CampBlood Gay Horror Reviews: Senseless Rants from a Picky Sissy


The Cave Bruce Hunt 2005

Les Hunks Spelunks

I myself am even looking at my Skully rating for last year’s forgettable sci-fi/horror actioner The Cave and going, “Huh? Who’s the slapnuts giving a decent rating to what was obviously a total direct-to-Sci-Fi-Channel stillbirth?” Truth is, The Cave really isn’t all that bad – thanks to some gorgeous locations, an even more gorgeous cast, and some legitimately creepy creature work, it’s certainly above the standard of most of last year’s releases and isn’t a bad watch. I mean, just last week I rented The Fucking Fog and wanted to die in my sleep rather than live with the memory of having wasted 90 minutes on such a shitheap – but in this case I don’t feel near as hari-kari about this whole experience.

The Cave begins in the mountains of Carpathia, or somewhere, where a bunch of smelly-looking (read: hot) European men are blasting their way through the floor of a church in order to get to something altogether more… sinister? It’s actually kind of exactly like the beginning of Blade: Trinity, only it’s snowy instead of sandy and there’s no Parker Posey chewing on the foam rocks. Anyway, they blow a hole in the floor to get at what’s underneath, and the entire posse ends up falling through, and on top of that causing a gimundous fucking avalanche that reduces the church to rubble and seals the guys in, possibly killing them all.

Cut to some boat somewhere, where a bunch of dive-people are – wait a minute, is that Eddie Cibrian?!?!? OMIGOD! I LOVE HIM! Eddie, I’m seriously that one guy that watches your show Invasion every single Wednesday like it were some kind of electronic insulin without which I would go into terrible fits and die. I loved you in Living Out Loud (uh, hard not to, you sexy thing), But I’m a Cheerleader (again, hubba hubba!), and even that stupid TV show where you ran around saving people. You complete me.

Anyway, Eddie and a bunch of other people (among them, to be fair, the plucky and oddly often-cast-as-a-lesbian Piper Perabo of Lost and Delirious, the new Imagine Me & You, as well as the only-somewhat-less-lesbianic Coyote Ugly) are experienced cave divers, and have been called by some random European doctor somewhere to explore these giant caves below the ruins of the destroyed church, including an underground river that could go 90 miles through the mountain without surfacing. Doctor Whatshitnameski also happens to have a smokin’ hot assistant, the lovely Lena Headey (who – follow me here – also just happens to play the lesbian love interest opposite Piper Perabo in Imagine Me & You – oooooh!!! She was also the tough ranger-woman in The Brothers Grimm – for the 2 of you who saw that.). Anyway, they all end up in the hole and shit happens and they’re stuck and monsters are out to get them.

Despite being ostensibly a monster movie, The Cave has the smarts to throw some pretty hot beefcake on the screen to pad the time until the nasties show up – Cibrian models a stunning array of BodyGlove divewear and cap-sleeve tees, and the Tricep Overdrive Power Kickline (Rick Ravanello, Cole Hauser, Morris Chestnut, and Kieran Darcy-Smith) are all pretty easy on the eyes. But once the big alien-bug-mole-bat-thing appears and kills Strode (Smith), wounding Jack (Hauser) in the process, it’s all about getting out before they get eaten. An assortment of interchangeable “peril situations” follow, some of which seem like something out of the Goonies on steroids (the waterslide trip into the waterfall/canyon had my Pavlovian hankerings for One-Eyed-Willie in a tizzie. And no, I’m not referring to Eddie.) and others that are obvious time-killers.

The best sequence is easily the one where spelunker-and-not-necessarily-not-a-lesbian Charlie (who even sports a masculine or 80’s perfume-inspired name), played by Perabo, scales a sheer rock cliff, at the protests of her teammates. Charlie’s ascent is actually pretty nerve-racking – but when she finally makes it to a cave midway up and comes face-to-face with one of the nasties, it just gets worse. We’ve got jumping, falling, flying, and what looks almost like doggy-humping – it’s definitely the best sequence in the movie, and (sob!) it doesn’t even involve Eddie. Eventually it becomes clear – and this is actually kind of an interesting idea – that the isolated environment – once thought by the early Christians to be populated by demons, due to its strange wildlife – has allowed for a nasty blood parasite to thrive in the cave, and its high level of communicability is what led the folks to seal it off and build the church over it in the first place (which isn’t really that surprising). Jack, having been scratched by one of the nasties – which happens, it turns out, to have a tattoo on its “hand” that matches ones seen on the cave-pilferers in the opening scene – is now morphing into something that’s no longer human and therefore can’t be trusted. Well, to be honest, I wouldn’t trust anyone who’s blood-related to Wings Hauser ANYWAY (have you SEEN Vice Squad?! It's my PIMP STICK, BITCH!), but in this case the fact that his irises become shaped like little X’s lets everyone else know that he’s not entirely on the level. In the end, some of the folks make it out, and some don’t – you can pretty much guess from the early scenes who will survive (thank you, Jesus!), but they decide to throw in a last-minute sucker-punch to either open things up for a sequel (The Cave 2: The Jellystone Years?) or just piss you off before the credits roll.

Either way, it’s a suitable ending to a competent and not entirely infuriating monster movie. Some of the creature work is fun, some of the sequences are horribly claustrophobic, and there are several varieties of steaming man-steak on display throughout. In all, totally worth renting on a rainy afternoon or catching on its inevitable severn-year run on the Sci-Fi Channel.

Rating (out of 5):