The Devil’s Rock

(2011 – New Zealand) writ & dir: Paul Campion; w/ Craig Hall, Matthew Sunderland, Gina Varela. A little skin; some gore.
On a remote channel island on the eve of D-Day, a Kiwi commando and an SS occultist must team up to take down a seductive, shapeshifting demoness. Some of the ad copy for this one wants to make it out to be an exploitation flick, but this is a serious attempt at a supernatural suspense. It has a solid cast and is very well crafted. However, the story just doesn’t have enough substance to really carry it all. They try for some twists near the end, but at the bottom line, it’s still just another skull-munching demon. While it is not a waste of time, it’s not exactly memorable, either.

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2012: Doomsday

(2008) writ & dir: Nick Everhart; w/ Cliff de Young, Dale Midkiff, Ami Dolenz, Danae Nason. No skin; no gore (duh).
It turns out that the Mayans knew all about the end of the world because they were Christians — and the second coming is now at Chichen Itza. Um, yeah… they really do appear to be serious about that… anyhow… just in time to ride the coattails of an actual movie, this is what you get when you update the religious scare films of yesteryear. I realized they wouldn’t have enough budget for any credible doomsday, but they certainly should have done better than to give us the same tired old platitudes and a vague segue into the Tribulation. It’s a film of vapid dialog and transparent attempts at tension – the only thing ‘profound’ about this flick is the degree of its failure.

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