Earthquake Underground Poster

Earthquake Underground (2024) Review

After levelling the American capital in DC Down, The Asylum is back with another earthshaking Tubi Original, Earthquake Underground. This time the stakes a bit lower than national security and the setting has been lowered as well. How much lower, how about several hundred feet underground. That’s also where my expectations were when I sat down to watch it.

In the film’s opening minutes, an earthquake manages to drop The Armada Hotel several hundred feet straight down. Thankfully, it’s under renovation, so there are only a handful of people in it when this happens. They include Brian (Matthew Gademske, Transmorphers: Mech Beasts, Colored White) and his girlfriend Amy (Angela Cole, The Hunting, A Roommate to Die For). Brian knows she’s diabetic, he doesn’t know she’s pregnant, however.

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There’s also a pair of architects, Deb (Jenny Tran, 8 Found Dead, Attack on Titan) and Joe (Pakob Jarernpone, The Murders of Brandywine Theater, Puppet Master: Doktor Death), Reese (Houston Rhines, Piranha Women, Angels Fallen) who is in charge of the project and several victims in waiting.

You can probably guess much of what follows, the group of survivors gets whittled down by aftershocks, elevator malfunctions and other cheap to stage accidents. The group gets separated, leaving Brian and Amy desperate to find each other, etc. Actually, Brian should be easy to find as he spends much of the film in the utility room trying to get the emergency generators running, which is even less exciting than it sounds.

While this is going on, an emergency services chopper flies by talking about “destruction everywhere”. What the viewer sees however is a couple of blocks of what looks like CGI enhanced construction sites and rubble. The buildings across the street from this mass destruction don’t even have broken windows. Shots at the end of the movie however show some buildings suffering from bad CGI damage, leading me to believe that those aftershocks must have been brutal. But honestly, though, did you expect anything else from The Asylum?

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I will give director Brian Nowak (Megalodon Rising, Bullet Train Down) and writer M.L. Miller (Shark Waters) credit for, if nothing else, keeping things moving. What happens may frequently be stupid, like the finale that sees the survivors reach the roof only to be threatened by water that seems to have come from nowhere and almost instantaneously risen to roof level. I was only mildly surprised there wasn’t a Megalodon swimming around in it.

But at least things happen, and Earthquake Underground has considerably less of the long, talky scenes than a lot of Asylum films. It’s not much, but it at least helps to keep the tedium down and makes it a bit less painful to sit through than a lot of the films that fall off their assembly line.

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Since much of Earthquake Underground takes place underground and inside a building, there aren’t many effects except at the beginning and end of the film. And they’re the kind of weak CGI you would expect to find in a film like this, with scenes of characters being chased by water and climbing a rope ladder to a rescue chopper looking especially bad. Gore effects are limited to some blood, which actually looks practical rather than computer generated for a change.

While I can’t call Earthquake Underground a good film, I will say that it’s better than I expected, and it’s also better than most Tubi Originals, whether from The Asylum or not. So if you’re a fan of The Asylum, or have a high tolerance for their brand of schlock, you’ll probably like Earthquake Underground. Others may want to opt for the star-studded 1974 Earthquake, which is still one of the best films of its genre.

Earthquake Underground is available on Tubi.

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