ARROW IN THE HEAD REVIEWS

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Death Tunnel (2005)
Written by: The Arrow
Director: Philip Adrian Booth

Starring:
Steffany Huckaby/Heather
Kristin Novak/Ashley
Jason Lasater/Richie
PLOT-CRUNCH
5 hot chicks are locked into a haunted Asylum (which has 5 floors) for 5 hours, as part of some College initiation (What ever happened to just having wet lesbian sex?). Ghosts and ghouls step in to crash the shin-dig!
THE LOWDOWN
Death Tunnel took the true life 1928 Kentucky Sanatorium incident (where over 63,000 died at the hands of some awful disease) and weaved a fictional horror jamboree around it. The kicker is that they actually shot the thing at that same Sanatorium, in the actual “Death Tunnel” (a corpse shoot) at that! Ballsy move guys! They're not afraid of no ghosts! Now the Press Release for the film claims that throughout the shoot, they managed to record real poltergeist voices, and film authentic ghostly apparitions...both of which have been supposedly cut into the finished flick. My Spidey sense tells me that's a “marketing ploy", but if true, it didn’t make a difference as to my viewing experience one way or another. It all felt like fiction to me!

Now, apart from sporting one of the more tantalizing premises this side of a gnarly horror stag party (Five girls, five floors, five hours, five ghosts…yeah bitch!) this low budget Indie heavily rock and rolled my world on two mucho important levels: a barrage of morbid imagery and an endless array of spine-chilling sounds. Style junkies take note of this fix where it will sky rocket your senses through the Gothic rehab roof! This had to be one of the more polished and gorgeously macabre genre films I’ve seen in a while! Slow motion, fast motion, quick cuts, use of stills, flash cuts, zany angles, kinetic camera movements, a slick use of flashbacks…you name it and it was in here in doses that could pleasantly nix out anybody’s brain cells!

The same could be said about the crawl under skin sound designs at play here! WOW! I felt like I had entered a busy house of horrors working in audio overtime! The psychos behind this ride must have spent countless hours in Post Production to get this flamboyantly dread filled result. What a GREAT looking and sounding film! Tag to all that a zippy pace that grabbed me by the lapel and didn’t let go the whole way, a compelling back-story as to the shenanigans and a slew of skimpy dressed chicks and you get a swift round kick in the horror nads named Death Tunnel. So what was wrong with this picture then?
Well, funnily enough what made me warm up to Death Tunnel so much was the same reason it lost muffin points on my end. It was too damn flashy… to the point of sacrificing tension in the process. For all the boo scares and ghastly visuals on hand, not once did I feel genuine suspense (the poor character development didn’t help matters much either). The over abundance of style distanced me from the happenings while diluting the potential impact of the nasty happenings. Give me room to get in there man! Then we had the lack of graphic gore playing against the film where the situation and the nature of this beast BEGGED for it! Moreover the overall decent acting on display would unfortunately drop in quality at the most crucial moments: the “emotional” scenes. Result; the “off” vibe lessened and sometimes ruined some bits. Lastly, although I LOVE seeing hot chicks, wearing next to nothing, wandering around drippy and dark corridors, at 40 minutes in, I was yearning for one of them to bite the dust. THE KILLING STARTED TOO LATE!

By and large, Death Tunnel acted a lot like a high class escort. I phoned her in, she walked in on time, looking uber snazzy! She went on to make all the rights moans as the humping took place and swallowed me whole as the end credits rolled. Too bad I never caught her name or what her favorite color was; the girl was in, naked, bang-bang-bang, dressed and out the door. Now you going to finger this tunnel or what?
GORE
We get some damaged ghouls (loved the one with no eyes), glass in the throat and some bloodshed. Most of the kills were off-screen or we’d see the mess after the fact. I would’ve dug more graphic goodies, especially for a flick of this type!
ACTING
Steffany Huckaby (Heather) had a sweet “Heather Graham” thing going for her and came through 90% of the time. Kristin Novak (Ashley) was hot and on the ball no doubt but her whiny character tested my patience often. I think that was the point. Jason Lasater (Richie) nailed the bulk of his role but felt a tad off during the more emotional scenes.
T & A
The gorgeous Kristin Novak (Ashley) graced us with a priceless unveiling of her two “Novaks” i.e. MELONS and I thanked her for it with a semi. Furthermore, topless ghosts were in the house! Who’s not happy? The ladies get some shirtless dudes.
DIRECTING
If director Philip Adrian Booth doesn’t have a music video background then he should! I haven’t seen so much high rolling visuals and heard such an army of chilling sounds in one sitting since that time I murdered my ex-girlfriend with a ghetto blaster. His strength, was also his main flaw though, the man needs to know when to “ease” down to allow us to get in there and to be given the opportunity to get scared beyond "boo jolts".
SOUNDTRACK
We get some hard rock, some hip hop and a chilling “piano” score by Christopher Saint. Aces!
BOTTOM LINE
Death Tunnel put out a tight premise and hot chicks galore while being a wonderfully looking/sounding genre lollipop. Props to all behind the film for making an Indie that rivaled the big boys in terms of gloss while having much less money to play with! Quite the accomplishment! Alas, its strengths resulted in being its biggest bummer as well. The flick was so damn flashy on all counts that it kept me out, hence not involving/scaring me as much as it should have. Although more gore and finer tweaked acting would’ve also been nice, I still had a Tupperware slaughter with this one! Its groovy happenings and hypnotizing aesthetics made sure to keep me my eye sockets on the screen where they belonged! A decent ride no doubt...you gonna hop on?
BULL'S EYE
A documentary (called SPOOKED), comic book, video game, original soundtrack and merchandising will accompany the film.

Any movie that lifts a quote (“you’re the disease and I’m the cure”) from the action classic COBRA is all good in my morgue!

The flick was shot for an estimated 1 Million clams.

VISIT THE DEATH TUNNEL SITE HERE

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