Catacombs (DVD)



Catacombs DVD (click for larger image)Reviewed by Uncle Creepy

Starring Shannyn Sossamon, Alecia "Pink" Moore, Emil Hostina, Mihai Stanescu

Directed by David Elliot and Tomm Coker

Distributed by Lionsgate Home Entertainment


Sometimes a movie will sit on a shelf for a really long time until a distributor figures out what to do with it. In some cases that's a real shame. In others ... well, in others that could be a godsend. The latter applies here. First off, it's taken me three full days to get to writing this review. Why, you ask? Because my head has not stopped aching since my initial viewing, which by the way also took three days from start to finish. Why so long, you ask? Catacombs should be the first film ever to come with a warning. Allow me to elaborate.

A very small portion of the population has a condition that may cause them to experience epileptic seizures or have momentary loss of consciousness when viewing certain kinds of flashing lights or patterns that are commonly present in our daily environment. These persons may experience seizures while watching some kinds of television pictures or playing certain video games. If you or anyone in your family has experienced symptoms linked to an epileptic condition (e.g., a seizure or loss of awareness), immediately consult your physician before watching Catacombs. If you experience any of the following symptoms: dizziness, altered vision, eye or muscle twitching, involuntary movements, loss of awareness, disorientation, or convulsions, DISCONTINUE VIEWING OF THIS FILM IMMEDIATELY and consult your physician.

Catacombs DVD (click for larger image)Anyone who's read my reviews knows I'm not a fan of the shaky-cam technique. It's over-used and annoying. But shaky-cam coupled with frenetic editing and strobe lights for nearly ninety minutes straight? This is one for the books, man. Directors David Elliot and Tomm Coker have found themselves an entirely new way to be annoying!

Here's the story in a nutshell. Victoria (Sossamon) is invited to Paris by her sister (Moore) to party. Everything's just fine until Vickie realizes that said party is taking place in Paris' infamous catacombs. That's right, folks, in case you didn't know it, the city of romance and fine wine and food is built on top of the world's largest underground graveyard complete with bones arranged in all manner of artistic ways! Those wacky Frenchmen! It's not long before our chica and her friends end up being stalked by a guy in a pig mask (What's with Twisted Pictures and their flagrant usage of killers in pig masks anyway? Ten to one these folks remake Motel Hell next), and the game is afoot. Yep, that's the story. The catacombs setting is a no-brainer for a horror movie. It would take a herculean effort to really fuck this one up. Guess what?

Things go down like this:

People at rave dancing.

Flashing lights.

Darkness.

Flashing lights.

Dude in a pig masks screams, "RAWR!"

Victoria screams.

Flashing lights.

Darkness.

Flashing lights.

Dude in a pig mask.

Catacombs DVD (click for larger image)Darkness.

Out of focus chase seen with flashlight swaying back and forth.

Darkness.

Victoria screams, "FUCK!"

Darkness.

Flashing lights.

Dude in a pig masks screams, "RAWR!"

Darkness.

Flashing lights.

Another out of focus chase scene with swaying flashing lights.

Victoria screams, "FUCK!"

Darkness.

Flashing lights.

Dude in a pig masks screams, "RAWR!"

This goes on for an hour and a half. I am not exaggerating. On what planet did anyone think that this would make for something even remotely resembling entertainment? The sadder thing? The performances overall, or at least what I could see of them, are pretty solid. And it has an OK ending. I dare you to try and make it that far!

If you can still stomach more, there's a commentary with the directors, a brief behind-the-scenes featurette, a storyboard gallery with commentary, and a look at the making of one of the songs on this waste of celluloids soundtrack.

Holy Christ, my head hurts. Damn you to hell.

*pops another Advil and hopes for the best*

Special Features

  • Audio commentary with directors David Elliot and Tomm Coker
  • Inside the Catacombs featurette
  • Making-of "Blue Butterfly" with Violet UK featurette
  • Storyboard gallery with commentary

    Film:

    2 out of 5

    Special Features:

    2 1/2 out of 5

    Discuss Catacombs in our Dread Central forums!




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    moderator Which one? The ... ummm ...
    Steve Barton's picture

    Which one? The ... ummm ... fuck how do you even describe it?


    Submitted by Steve Barton on Thu, 02/14/2008 - 2:20pm.
    Sirand's picture

    LMFAO! Greatest screencap ever!


    Submitted by Sirand on Thu, 02/14/2008 - 2:08pm.
    moderator Like I said, solid acting
    Steve Barton's picture

    Like I said, solid acting and an OK ending.


    Submitted by Steve Barton on Thu, 02/14/2008 - 1:45pm.

    2 knives???

    I read nothing in this review suggesting the film deserved that score... I was expecting half a knife at the most. From the review I was led to believe that Catacombs was shite and poorly made. What justifies it getting this rating?


    Submitted by PelusaMG on Thu, 02/14/2008 - 10:20am.

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