Main cast: Miki Mizuno (Rie), Sam Hazeldine (Stanley), Ario Bayu (Captain Tino Prawa), Les Loveday (Warren Price), Carmen Soo (Su-Ling), Jaitov Tigor (Papa), Joe Taslim (Djoko), Mike Lewis (Ario), and Jimmy TaenakaRyuichi (Ryuichi)
Director: Steven Sheil
Dead Mine is the first original movie production from HBO Asia and features a cast of various nationalities. How can I not support such a venture? Well, given how atrocious this movie is, I wish I haven’t bothered.
This one is about some treasure hunters seeking some gold stashed inside a WW2 Japanese bunker in some Indonesian jungle. Lo and behold, the bunker is infested with… things! Things that look like underpaid extras plastered with scrunched up toilet paper! I think they are… zombies? Whatever, really. The samurai warrior costume is pretty hilarious, though.
The first thing that strikes me, while watching this movie, is how lethargic the whole thing is. The pace is excruciatingly slow because the actors speak their lines in agonized monotone despite the fact that they don’t seem to have any mental deficiencies that lead to speech impediment, they move around like they have been sedated or something, and the action scenes have all the energy of a broken toothbrush. Seriously, watching the actors in this mouth is painful. Are they forced at gunpoint to be in this movie?
The plot is, basically, “unhappy actors wandering around the movie set”. There are no scares to be had here because of the clumsy and hammy direction coupled to a cast that don’t act as much as they are bumbling around the place. The script never allows anyone on screen to develop beyond a stereotype – I don’t even know their names and I don’t care – and the whole thing is utterly wretched.
Dead Mine is comparable to those bad films made by people with more enthusiasm than talent or budget. The tragedy here is that HBO threw some money to make this pile of steaming dung happen. The person who gave this movie the green light must have been truly suckered or lacked sobriety when he or she signed the dotted line.