Judge David Johnson is a dead minesweeper.
You know what mine is filled with death? This one!
A group of mercenaries find themselves trapped in the depths of an underground, abandoned Japanese fortress and soon realize that they're not alone. Their cohabitants? Undead samurai a-holes, wanting nothing more than to blow out years of pent-up angst and confinement and unleash some serious malevolence on the interlopers.
But why would these people run around in a cave in the first place? Why, gold of course! So much gold. Specifically, Yamashita's Gold, an impressive stockpile of treasure that has been chalked up to mere legend, but our treasure hunters are convinced exists. Alas, the mine they end up also happens to have been a site for oddball experimentation and soon enough all hell breaks loose.
Which essentially turns into a whole bunch of movies that you may have sense before, typically involving undead Nazis. That's the bad news; Dead Mine isn't flush with originality. The good news? It's about as polished as any similarly-themed films I've seen.
Once you get past the derivative nature of the proceedings, I'm fairly confident you'll settle in and have a moderately enjoyable time. The narrative is well-placed, opening with a good bout of action, transitioning into the necessary table-setting exposition and launching into a full-throated action survival romp. The zombie samurais aren't terribly compelling cannon fodder, but the make-up effects are all practical and cool and their rampant sword swinging has a tendency to do massive damage.
Once the attacks commences, the story follows predictable arcs, as our protagonists are butchered systematically. But, again, it's the execution that carries the day; the action is well-staged, the kills sufficiently spew-y, and the effects solid. As an action/horror flick dealing with well-tread ground, Dead Mine could have been a lot worse. As it stands, your Friday night wouldn't be wasted spooling this up and eating some deep-fried, over-sauced poultry.
The DVD is sparse: 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen, Dolby 5.1 Surround, and no extras.
Not particularly memorable, but not particularly guilty either.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: XLrator Media
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