Dennis D. McDonald (ddmcd@ddmcd.com) consults from Alexandria Virginia. His services include writing & research, proposal development, and project management. Follow him on Google+. He publishes on CTOvision.com and aNewDomain and volunteers with the Alexandria Film Festival. He is also on Linkedin. To subscribe to emailed updates about additions to this web site click here.

Ernie Barbarash's CUBE ZERO

Review by Dennis D. McDonald

I rather enjoyed this direct-to-video Canadian horror film. It’s been a long time since I saw the first one of the series but my memories were positive. Here we have a “prequel” that explains a lot about the “cube” and how people get there. We also have the requisite devices that slice, dice, fry, incinerate, and dissolve hapless victims as they desperately try to escape through the different interlocking cubes.

This time around we spend time with the operators of the cube as they sit in front of their control screens and discuss the implications of what they are doing in the name of a higher authority. Politics and religion rear their heads here but not in an entirely convincing manner; the real interest is on screen as we follow not only the victims but their jailers as they move through their escape attempts.

I found the set design and story references to be quite entertaining. There are touches of the Inquisition, The Pit and the Pendulum, Dark City, the Borg, Brazil, 12 Monkeys, and probably a host of other horror films I was not aware of. But no matter. The economy and tightness of direction, partly a byproduct of the small budget, generate a focus on story and character that holds your attention. 

Review copyright (c) 2010 by Dennis D. McDonald

Guillaume Iverne & Arthur Qwak's DRAGON HUNTERS

Guillaume Iverne & Arthur Qwak's DRAGON HUNTERS

Takashi Shimizu's REINCARNATION

Takashi Shimizu's REINCARNATION