DEAD MAN’S HAND: CASINO OF THE DAMNED (2007) Reviews and overview

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‘Sheer terror! Bet on it!’

Dead Man’s Hand: Casino of the Damned – aka The Haunted Casino – is a 2007 American horror film co-produced and directed by Charles Band from a screenplay by Domonic Muir [as August White] (Evil Bong and sequels; Gingerdead Man; Critters). It stars Scott Whyte and Robin Sydney. Sid Haig and Michael Berryman have cameo roles.

After inheriting a casino from his dead uncle, Matthew Dragna (Scott Whyte), his girlfriend J.J. (Robin Sydney) and a group of friends take a road trip to the outskirts of Las Vegas where they find the run-down Mysteria Casino.

However, the trip takes a frightening turn when the kids discover that the casino is haunted by the ghosts of Vegas mobsters Roy “The Word” Donahue (Sid Haig) and his goon Gil Wachetta (Michael Berryman), looking to settle an old score. Matthew and J.J. must fight for their very souls as the ghosts seek their gruesome vengeance…


“As a feature film, Haunted Casino would be a good short. Maybe for some anthology TV show or something (but only a crappy one like Freddy’s Nightmares or the 1980s Twilight Zone). As it stands, the foam rubber monsters and 1990s visual effects really only add to the craptacular awesomeness that is Haunted Casino.” Cinema Head Cheese

“There were some decent special effects and gory moments in the film but the story and direction were so poor that they really had no impact at all. No real scares, no tension, lifeless acting performances and a stupid plot made this very dull to sit through.” Eat Horror

“The slot-machine spirit was definitely the highlight of the flick for me, good stuff, but it’s one and done – that’s all we get! So, the deaths are nothing special and pretty cheesy t’boot, but hey this is a Full Moon film, right? Seeing genre legends Haig and Berryman together on screen was fun even if the movie is no classic.” McBastard’s Mausoleum

…Dead Man’s Hand lacks the franchisable puppet-characters that distinguish Charlie Band productions which may be why it remains relatively unknown and completely unsequelised. But for what it is, it’s a decent little B-movie, blessed with better than average script and cast. and at least there is no impression of watching a TV episode that has been dragged out with a ten-minute end-crawl.” MJ Simpson, Cult films and the people who make them

“For some reason both of the ghostly figures transform into weird CGI-effect apparitions with weird-shaped heads and big bulging eyes. But it’s a little too late and the big pay-offs are weak and rushed. The overall story is wrapped up too quickly and with little real conviction and that’s your lot.” Andrew Smith, Popcorn Pictures

” …nothing happens until the 50-minute mark of this 80-minute movie, and then nothing much happens until the last 10 or 15 minutes. There’s a lot of sit-around-and-wait going on here with a payoff that can hardly be called one. Sid Haig and Michael Berryman are criminally underused, the story pokes along at a snail’s pace, and the foam and rubber puppet effects are awful.” Todd Jordan, Rock! Shock! Pop!

Main cast:

  • Scott Whyte
  • Robin Sydney
  • Wes Armstrong
  • Michael Berryman
  • Kristyn Green
  • Sid Haig
  • Jack Maturin
  • Jessica Morris
  • Lily Rains
  • Kavan Reece
  • Bob Rumnock
  • Rico Simonini

Film Facts:

The French title is Ghost Poker and the German title is Evil Game – Casino of the Damned.

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