MAY 17, 2007
The biggest war in the world is not in Iraq or Afghanistan. It’s in the credits of The Devil’s Den. According to the IMDb and most reviews, the film is directed by genre fave Jeff Burr. On the DVD label, the director is listed as Andrew Dunt. And then on the film itself, the director’s name has changed to Andrew Quint. Look, can I get my name in there too? Why not? I put a lot of effort into watching the movie, since the moron at Blockbuster couldn’t be bothered to remove the security strip thing that prevents you from opening the case, so I had to go back to the store and get it removed. Then again, I should have checked, since the guy was a total idiot during the entire transaction (he called me to the counter by saying “Are you ready?”, even though he obviously wasn’t since I spent another minute at the counter waiting for him to take the movie from my hand. Then I asked him what I owed for Willard since I decided to keep it, and it took him about 4 minutes to solve that complex puzzle. Christ.).
Anyway, seeing that level of incompetence and bearing the obvious stink of a director taking his name off the film, one would expect the worst. But Devil’s Den wasn’t too bad. It wasn’t great by any stretch, but all I ask from a direct to video Devon Sawa movie is that I don’t spend the whole time looking at the ‘time remaining’ display on my DVD player (which is exactly what I did for most of They, by the way). Speaking of Sawa, dudebro needs to lay off the Doritos.
As any other review will tell you, this movie is basically the same as From Dusk Til Dawn (right down to a Dawn of the Dead cast member as the bar’s bad-ass), only… well, cheaper. And that’s fair, but it’s not like it’s the only film to ever copy another. And I can think of many worse ways to spend 85 minutes than watching Kelly Hu kick some ass. And all 3 principal cast members work well together, delivering many unexpected good lines and random asides (such as Sawa’s fear of squirrels).
Much like Burr’s Texas Chainsaw Massacre III, Ken Foree demonstrates a remarkable ability to survive certain death. In Chainsaw he got half his head cut off by a damn chainsaw, only to come out at the end with a minor head wound, yelling “I made it!” (though to be fair that was a studio re-shoot, he died in the original ending). Here he is viciously attacked and repeatedly bitten by a vampire, but it amounts to him basically being out of breath (and totally healed a few months later in the film’s sort of pointless epilogue). God bless him.
And the completely lazy individual in me can’t help but have a little love for a movie in which its would-be hero (Sawa) spends the entire climax sitting on the ground watching Hu fight the big bad vampire. And Burr/Quint/Dunt/Me/Whoever adds to the hilarity by holding on him even when the fight goes out of frame. It’s hilarious. Then again, maybe Sawa SHOULD have fought a bit, and got some exercise.
What say you?