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DEATH TUBE 2
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Reviewed by: Ammon Gilbert

Directed by: Fukuda Youhei

Starring:
Naomi Inoue
Satoshi Sakurai
Kawatsura Akihiro

Movie:  
star star star star
Extras:  
star star star star
Overall:  
star star star star
What's it about
A group of people wake up to find themselves on Death Tube, an online “game” that streams video of people getting murdered by a dude in a yellow-bear mascot costume straight out of some theme park somewhere. The people look for clues to find ways to survive the game and get out alive, except the game is designed so that only one person survives.
Is it good movie?
If you thought the latest string of SAW knock-offs were only happening in the U.S. movie market, you were dead wrong. Jigsaw’s deadly grasped has also reached overseas and has been plaguing cinemas worldwide with rip-offs of the most atrocious nature. Case in point, DEATH TUBE 2, a film that owes its very existence to SAW (in particular, SAW II) as well as FEAR DOT COM and even a dash of UNTRACEABLE, but done so sloppily that it makes those other films seem like cinematic gold in comparison (and if you’ve seen FEAR DOT COM, you know that’s saying a lot).

The concept of Death Tube is actually pretty good and could easily work for a film like this: an excuse to kill a roomful of people in interesting ways while the people in question try and solve the mystery as to why they’re there and how they can escape. The problem with DEATH TUBE 2 is that the kills aren’t interesting, the people are too stupid to figure out what’s going on (save for one, and even she’s a little dim), and the chance of escape is next to zero, making the whole point of the movie totally moot.

This is where I’d like to say the film was so bad it’s good, but sadly… it’s not. It’s so bad that it’s boring, and being bored while watching a movie (which is supposed to entertain you) is about as bad as it gets. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t a handful of WTF moments sprinkled throughout that only the Japanese could deliver. For starters, the killer / giant yellow bear mascot. WTF? There’s not just one of them but an army of them mulling around this abandoned building looking to kill these people any chance they get. Then there’s the games: at one point, they’re forced to play musical chairs, the one without a seat dies (???), then they get stuck in a stairwell while searching for an exit that’s literally covered with a sheet—they walk by about 40 times before figuring that one out, and then there’s the impromptu bear mascot Thriller dance. Yes, the Michael Jackson song. No, no the real song but one you’d find programmed on a synthesizer. Seriously… WTF?

But are there redeeming values anywhere? There’s a chick dressed up like a maid who’s pretty hot, but sadly… she doesn’t get naked. Come to think of it, the only real redeeming value the film has are all of the WTF moments—it’s just so random and bizarre and weird.

Video / Audio
Video: The film is presented in 1.85:1 widescreen and does the job well enough. It’s crisp and clear and looks like a video camera (rather than film), but for the purposes of the film, it adds to the whole “internet video” effect the flick was going for.

Audio: 2.0 mono in native Japanese (with English subtitles). Nothing special to report about here.

The Extras
You can check out a stills gallery of the film (mostly featuring the chick dressed up like a maid), the trailer, and a list of other titles that Epoch Cinema has to offer (to the beat of Thriller, no less). In other words, there are extras… but there’s nothing special about them.
Last Call
If you like the SAW series or FEAR DOT COM, you won’t like DEATH TUBE 2. In fact, I can’t see anybody liking DEATH TUBE 2 except maybe those who are into oddly-placed giant yellow bear mascots shooting / stabbing people and busting out in an impromptu Thriller dance. Also, if you have always thought musical chairs was a deadly game or that you often find yourself getting lost in stairwells and can’t find an exit, then you might sorta dig this. But for the rest of us, steer clear and waste your time on something else.
ARROW IN THE HEAD'S RATING SYSTEM
star star star star I'D BUTCHER MY FAMILY TO SEE THIS AGAIN
star star star HANG ME BUT I DUG IT A LOT
star star AN OK WAY TO KILL TWO HOURS
star JUST SLING AN ARROW IN MY HEAD AND LET ME DIE IN PEACE

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