A Marine Corps squad's sins lead them into the underworld beneath Baghdad, where Ancient Sumerian Gods still rule. Struggling to stay sane and get out, the squad is picked off one-by-one until only three remain to face the final judgment.
Synopsis:“Desert Maelstrom” is a horror film set in the Iraq War. A squad of Marines, each complicit in a war crime to a different degree -- from committing it to refusing to report it -- are dragged into a world inhabited by ancient Sumerian Gods that still punish those who have brought shame to their land. At first thinking they’ve been trapped in an ambush by terrorists, the squad begins to reconsider as they first come across the bodies of dead enemy Iraqis, and then encounter more mysterious horrors. The squad struggles to stay alive, both against the strange creatures in the tunnels, each other as a rift grows between those who perpetrated the crime and those who are beginning to realize they shouldn’t have permitted it. But only one of their number, Kowalski, begins to truly comprehend what they are up against – guided by visions of the girl three of his comrades raped and murdered. Picked off one-by-one, the three survivors must stand before the Ancient Gods and face final judgment for their actions. This is not an anti-soldier story, but rather one about individuals, their actions, and a horror-genre response to those actions.