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Subterano

Threat advisory: Low - Low risk of entertaining activities

Movie propaganda

Evil on every level.

"As flies to wanton boys are we to the gods, they kill us for their sport."

In an underground car park a godlike killer is hunting his victims through a subterranean maze.

Conrad (Alex Dimitriades) and Stone (Tasma Walton) are revolutionaries and ex-lovers who share secrets and a violent past. In an underground world, trapped by fate and preyed upon by toy-like killers, they find strength in each other and in a remembered past.

Conrad and Stone are joined in their quest for survival by other potential victims of the killer's deadly game of Subterano; united in their struggle, the group must advance to the next level of the "game" in order to break out of the killer's deadly virtual reality world. But there is evil on every level and escape seems impossible, until Conrad discovers something worth fighting for...

Subterano - there is no logic.

Persons of interest

  • Alex Dimitriades .... Conrad
  • Tasma Walton .... Stone
  • Alison Whyte .... JD
  • Kate Sherman .... Angie
  • Jason Stojanovski .... Slick
  • Chris Haywood .... Cleary
  • John Clayton .... Bruce
  • Anne Tenney .... Elaine
  • Scott Swalwell .... Max
  • Veronica Segura .... Mouse
  • Troy Planet .... Attendant
  • Christian Marchington .... Jake
  • Alyssa-Jane Cook .... Mary
  • Esben Storm .... Screenwriter
  • Esben Storm .... Director

Cinematic intelligence sources

Intelligence analyst

Special Agent Matti

Theatrical report

Sub-zero.

Subterano the game is inspired by Doom: run around, open doors, kill people. Subterano the movie never gets above this level: run around, open doors, kill people.

The speech (I decline to call it dialogue) is atrocious: none of the characters can string a sentence together, let alone have a conversation. It's as if Esben Storm had a whole bunch of ideas and put them all into the script as they came into his head. (I will assume that Esben is male because this film is the archetypal adolescent male fantasy, albeit without the porn.) Listening to the characters speak you get the impression that they are blurting out the thoughts that they are thinking irrespective of the person to whom they are supposedly talking. The speech simply doesn't sound like people conversing.

Next are the motivations of the characters: they are either simplistic beyond belief or completely hidden. If you don't understand (or don't believe) a character's motives then you can't accept them as a "real" person. Conrad is a convicted revolutionary with a price on his head who puts his escape on hold to help some complete strangers escape from a deranged mass murderer. In real life this would never happen: he would head for the hills. Even in a future world where motives are influenced by a different culture, self-preservation would come first. Sure, he has a conscience, but the people he protects are either strangers or enemies. Why would he bother? And why is the bad guy (aka God) playing this game, murdering people we have to assume are his friends? Because his father was short with him on the telephone? It just doesn't make sense.

Depth: there isn't any. You can see the actors trying hard to breathe life into the script but it's like trying to blow up a rubber glove with the fingers chopped off.

Subterano rips off several adolescent-inspiring films (like Alien, Resident evil, Lara Croft: Tomb raider and Terminator 2: Judgement day) up to and including the point of plagiarism: the ultimate monster is made from liquid metal which can reshape and repair itself when damaged, just like the Terminator-1000. There is so little that's original (Graeme Wood's cinematography being the notable exception) that I can't even recommend this film even for curiosity value. Watch Neophytes and neon lights instead.

Media intelligence (DVD)

  • Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound
  • Languages: English
  • Picture: Widescreen (16:9 enhanced)
  • Special features:
    • Scene selections

Security censorship classification

M (Medium level violence, medium level coarse language)

Surveillance time

91 minutes (1:31 hours)

Not for public release in Australia before date

Film: Undated 2002
DVD rental: 9 July 2003
VHS rental: 9 July 2003

Cinema surveillance images

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