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The Gratuitous B-Movie Column: Doom Room

February 21, 2019 | Posted by Bryan Kristopowitz
Doom Room

The Gratuitous B-Movie Column Issue #498: Doom Room

DebuaryRebuary: Week 3

Hello, everyone, and welcome once again to the internets movie review column that isn’t going to get into the box, motherfucker, you get into the box, The Gratuitous B-Movie Column, and I am your host Bryan Kristopowitz. In this issue, issue number four hundred and ninety-eight, Debuary Rebuary continues with the mind bending low budget horror flick Doom Room, which was released upon the world in mid-January 2019.

Doom Room


Doom Room, also known as Nightmare Box and directed and co-written by Jon Keyes, is one of those low budget horror flicks where you’re never quite sure what the hell is going on until the very end. And when the ending reveals itself, man, you’re either going to love the movie or despise the whole thing. I loved it, although, to be honest, until around the halfway mark I was thinking about turning it off and finding some other Debbie Rochon movie to watch. What I was watching was a little too weird and surreal and bizarre, and I thought that the movie wasn’t going to actually go anywhere. I really thought that Doom Room was going to be one of those obtuse horror flicks with no real resolution that desperately wants you to believe it’s being clever and thought provoking but ultimately just blows. I hung in there, though, and was rewarded with a movie that revels in being disturbing and weird but actually feels like a worthwhile experience when it’s over.

Doom Room stars Johanna Stanton as Jane Doe, a young woman who wakes up one day trapped inside a mysterious room surrounded by strange things, both objects and people. Doe doesn’t know why she’s in the room, although she seems to vaguely remember going to a nightclub and meeting two people, a man and a woman (Mathew Tompkins and Debbie Rochon). Everything after that is a blur. So she walks around the room, looking for a way out. In the room with her, at random intervals, are a younger woman known as the Virgin (Claire Jared), a woman known as Innocence (played by Hayden Tweedie), an old man who can’t speak initially but ends up talking quite a bit (Nicholas Ball), plus other people like Death, a man who looks like, well, death, and a religious fanatic who can’t stop using the foulest language known to man to describe women and “sinners” in general. All of these people interact with Doe, giving her messages that she cannot decipher. They’re not the only people who interact with Doe, though.

Every so often, a man and woman (Tompkins and Rochon), both decked out in strange clothing (Tompkins has a tattoo on his face and wears black clothing while Rochon wears a frilly white dress that looks like it’s caked in blood and gore and other nasty stuff), show up and assault Doe. Doe then “wakes up” again after the assaults and tries to figure out what the hell is going on. These assaults keep happening over and over again.

So, what the hell is going on? Is this all in Jane Doe’s mind or is this all “Really” happening? Is Doe actually locked in a room that, every so often, is filled with super messed up S&M equipment and the screams and agony of either Doe or someone else being assaulted, or is this all just a manifestation of some subconscious need or yearning? I can’t tell you what’s actually happening without spoiling the big surprise at the end, but I can say that the ultimate explanation is surprisingly satisfying. Again, I really thought this movie was going to be one of those downer deals where, in the end, the whole thing feels pointless. I mean, there’s only so much suffering a movie audience can endure, even a straight up hardcore horror movie nerd audience, before they revolt and declare the movie garbage. Thankfully, Doom Room isn’t a waste of time and goes somewhere. There’s an actual ending and it makes sense.

Now, could the movie use some cutting? Sure. It takes a little too long to get to where Keyes and co-screenwriter Carl Kirshner (he also acts in the movie) want to go. It definitely would have helped the movie to get to the big mystery much sooner. For like the first half hour or so it’s just Jane Doe, and the audience, not having a clue as to what the hell is happening and some of it just drags. I don’t know what could have or should have been “cut,” though. Everything that we see in the movie does serve a purpose, but I do think it would have made sense to get to the meat of the story sooner.

The set that 99% of the movie takes place in is one creepy goddamn place. It’s dark and moody and filled with weird stuff, including Barbie dolls in various S&M poses. It’s the kind of thing you expect to see in a serial killer’s basement. There’s also a bed that Jane Doe keeps waking up on, a bed that doesn’t fit the box spring that it sits on. There’s also oodles of stuff that doesn’t seem to belong anywhere but, for whatever reason, is in that room. Production designer Eric Whitney outdid himself.


The main performances are amazing. Johanna Stanton does a fabulous job as Jane Doe, the terrified woman who has no idea what the hell is going on. She manages to convey exactly what the audience is thinking throughout the story, and, as a result, we’re almost as scared as she is. Even when the movie drags we keep our eyes on her because we, like her, want to figure out what the hell is going on. Stanton also manages to endure some absolutely harrowing rape scenes that aren’t graphic but, yeah, you know what’s happening to her and it’s just awful. I think you’ll be satisfied with how the movie plays out for her.

Nicholas Ball does a great job as the old man who, at first, doesn’t seem to have anything to do with anything. He’s just some old guy who speaks but says nothing. Once we start understanding what it is he’s saying Ball becomes a real asset to the story. He’s calm and rational in a world that’s neither.

Mathew Tompkins is a sadistic piece of shit as the Husband. As soon as you see the tattoo around his right eye you just know you’re going to despise him and everything he stands for. And what does Husband stand for? Pain and suffering and pride in providing both. His smirk, his general demeanor, he’s exactly the kind of guy you don’t ever want to meet anywhere for any reason.

And Debbie Rochon gives a tour de force performance as Wife. When you first see Wife in her frilly dress and nasty makeup you’re not quite sure if she’s a ghost or a “real” person. And when she starts dancing around the room, flailing the chains (or ropes or whatever the hell they are) you’re just waiting for her to freak out. Wife doesn’t freak out, though. She seems subservient to Husband, which she is, in a way, on the outside. However, as Wife participates more and more in what Husband does to Jane Doe, you realize that Wife isn’t just a bystander or a tool used by Husband. Wife is just like Husband. An evil, sadistic presence. If Rochon doesn’t get nominated or win all sorts of genre awards for this performance there’s something wrong with the nominating committees. Jane Doe may be the hero of the movie, but Rochon’s Wife is the clear face of the movie.


Director Jon Keyes has created something weird, insane, and kind of wonderful with Doom Room. It starts out slowly, perhaps too slowly, but once it gets going Doom Room will start to get under your skin and you will be on the edge of your seat waiting to see how the story works itself out. In the end, Doom Room is a worthwhile experience. It isn’t a cheat. It isn’t a waste of time. You just have to be patient with it. Doom Room will reward you.

See Doom Room. See it, see it, see it.

So what do we have here?

Dead bodies: 2

Explosions: None.

Nudity?: Yes.

Doobage: A weird night club, a naked woman is tied to a bed for some reason, a clock that spins uncontrollably, a snow globe, a woman with no eyes, door knocking, blood, phantom boob touching, stomach smelling, multiple forced S&M “sessions,” rape, a flyer, snuggling, a weird circus show, some serious whipping, a hogtied woman, a group discussion, multiple instances of a religious fanatic calling everyone sinners, some gross as fuck and incredibly demeaning sex talk, sex in the room, a bunch if loud noises, attempted food eating, lesbianism, an invisible attack, a sad clown, attempted orgy, face slapping, blood licking, hallucinations, eye skin removal, throat slitting, multiple shots to the head, and a mind bending but satisfying ending.

Kim Richards?: None.

Gratuitous: A barefoot woman, an old typewriter, S&M Barbies, Debbie Rochon, multiple instances of forced S&M, “Master and Servant” hooey, religious insanity, Debbie Rochon saying “je ne sais quoi,” Debbie Rochon fucking around with a Jack-in-the-Box, Debbie Rochon delivering one of the most terrifying sex talks in the history of cinema, a lack of consent, and a mind bending but satisfying ending.

Best lines: “What did you do last night?,” “Where the hell are you?,” “Don’t scream. Why are you screaming?,” “Don’t open the door! It might be them!,” “What do I do? I don’t know,” “Fuck! Somebody get me out of here!,” “Got to be nice,” “I especially like that little thing you do with your mouth,” “Time to run! Time to hide! Something tickling your funny bone?,” “You are very brave,” “Jesus Christ, make it stop!,” “I don’t understand,” “Do you remember this?,” “What have you done to me?,” “No! I don’t want to see this!,” “Who is he? We don’t know. He’s not talking much,” “Are you sure you don’t know me?,” “Just because she’s a woman doesn’t mean she’s a slut,” “How do you know what they’re doing is moral?,” “You said you like things salty,” “Are you a pig?,” “Stop it! With your tongue,” “Stop being so difficult, puppet!,” “Daddy’s home!,” “Think about it. A clown? I don’t know any clowns,” “Who is it? It’s me!,” “Get in the box!,” “No, this can’t be,” “End this,” and “I don’t want to be here anymore.”

Rating: 8.5/10.0


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Things to Watch Out For This Week


The Bouncer: This is the latest Jean-Claude Van Damme flick, originally called Lukas. It has JCVD as a badass bar bouncer who has to raise his young daughter. Apparently it isn’t the “same kind of” action flick that Van Damme is known for, but is more of a drama (some reviewers liken it to his movie JCVD). I’m cool with that. I will hopefully check this out soon enough, and will try to do a review of it. Anyone out there see this? It did have a small theatrical release, and it has been available on various Video On Demand platforms for a few months now.


Overlord: This J.J. Abrams produced World War II set action horror flick basically flopped at the box office when it hit theatres last November (it probably would have done better business if it had been released before or near Halloween but what the hell do I know?), but the people who did manage to see it raved about it. I missed it, which I regret because it looks fucking awesome (it also looks like a sequel to a low budget, World War I movie I reviewed called Trench 11). I’m sure, with the rave reviews and whatnot, more people will now “discover” this movie on home video. I definitely plan on buying it and checking it out. Anyone out there see this? Is it really as awesome as it seems? Did I, and tons of other people, miss out on something special?


Backtrace: This is some sort of low budget crime thriller deal starring Sylvester Stallone and Mathew Modine, although I do question the “starring Sylvester Stallone” thing. I mean, is he actually in the movie from beginning to end or is he in it for like ten minutes? I’m going to assume that Modine is in the movie for the entire running time (he plays the aging criminal that the cops are looking for). This looks very rentable, just to see if it’s any good/worth watching more than once. The whole “experimental drug” angle of the story sounds interesting.


Sgt. Will Gardner: This is the action drama written by, directed by, and starring Max Martini that I interviewed Martini about a few weeks ago (check out that interview here). The movie has been getting decent enough reviews, and with the whole charity initiative thing going for it, this is definitely something you should consider checking out. Joining Martini in the movie are Omari Hardwick, Lily Rabe, Robert Patrick, Elisabeth Rohm, Dermot Mulroney, Jobeth Williams, and Gary Sinise.


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The 1970’s TV thriller Kolchak: The Night Stalker is first up! Check out what I think about the show with the links below!

Issue #1
Issue #2
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… and coming very soon: Street Hawk!


B-Movie News


The official trailer for Jesse V. Johnson’s Triple Threat has been released!: The action movie nerd world has been waiting for an official trailer for the upcoming North American release of Jesse V. Johnson’s epic Triple Threat, which is set to hit Video On Demand and select movie theatres on March 22nd, and it is finally here! And all I have to say is holy fucking shit. If you like action movies and are not excited by this new trailer I think you need to reassess your “interest” in action movies. This trailer has everything. Martial arts. Gunfights. Explosions. Badassness from damn near everyone in the movie. Tony Jaa. Iko Uwais. Michael Jai White. Scott Adkins. Tiger Chen. Celina Jade. Michael Bisping. Goddamn.

Here is the trailer.

How do you not want to see this?

And check this out: according to the fine folks over at the Action Flix website, Triple Threat will be getting a one night only wide theatrical release on Tuesday, March 19th on 150 screens. There are no details available at the moment about this one night release, but I assume we’ll get that info soon.


And speaking of Jesse V. Johnson, he has another movie called Legion Maxx that’s looking for North American distribution: I also saw this over at Action Flix, too, and, man, Legion Maxx looks insanely cool. It stars Dominique Vandenberg as a “legionnaire turned mercenary who must wage a war against his former comrades,” and it looks like Louis Mandylor is in it and is the bad guy. That’s different. The movie has managed to secure distribution around the world but, so far, hasn’t found a taker in North America. I bet that will change soon, especially after Triple Threat comes out.

I mean, Legion Maxx should already have distribution based solely on the trailer. Look at the damn thing. Again, that should change soon. Hopefully.


Check out my Widow’s Point set visit report!


Read it here!


Who is the Douchebag of the Week? Go here and find out!


Next Issue: Debuary Rebuary concludes with the low budget action flick Strike Commando starring Reb Brown!



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Well, I think that’ll be about it for now. Don’t forget to sign up with disqus if you want to comment on this article and any other 411 article. You know you want to, so just go do it.

B-movies rule. Always remember that.

Doom Room

Johanna Stanton– Jane Doe
Debbie Rochon– Wife
Mathew Tompkins– Husband
Nicholas Ball– Man
Claire Jared– Virgin
Hayden Tweedie– Innocence

Directed by Jon Keeyes
Screenplay by Jon Keeyes and Carl Kirshner

Distributed by Wild Eye Releasing

Not Rated
Runtime– 92 minutes

Buy it here