Movie Review: Death Tunnel

I’ve had a good streak recently, due to lack of anything better to do, watching bad movies and reviewing them. To answer twindaddy’s question publicly, I find these movies all over the place. The video store, Netflix, word of mouth, whatever. You have to have an open mind and the willingness to try anything. Sometimes you come across an awesome B flick, like I have with Zombies On A Plane, Zombie Strippers, and Trailer Park Of Terror. But sometimes you find the rancid ones that prove nowadays ANYBODY can make a movie.

So for tonight’s movie I went with Death Tunnel, a horrible take on the Waverly Hills Sanatorium story.

For those of you who don’t know, Waverly Hills Sanatorium in Louisville, KY is one of the top haunted places in the world. I have personally been there, it’s fucked up. Anyway, back in the day it was a hospital for those who had tuberculosis. Anybody in that part of the State who caught TB would be sent to Waverly Hills.

In its time, over 63,000 people died there of TB. Now the place gives over night tours for those of you who want to hang out in one of the creepiest places on earth, from dusk till dawn. The place is famous for, aside from the hauntings, the death tunnel.

The death tunnel is a 500 foot long concrete tunnel that was once used to transport the dead patients from the hospital to a waiting ambulance at the other end. The reason they did this is, they thought it would keep the morale of the other patients up if they didn’t see just how many people were dying every day from the disease they themselves had. So the hospital built the tunnel and hid the death as best they could from the still living.

Phillip Adrian Booth and Christopher Saint Booth came along and tried to tell their own tale about the place and called it Death Tunnel.

Throughout the movie there are tons of clips of different, odd shit. Too much, actually, and it makes following the movie rather hard, not that the story is good or that it’s being told in a good way anyway. But that was the main issue with the movie, it tried too hard.

The acting was bad as was the writing and the directing, but it wasn’t so bad that it killed the movie. The movie, really, killed the movie. If it didn’t try so hard, if it didn’t go overboard on all of the random shit and if it told the story straight through instead of bouncing around all the time like a bad ripoff of a Tarantino film, it would have and could have been good.

The story is about a prank gone bad, as five college students are taken out for initiation. They’re taken to Waverly Hills, only it’s called something else in the movie, and they’re forced to find their own way out of the hospital. “5 floors, 5 girls, 5 hours.” Catchy, right?

At least the girls in this were pretty hot, although their acting suffered from it. It was obvious why they were picked for the movie. In one scene we actually get to see a nice boob shot. This chick is taking a shower in the hospital (which brings up at least 100 questions, but there should be no water running in there at all) and then she has a freak out where a bunch of random images start showing and confusing the shit out of the viewer. And then, instead of water, she’s covered in some orange slime. She screams and the scene lasts too long to be scary and then she snaps back into reality and she’s covered in water and everything’s okay, except she’s freaking out.

There’s another girl in the movie, the main actress actually, Steffany Huckaby (as Heather) who was the worst actor in the movie and she had the lead role. I guess she was selected for that role for how she could cry, which is all she fucking did through the movie.

At times, the background music was too loud and it almost never fit the flow of the movie. In one “chase/suspenseful/running” scene, there’s a rock type song playing to help build momentum or whatever for the pace or something. It just didn’t blend well.

Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, you get to the end of the movie and they finally fucking explain what the story is. The reason everyone is getting killed, the reason why everyone is freaking the fuck out, the reason why there is ooze and slime on everything in the fucking place, the reason why almost none of the stories they tell about the place is right, is…

Because each one of them is a relative of someone who died in that hospital.

Really? That’s the fucking reason? That’s the worst reason I’ve ever fucking heard about any fucking horror plot ever. And there are some bad ones out there, believe me.

For starters, if they grew up in that part of Kentucky, yeah, chances are very good they’re related to someone who died there, because that hospital was for that part of Kentucky. Over 63,000 people died there of TB, so yeah, chances are very fucking good that they were a relative of someone who died there. But if that’s seriously the issue, then why aren’t there hundreds, if not thousands more others there with them instead of the five girls and two guys? Surely there are many more relatives out there, right? This shit only happened about fifty to sixty years ago.

Too many plot holes. Never mind that they did, in fact, tell just about every story about the place wrong. Sure it’s just “based on true events” and not completely true, but still, damn. If you’re going to tell the story at all and it isn’t exactly detrimental to the movie, don’t fucking change it.

I really didn’t care for the movie, as if you couldn’t tell, but it wasn’t so horrible that I’m mad I sat through it all. Finally. This was my second attempt at watching it.

Oh, I almost forgot. One last big problem with the movie. This should knock it down a star from what I was about to give it. At the end of the movie the two survivors inevitably have to make their way through the death tunnel to get out of the hospital. They go from the hospital to the death tunnel.

In reality, you can’t do that. Now, I’ve only been there once, but from what I remember, you can only access the death tunnel from outside. So, if the movie were accurate, which it wasn’t at all (not that it had to be, but damn), they would have escaped before reaching the death tunnel and then they wouldn’t have had to go down it.

Do yourself a favor and pass this one up as well. If I had the time I could take the movie they filmed, cut it up and piece it back together and make a better movie, and it would probably be 20 minutes shorter. If you absolutely must, check it out, it’s not THAT bad, but it really is THAT bad. If you watch it you’ll see what I mean.

I give this movie 3 stars out of 10 because it was sort of decent. In parts.

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