I have had a nice relaxing afternoon nap, and the cause of that nap is “Dead Mine”. To call it slow in getting to the point is almost an insult to things which are slow to get to the point, and it made me long for the days of grindhouse and exploitation cinema where at least those filmmakers knew that if you wanted to keep people interested in your horror movie, you had to put something moderately eventful in the first half.
A treasure hunter, his girlfriend, a scientist and a bunch of the treasure hunter’s hired goons are in the jungles of Indonesia, trying to track down some Japanese general’s stolen WW2 gold. This is a real thing, apparently (well, at least the story is, I’m sure there’s no gold-filled bunker anywhere any more). The scientist lady has some pathetically vague story about wanting to find out why people are evil – of course, there’s no better way to do that than traipse about some long-abandoned military base in the middle of the jungle.
Anyway, it turns out that the base, as well as being the place where the gold was, was also the venue for some pretty horrific medical experiments by the Japanese on prisoners of war. And wouldn’t you know it, but those test subjects are still there, lurking in tunnels underground and popping up to capture the hunters. What was a mission for £££ now just becomes a mission to stay alive!
Okay, that exclamation mark was about as excited as I could get about this. The first glimpse we get of one of the creatures is at about the halfway point, and I feel like a kid with ADHD for pointing this out, but that’s too damn long! The dull characterisation isn’t really enough to hold interest, is what I’m saying. The sets look great, this clearly wasn’t a cheap film to make, but no-one ever said “I thought that film would suck, but boy those sets really held my interest”.
I wish they’d had a few more passes at the script, or hired a few stronger actors, or something, because there’s the occasional interesting thing in here. The speech about how soldiers are created, while a little out of nowhere, is well done, and the sole interesting relationship in the film between main soldier and scientist lady, is sort of half a philosophical debate about evil and how it’s created…but it’s not enough.
It’s like someone saw “The Descent” and mixed it with a tiny soupcon of “Dead Snow” and thought just changing a few locations would be enough to make a good movie. There’s really no drama in here, just waiting for your least favourite character to get killed by the mutant zombie fellas. As they’re super-powerful and the humans, well, aren’t, it’s not much of a fight either…there’s just nothing fun or interesting or particularly dramatic about this film, and you shouldn’t bother watching.
Rating: thumbs down