06th Jun2018

‘Tomb Invader’ Review

by Phil Wheat

Stars: Gina Vitori, Andrew J Katers, Samantha Bowling, Evan Sloan, Shawn McConnell, Lindsay Sawyer, Val Victa, Jordan Williams, Kate Watson, John Wusah, Tammy Klein | Written by Nick Zephyrin | Directed by James H. Thomas

tomb-invader-cover

Yay! It’s another mockbuster from The Asylum. Yes, those fine purveyors of shark-schlock have returned to their mockbuster roots with Tomb Invader, a low-budget “homage” to the Tomb Raider series, originally timed to debut a mere week BEFORE the release of the Alicia Vikander starring blockbuster reboot of the film franchise. Another example of The Asylum’s savvy marketing methinks.

For those unaware, I am a huge fan of The Asylum’s output and I’m not just talking Sharknado and it’s sequels or the myriad of other killer-fish flicks they’ve produced. Films like Avengers Grimm, Abraham Lincoln vs Zombies and Hercules Reborn are just a few examples of some of my favourite movies from this ever-prolific studio. They also all happen to be mockbusters like this particular flick…

So how does Tomb Invader fare?

Well unlike Tomb Raider, which had a convoluted plot surrounding Lara Croft’s father, his business and an ancient relic; this film has a muh more simpler story: An archaeologist is recruited by a mysterious billionaire to help find an ancient Chinese relic. The same treasure that her mother was in search of before she went missing (a shown in the opening moments of the movie).

Score one for Tomb Invader.

The film is led by actress Gina Vitori as this films Lara Croft, the archaeologist Alabama Channing, whose resemblance to both Alicia Vikander AND the Lara Croft of Tomb Raider and it’s sequel Rise of the Tomb Raider cannot go unmentioned. Given her performance – which doesn’t seem to be able to convey any sense of danger or terror (something surely inate when treasure-hunting in strange caves etc.) I’m sure it was her looks that probably got her the job this time round. The rest of the cast is rounded out by a bunch on non-descript, generic, characters – the only one of note being Nathan, a play on Nathan Drake of Uncharted franchise fame.

For yes, this is not JUST a riff on Tomb Raider. Nope, The Asylum also use the ‘treasure hunter’ trope to parody both the Uncharted video game series and Indiana Jones. Meaning this is a three-for-one deal. A vertiable bargain [basement] of movie “homages;” after all, why spoof one film when you can do mutiple films at once – some would consider that a step up for the producers of Atlantic Rim and Transmorphers that’s for sure!

Less “tomb raiding” and more “running rounds the woods of Los Angeles,” Tomb Invader is something of a return to The Asylum’s roots, foregoing originality for a quick, and VERY cheap, cash-in on a more familiar Hollywood blockbuster. If that’s your thing (and it’s certainly mine) then you’ll find a lot to like about this film.

Tomb Invader is available in the US on DVD and Digital. No word on a UK debut as yet.

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