Darkness (1993) Film Review: Vultra Review Series #6

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Directed by Leif Jonker, Darkness is my favorite Vultra Video release (of the films I have reviewed) thus far. This big box release is one of only 113 copies. This one screams at you from the second you pick up the tape. The sweet artwork assaults your eyes, preparing you for the visual and auditory assault that you are about to endure. If you can find this film, prepare yourself for a memorable splatter-fest accompanied by a brutally awesome soundtrack.

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This film really delivers in bang for your buck when it comes to blood and gore. The end of the movie has some of the coolest gore effects out there. What makes it even more impressive is what these filmmakers had to work with.It is considered a masterpiece of underground low-budget film-making, because of what they did with the available resources. It is truly amazing when you watch the movie and begin to compare certain aspects of the film.

For instance, the actors are definitely amateurs. As many indie films of this time period will show you, the acting budget was one that was easy to get around. They just had to hire their friends, right? Well this is one of those things I need to warn every viewer about. These older Vultra releases are some of the earliest works from pretty important filmmakers. Therefore, you have to be stupid if you are expecting top-notch actors to show up. They were also filmed at a time where the technology the director had been using was not going to create the most crisp picture and clear sound. Today, our cell phones can record picture and sound at a quality that these directors could only dream about at the time.

It is looking at these technologies of the times that make the comparisons to the gore effects the most important part of this review. With every part of this film being bare bones in regards to budget, it is incredibly impressive what they did with the gore. This is a splatter film with imagination. It is a vampire film with the gore quality of your favorite old school zombie films. I still cannot believe how impressive the gore effects were on their own, especially in comparison to the weaker aspects of the film.

It is interesting to think that I am ripping into certain areas of the film, but saying I love it at the same time. This is because I am not actually ripping into the film. This site is about reviewing films in comparison to those of similar quality, genre, and time period. I feel like too many movie snobs and internet reviewers live in the negative. While they are comparing this film to Inception and giving it a 1/5, I am comparing it to Slacker meets The Lost Boys and putting it at the other end of the rating spectrum. I loved it. I think this film is worth watching for the gore alone. It is a terrific study in indie film-making, not to mention a historical view of the creation of old school gore effects.

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This trailer is for the digitally remastered “Vampire Version”. It is not the same film quality that comes in the Vultra release I reviewed. It will give you a pretty good idea of  just how much gory goodness this film has to offer. 

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