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Dead Mine [DVD]
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A band of treasure hunters set off to a remote Indonesian island searching for wartime gold left behind by the Japanese. Having overcome internal conflicts and the harsh terrain they are attacked by a mysterious enemy. They seek refuge in an old tunnel system, where something far more deadly awaits them… From the director of Mum & Dad, Dead Mine is a suspense-filled action-horror that brings the modern world face to face with the terrors of World War II
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The story is mostly recycled plot elements from other similar types of survival horror. I see a lot of the other reviews have mentioned similarities with the Descent and rightly so it is the same kind of 'down the scary rabbit hole' idea.
Although the story starts off in a clear direction and has all the traditional horror character archetypes ( spoiled brat, the rogue trying to redeem himself, the bad ass etc etc ) it loses it's way about half way through and leaves more questions than answers.
If your wanting to watch a well written, thought provoking film that ties up all loose ends before the final credits roll then this isn't it.
However, if your wanting an easy to watch popcorn flick with a bit of gore thrown in then you can't really go far wrong, as the film does a lot of things right. But unfortunately, the plot just fizzles out too much towards the end to make it anything more than that.
6 OUT OF 10
The biggest problem for me was that the story feels all over the place. We get "Price", (and his girlfriend) looking for "Yamashita's gold", while the Japanese scientist on the trip reveals she is there to investigate (the real) unit 371. The mine in the jungle, which has been abandoned "for decades" has a nice door with a path leading up to it and seems pretty well lit with ambient light somehow. There's a very old Japanese soldier down there, who seems to be playing the part of "Basil exposition" in the main.
A large group of invincible samurai warriors who have been waiting underground then show up, who can dive in all their gear. (What have this lot been eating for the last 70 years?). We never find out what happens to half the party. No that I really cared.
The directors have obviously watched a few other films, not least "Outpost", but there is also the mine escape scene from "broken arrow" and subterranean crawlers (see "the descent").
It isn't terrible, but there is no sense of tension from being in the tunnels or bunker. If you're looking for a bit of bunker action, then I'd suggest "outpost" or "Frankenstein's army" as alternatives to this one.
This is a reasonably entertaining attempt at a monster film shot on location in Indonesia using local and american actors. It starts reasonably well and opens into a monster story about half way through. Unfortunately the filmmakers start injecting more and more monster aspects as it goes along and as they are revealed there is less and less explanation and, ultimately, sense. It all becomes a bit much. It ends on a cliffhanger and it feels like this was done because they weren't sure what else to do.
If we changed the setting, and made the Japanese into Nazis, then we would have seen this film a half dozen times before. The plot was well put together. There was good diversity within the group, but the characters came off boring. The setting was drab and military gray by design, which made it unexciting.
It is worthy of a rental. Won't be in my collection until it is on some multi-pack.
Parental Guide: F-bomb. No sex or nudity.
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