I once heard a very sad quote about the horror genre in regard to actors: “Actors in horror films are either on their way in to the movie business, or on their way out”. Well, for Cuba Gooding Jr, if this quote rings true, then he is definitely washing out quicker than blood on a plastic tarp. I for one don’t consider that a bad thing. I would much rather be paid less doing horror movies that I enjoy than to be paid a shitload of money doing snore-fests like Jerry McGuire and Pearl Harbor.
I will make no bones about it, The Devil’s Tomb is a B-flick, but with a cast that boasts actors like Cuba Gooding Jr (Jerry McGuire), Ron Pearlman (Hellboy), Bill Moseley (Otis from The Devil’s Rejects), Jason London (Pink from Dazed and Confused), and Henry Rollins (from the punk band Black Flag), how can one resist having a look-see?
The Devil’s Tomb has an extremely simple plot. An elite team of special forces soldiers is sent in to a top secret archeological site in the Middle East. Their objective is to retrieve one lone scientist (Pearlman), disturb nothing, and return to the extraction point. Easy enough, right? Wrong! Lucky for us (the viewers), there is an ancient evil down there just waiting to fuck up the soldiers’ day.
I have to admit, I’m demonically possessed by the topic of the ancient biblical evil buried in the Middle East. I loved it’s head-spinning, crucifix-fucking, pea-soup vomiting repugnance in the Exorcist, and I love it now. Without giving away as to what exactly that evil in The Devil’s Tomb really is (no, it’s not the devil himself), I will only say that Stephen Spielberg touched on the subject in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.
All in all, I have to say that I enjoyed The Devil’s Tomb. Yes Cuba Gooding Jr. over-enunciates his lines. Yes Ron Pearlman and Bill Moseley should have had bigger roles. Yes Henry Rollins’ acting ability is abysmal and he should just stay behind a microphone and not in front of a movie camera. Yes there is a back story that only kind of has anything to do with the overall story, but the concept has promise. There are some scenes with a genuine creep factor. Aside from Rollins, the actors are killer, and the gore is disgustingly comedic in some scenes, and highly entertaining. I like Cuba Gooding Jr. I certainly hope his career isn’t over and I hope he continues to make horror flicks that get better and better. The Devil’s Tomb is definitely a good start.