars
6/13/05 Jonathan A Great Prequel,better than Cube2. Shame some of the technology wasn't quite believeable. 4 stars
4/24/05 Loid Extraordinary 5 stars
3/11/05 The Sorrow In my opinion, after "CUBE" the sequeals are just pitiful jokes...!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 2 stars
3/07/05 malcolm fun and revealing, better than 2 4 stars
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  22-Feb-2005 (R)
  DVD: 22-Feb-2005



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