The Tomb: Devil’s Revenge, 2019.
Directed by Jared Cohn.
Starring William Shatner, Jeri Ryan, Jason Brooks, Phillip Andre Botello, Robert Scott Wilson, and Ciara Hanna.
A man who believes his family is cursed takes his wife and children to a cave full of demons to prove it, or something – bit selfish of him really.
There are some things in life you just have to put yourself through even if you know that it isn’t going to be a pleasurable experience, and when you are teased by the knowledge that a movie titled The Tomb: Devil’s Revenge that stars Star Trek icon and all-round entertainment legend William Shatner is about to be released then you know that sitting through it is as inevitable as taxes and death, the latter possibly being the better option if truth be told.
And there is death aplenty in this movie as lead character John (Jason Brooks – the 2009 Star Trek, coincidentally), a man so vanilla he’s almost an ice cream, is exploring a cave with a couple of his friends, or at least people who tolerate his weird obsession with this particular cave. The thing is, John believes that he and his family are the victims of a curse; a curse that, although probably not very nice, doesn’t really have any explanation behind it other than John must retrieve a relic that is in this cave otherwise the demonic cosplayers that appear in his head will haunt him forever.
His wife Susan (Jeri Ryan – from Star Trek: Voyager; are you noticing a theme yet?) isn’t happy with him visiting this cave every five minutes and forbids him to ever go there again. Even when he visits there twice more, one of his friends dies and he has a heart attack he can’t understand why she doesn’t like him going there. John goes to visit his father (Shatner) who is a very angry man and tells John to pull himself together before giving a speech about death, never once noting that this so-called family curse doesn’t seem to affect him or his grandkids. Yes, he’s an angry man but most probably because his adult son is such a wimp and can’t even cry convincingly.
Anyway, Susan has a change of heart once she speaks to her father-in-law and he no doubt bullies her into taking his pathetic son back to the cave where all the bad things happen (except they haven’t, as it’s all in his head… or is it?) so he can take on the roaring, fire-breathing Halloween store costume-wearing demons (extras) that could easily kill him anytime they like because they are demons with evil powers but no – they must continue to taunt this bland middle-aged man with no personality whose friends have ended up hating him. It’s not quite Pazuzu picking on a little girl, is it?
So yes, Susan rallies up her husband and two teenage children to go do battle with otherworldly forces and face certain death, because that’s what you would do as a loving parent… right? Never mind, because if you were going underground to fight the armies of Hell and had to bring the family along you may as well bring ol’ grandpa and his grenade launcher too, and when your explosive-wielding father is a strangely angry William Shatner then you know that maximum fun will be had.
Well, that isn’t entirely true as, on paper, The Tomb: Devil’s Revenge could either be the greatest action epic the world has ever seen or, at the very least, it could be so terrible it is only worth watching to rinse whatever laughter you can out of it. Unfortunately, neither is true and the whole experience is about as much fun as turning up at a Star Trek convention dressed as C-3PO.
William Shatner is the obvious hook for the film and, to give him slight props, he is the best thing about it despite clearly not having a clue what film he is making. The man is 89 years-old and yes, he does still have a presence in front of the camera but he is not Sylvester Stallone or any other in-shape pension-age action star you care to name when it comes to throwing himself around as CGI explosions threaten to use up all of the gigabytes on the PlayStation 2 that was used to create the special effects.
The creatures themselves are dismal, looking like the horned monsters from a generic fantasy video game set in the Middle Ages, and are about as threatening as John is, although their howling and roaring is better on the ears than Jason Brooks’s line delivery which, after a few minutes of his whining you can understand why Shatner wants to give him a slap.
The Tomb: Devil’s Revenge is a bad movie. Not a fun bad movie but a tedious one with no imagination or coherent writing to at least make it watchable. If you introduce a curse as your plot device then you have to give it some sort of reason to exist, and why does only John seem to be affected by this ‘family curse’? No one knows or seems to care as it never gets a mention. What also doesn’t get a mention is why the front of John’s car is totally fine after he smashes it into a tree, despite the smoke apparently coming from the engine. Sloppy editing to go with the sloppy script. At least Jeri Ryan was making an effort to take it seriously; it’s just a shame she seemed to be in a different movie. Wishful thinking, perhaps.
All that said, hold on to your hats for the inevitable sequel featuring David Hasselhoff battling evil trolls with a double-bladed samurai sword… possibly. You sneer but you’d still watch it.
Flickering Myth Rating – Film: ★ / Movie: ★