The ruins of an abandoned sanitorium, built in Kentucky in 1910, has beneath it The Death Tunnel (2005), through which victims of the White Plague, & those dead from sinister experiments, were formerly removed in secret.
The Death Tunnel is surprisingly aesthetic in its horror design & cinematography, despite its trash premise. As the cinematographer, screenwriter, director & editor are all the same person, it's easy to judge that Philip Adrian Booth is a cool cinematographer. His other hats reveal less intelligence.
Five beautiful college girls are dared to spend five hours in the haunted sanitorium. Ooo, original. The cast can't act, which rather undermines the good set design. They dither through the story but at least they're hotties & that obviously mattered most to the dudes who shoveled this pile of mediocrity.
It's too bad that generic misogyny & crap acting spoilt the thing because the sanitorium itself is a great gothic wonder with the potential of evoking considerable dread -- if only the ditzy babes mattered for anything more than nudie torture.
The "wit" of the thing goes no further than there being five girls, five floors, five ghosts, & five hours. If they leave the building sooner than the fifth hour they fail the initiation.
Guys who develop this sort of film, like actual psychopaths, tend to have a "type" they most enjoy torturing & killing.
Therefore the five girls constitute only two types: girls who "deserve it" & girls who don't. They're so interchangeable that none stand out as individuals. They might as well have been blow-up sex dolls they're so empty of personality.
Because the "story" if it qualifies as such is completely generic, & because none of it is driven by character, it's dull in long patches even if assessed as the sleezoid movie it intentionally is.
The authentically spooky set designs by Christopher Saint Booth are pretty much wasted. Incohesive events happen more as a matter of whatever was made up by a terrible screenwriter, not from any sense of an actual overriding mystery out of which strange or horrific events might arise. The girls are merely picked off one per hour & that's about it.
But we do get a great costume for the gas-mask psycho, again designed by Christopher Booth. Otherwise, nothing happens in the sanitorium that couldn't've happened in the cabin in the woods or the haunted house or abandoned military installation or any cliche setting for pretty much the exact same movie that picks off the characters one at a time.
The nonsensical events accumulate until the tunnel is finally revealed. It's full of old corpses & B.F.D. It's just a gosh darn bad story made into a bad movie.
Continue to the next madhouse:
The 4th Dimension (2006)
copyright © by Paghat the Ratgirl