24 February 2009

DVD: "Death Tunnel"

Death Tunnel
Written, Shot, Edited and Directed by Philip Adrian Booth
Produced and Written by Christopher Saint Booth, Shane Dax Taylor
Starring: Steffany Huckaby, Annie Burgstede, Kristin Novak, Jason Lasater, Melanie Lewis, Yolanda Pecoraro
DVD Release Date: 28 February 2006
MPAA Rating: R (For Strong Bloody Violence/Gore, Language and Nudity)
List Price: $14.94

The Film
Waverly Hills Sanitorium operated early in the 20th Century to house and treat tuberculosis patients.  A reported 63,000 patients died there, and rumors have persisted since its closure in the 1960s that the facility is haunted.  Locals have often trespassed in the night for various rites of passage, and it was only a matter of time before a film would be set there.  Essentially, the idea is that a group of sorority pledges are challenged to stay the night.  They are, of course, stalked throughout the night and disposed of one at a time until sunrise.

There are two featurettes, one on the making of the film and another on the wardrobe for the Death character, as well as a photo gallery.  A director's commentary would have been nice, on two fronts.  One, having co-written, filmed and edited the film as well, Philip Adrian Booth is poised to have very unique insights into how the final film came to be.  Secondly, it would have been interesting to hear his recollections of actually shooting at Waverly.

The Recommendation
Having gone to Waverly Hills Sanitorium (for one of their annual haunted house tours) and done some research, I confess to being fascinated by the place.  I don't believe in ghosts, so the myth of the place as genuinely haunted is bunk to me, but the actual history is interesting.  This curiosity about the place connects me as a viewer to this film, because I've been where this was shot.  Without that personal connection to the film, though, this will very easily become just another generic, gratuitous slasher film.  Louisville locals will have that connection; others should probably approach this release with extreme caution.

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