Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

Günter and Ingrid are about to go for a swim. I don’t if these are their real names or not but this movie ‘Below the Earth’s Surface’ makes it way from Germany and those are two German names, I think, so that’s what we are going to call them. So these kids get naked, jump in the water only to have the earth open up and swallow them up. Now as a bit of advice for future filmmakers, you might not want to open your movie with titties if you aren’t going to commit to consistently putting in titties throughout your movie. You see if you open with titties people are going to expect to see more titties. Not me of course because I’m not shallow like that and I also abhor the gratuitous exploitation of women in these movies, but there are those not as enlightened as me who see a movie that has titties in its opening scene and are waiting around to see more titties only to be disappointed when said movie doesn’t show more titties. But not me.

Anyway, holes randomly opening up in the earth and swallowing naked people isn’t normal and when hard working geologist Lina Thiemann (Liane Forestieri) almost loses her bratty nephew to one of these randomly opening holes, she’s on the job to find out what the hell is going on.

A few years back there was a mine that collapsed costing many miners, including Lina’s beloved brother, their lives. The company that owned this mine, particularly blustery CEO Dr. Schneider (Hosrt Gunter-Marx), claims they spent plenty a Euro in filling in these mines but Lina knows that random holes in the earth can only be caused by the gravitational rotational sediment funneling vortex theorem, and THAT can only be caused by assholes who didn’t fill in the mines they claimed to have filled in.

Lina has a plan. Descend into the earth, set off some bombs and fill the mine. This has to be done because according to Lina’s data the next hole is going to swallow the local hospital. So Lina grabs her crew which includes her old man Horst (Christian Grashof) who is still suffering from Post Traumatic Mine Collapse disease considering he was in

the mine the last time it caved in. Also included on our team is Lina’s ex-boyfriend Thomas (Marco Girnth) who will be our explosives expert. These two have unresolved issues surrounding their love. I don’t want to spoil it for you but they will resolve these issues.

So down and down and down they go and sure enough, that damned Dr. Schneider was lying. Simple enough, lay some explosives and fill the holes and get outta there. But one problem is that the mines are collapsing upon themselves with our heroes inside and another more pressing problem is that one of the crew is a murdering scumbag. It’s complicated, but somebody is killing off our crew of earth savers. Worst still is that Lina was slightly off in her calculations of where the next big hole would form. Did we mention there is a soccer match down the street at the local Mega Stadium seating about 80 large? With collapsing mines in front, a lack of oxygen to the left, asshole administrators above ground and a murderous scumbag below ground… it’s not looking good for the 80 thousand at the soccer match. Good thing soccer sucks. Of course I’m joking. Go Brazil!

So when the movie started and our nude couple get swallowed up by the evil hole I mistakenly thought that I was about to watch a horror movie where a creature of immeasurable terror was hiding ‘Below the Earth’s Surface’. Admittedly I was a little disappointed to discover there was no evil sea-beast and that the evil hole was just an average everyday run of the mill hole, but once I got over that initial disappointment I was able to settle in and enjoy ‘Below the Earth’s Surface’ for what is was, that being a completely mediocre disaster movie.

And make no mistake about it because ‘Below the Earth’s Surface’ is definitely mediocre. It doesn’t do anything any better than any other disaster type movie that has come before it but it also doesn’t do it any worse either. The characters are pretty much stock from the plucky meddling heroinem to the strapping hero, with sexual tension between the two and of course we can’t forget the required inclusion of the callous executive ignoring the obvious signs of the impending disaster with all of the major plot points following right along as one would expect from a movie such as this. That being said, director Sebastian Vigg does maintain tight control over his story, and the various element in this story, and there are some interesting things going on in the periphery when the movie isn’t sticking rigidly to its action themed plotline, plus those action sequences and effects are crisp and well done and the acting is solid, though the English dubbing over the German actors voices can be a bit off-putting.

While the ‘Towering Inferno’ might not have much to worry about in regards to ‘Below the Earth’s Surface’ challenging for its mythical disaster movie crown, and yeah… the movie is mighty mediocre… but mediocre is better than crappy which ultimately adds up to a victory in my book. GOOOAAAALLLLL!

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