Monday, March 8, 2010

Darkness: The Vampire Version (1993)



Fear 0/5
Gore 5/5
Entertainment 3/5
Creepiness 1/5

High on gore, cheese and metal (three combinations which make for a delectably delicious treat), Darkness is a film that starts off with a bang but kind of faulters around the 3rd act. Still, the film recovers at the end and is worth a viewing for one scene in particular.

After watching vampires slaughter his friends at the local gas station, a teen duder named Tobe returns home to find his trailer park turned upside down and inside out. He tries to get his mom and sister out of dodge but only gets so far before they 'turn.' Armed with a gun, knife and some holy water, he becomes a one man (teenager actually) wreaking crew and avenger.


He aimlessly wanders until he comes upon a house and its here where the 'rules' of a vampire film are broken. He finds kids who appear to be dead but soon awaken from their slumber, in a well-lit house during the middle of the day. But you kind of through out all sensiblity when the thrash metal soundtrack kicks in, and he waxes girls and dudes wearing Metallica and Iron Maiden threads. What's not to love about that?


As he continues on, he comes across a group of teens that are also on the run, barreling around town in their van blaring only the finest in devil music. They try to hole themselves up in friend's houses only to have the inhabitants turn on them. They then hop from house to house and this continues on for awhile. And after about the third or fourth narrow escape, the film feels like there was a lot of filler thrown in. But you don't really mind so much as the gorefest continues and a gnarly scene at a car wash transpires as one of the guys is overcome by a group of blood thirsty vampires.


A final showdown occurs with the head vampire (who never says a word throughout the film) and a group of rampaging vamps that forget what time of day it is as dawn breaks. What follows is one of the most epically awesome scenes ever committed to film:






All in all, a goofy film that has its charms. It does get mired by a sense of lost direction and feelings of 'OK, where do I take this next?' But the vamp explosions at the end are worth the price of admission alone. And how can you not love a film directed by a dude named Leif Jonker?

BTW, if you're wondering about the silly title of the movie, it was originally called Darkness. My guess is that when it was released on DVD, they added the new title to distinguish itself from the terrible film of the same name starring Anna Paquin.

Cortez the Killer

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5 comments:

The Film Connoisseur said...

I thought it was funny how many characters have t-shirts with heavy metal bands on them, thats one sign that you are making a movie with your friends.

I know cause it happened to me on my first one! Everyone was wearing a t-shirt from a band they loved. It gets annoying from a visual standpoint.

But this movie, its ending is amazing, and one scene where they are eating a guy in a car wash was pretty decent.

Love it just because they did a lot with very little.

Cortez The Killer said...

@TFC, yup, like The Dead Next Door you can tell it was made by a group of friends trying to do as much as they could with very little. Freakin' loved the constant metal references and soundtrack.

the jaded viewer said...

Back in 99 I thought this was awesome (http://jadedviewer.com/2009/01/leif-jonkers-darkness-review.html)

Now well thinking back its indie horror filmmaking totally raw...good gore though

Carl (ILHM) said...

I just saw this one recently as well and thought it was a blast, for $0 budget horror Leif did some amazing work here! Cortez, if you didnt buy your copy yet there was one used on Amazon for like $2.64, snatch that shit up man!

Cortez The Killer said...

Righteous! Thanks Carl, I'm on it!