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Taking place years after The Haunting of Molly Hartley, who now, as an adult, has fallen under the possession of an evil spirit and must be exorcised by a fallen priest before the devil completely takes her.
Quinn Taylor and his friend Nick are on their way back from Mexico with a load of Spanish Fly to sell in the States. They stop at a gentlemen's club called The Devil's Den and decide to test out their product on the unsuspecting women there. Only, these women aren't really human, and the two men find themselves in a very fatal position. Also tossed in are a female-assassin on the hunt for Quinn, a monster hunter who just happened to stumble into everything, a Japanese swordsman who doesn't really exist and even Satan himself who have to deal with the situation once all hell breaks loose Written by
As this is a fairly new movie done on a low budget and using a somewhat goofy plot line, it is not something everyone will enjoy. For those who prefer big-budget, star-studded, Hollywood CGI-fests, this will probably seem like a terrible movie by comparison. Spare those around you the complaints and leave this movie alone, because it is not for you. There is a specific type of person who will enjoy DEVIL'S DEN; let me tell you my story.
I'm the kind of person who, on occasion, likes to head down to the local video rental store and check out the horror movies that are obviously low-budget and completely unheard of. An overwhelming majority of these movies I would personally prefer never to see again, and I most certainly would not add them to my growing DVD collection in spite of my enjoyment of bad movies. Many of the obscure horror and thriller flicks that populate the shelves at the rental place are also Direct-To-DVD, meaning they probably had even less funding than most low-budget movies. Several of them are "filmed" on someone's digital camcorder from K-Mart, utilizing no extra lighting and leaving the sound as-is. In short, many of these movies are absolute crapola that would barely be passable even if the viewer were heavily intoxicated and told before viewing that he or she was watching a school project made by a bunch of eighth-graders.
Other trends in the DTV and low-budget horror movies these days include hiring an iconic genre actor (such as Jeffrey Combs or Tony Todd) to film a few scenes and give them star billing, giving the potential viewer the belief that the movie features a lead actor who is interesting to watch. I've seen this in several movies; I rent a flick, expecting a favorite actor to get lots of screen time and, instead, wait for most of the movie for the supposed star to make an appearance. Another chunk of these movies take themselves way too seriously by attempting to reconstruct a dream or hallucination in an effort to appear as realistic as possible for all of the teenage literalists out there who couldn't suspend their disbelief if the loss of their virginity depended on it.
DEVIL'S DEN is one of those rare gems that I come across, perhaps, once every twenty rentals; it is the kind of movie that I hope to find through my somewhat masochistic movie-watching habits. Unlike many of the other low-budget horror flicks out there, this movie is kind of a combination of 1980's undead monster movie and 1990's dialogue-heavy independent film (it is, in many respects, similar to Robert Rodriguez's FROM DUSK TIL DAWN). It stars--yes, REALLY STARS--Ken Foree, of DAWN OF THE DEAD (both versions, but mostly the original), playing opposite Devon Sawa from FINAL DESTINATION and SLC PUNK! and Kelly Hu of X2. Granted, this is still far from being an all-star cast, and the acting is fairly average to less-than-average, but the three of them do have some great scenes together and the comedy is what makes much of the dialogue work.
Like many horror movies, the plot of DEVIL'S DEN is linear and gets to the good stuff swiftly. The monsters in this movie, vampire-like creatures that Foree identifies as "ghouls," make their first appearance within the first twenty minutes, and the plot basically revolves around the survival of Quinn (Sawa), Caitlin (Hu) and Leonard (Foree) as they find themselves trapped in a strip bar infested with flesh-eating ghouls. The dialogue-heavy scenes, such as the Zatoichi story (easily one of the funniest sequences), are delivered in a manner not unlike Kevin Smith's CLERKS.
Technically, this movie is done using practical gore effects, with almost no digitalization or CGI involved, for which, by itself, this movie deserves an extra star or two. Everything else--lighting, sound, cinematography--are all competently done, although one should expect plenty of stolen ideas throughout this movie. This is not a movie with a burning desire to tell a story; it is a movie made for the fans of the tongue-in-cheek comedy/horror flicks from a bygone age.
If you are someone looking for that rare, cheesy-yet-fun horror gem amid the seas of DTV releases, DEVIL'S DEN is worth checking out. It definitely has the potential for status as a cult classic.
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