Tagged: blood and guts
BEST of Red Netflix Envelopes: 1993’s Bonkers Super 8 Vampire Flick – ‘Darkness’!
The end of an era will soon be upon us, the red envelope Netflix “dvd by mail” system will finally come to an end later this year. Sigh…..It’s a bit depressing, I had a lot of fun awaiting these mini movie packages for soooo many years. Truth be told I discovered some truly unique lil’ hidden gems over the years as their dvd selection was once a wildly vast treasure trove…so here in honor I’m gonna blog weekly about my all time faves. The first being 1993’s DARKNESS: The Vampire Version-which I just got delivered for a second time. The dvd online is quite rare and fetches a pretty penny on eBay!
So here’s a really unique movie that still remains in their library- ‘Darkness’ is a cool little vampire movie with a cast completely made of what looks like no one over twenty years old. Leif Jonker the director was apparently only 17 when he started conceptually with the production and started filming in 1988, wrapping it up in 1991. He filmed it on super 8 and the whole affair is a mega blood drenched teenage nightmare in the best way possible.
Jonker doesn’t play for laughs here either which is refreshing, it’s all played as straight as it can be with machetes, chainsaws and teen vamps that sadly have no fangs! But alas, it’s a bit of marvel to behold just how ambitious this little splatter flick really is for a gang of ravenous teen punks who set out to shock their audience and for the most part do a bang up job at it all.
Darkness is filled with some legit action, suspense, blood, guts and some great attempts at serious acting. Even though the “vampires” feel more like a rabid gang of cannibals they still show their supernatural side while succumbing to the more traditional vampire trappings. Sunlight and holy water in particular. One sequence where the main characters a being chased through a river by vampires and a bottle of holy water is poured into the water causing some cool carnage as it mixes and destroys them is a real inventive highlight.
It’s a race to the sunrise as a cast of teens are chased across the countryside fleeing from blood thirsty vamps. There’s not more much to the plot honestly, but It’s so damn charming that Jonker went the full distance on it’s production it really doesn’t need to have an intricate story. The finale is well Wirth the wait to, as there’s an over abundance of exploding heads, melting flesh and crudely animatronic decrepit vampire’s to watch meet their gnarly demise. Sadly Jonker didn’t go on to put out much more-the only thing officially listed on Letterboxd is a short film from 1983 called ‘Ghost Carol’ described as a “Super 8 short about a ghost that kills a group of teenagers at Christmastime”. It’s a 22 minute horror film I need to find a way to see!
Supposedly Arrow video will be giving this a fancy blu release sometime in the future? It looked like it was supposed to come out a few years back, the trailer below is from four years ago. If it ever sees the “light of day”(no pun intended) I’ll be picking up a copy for sure. In the meantime if you’ve still got the red Netflix envelope system intact (at least until it ends later this year) put this bloody little nugget in your “queue” and get ready to rock! One of my favorite weird back catalog Netflix dvd finds-especially first time seeing it years back…..
ADI: Wizards of Special FX!
I just wanted to post a couple videos from ADI, they are an effects studio that specializes in hands on practical effects. Their work never ceases to amaze me. Today they are still pushing the bar with their makeup and animatronics, which I hope more people take notice of. I’ve heard recently that most movies today are made to look like video games, as so many kids expect their movies to look that way and that glossy shiny video gamey look may actually be intentional. There’s a time and a place for both styles of fx, practical and CG and when they are used together it’s often times has created the best moments in cinema.
But for movies today ADI is pretty much the best at what they do. They’ve done a ton of work on some great films, the biggest controversy was all of the special effects they did for the prequel to “The Thing” which ended up a box office flop. The work they did for the film was replaced with shoddy CGI and this outraged the real fans of the iconic 1982 masterpeice. Had they used the ADI versions the prequel would have been the perfect companion piece to that movie. I just watched a great mini episode of Fangoria’s Blood & Guts with Anthrax’s own Scott Ian and it was worth posting again here.
It just goes to show you that these type of effects aren’t dead and in many cases to this day are better than CG. It also reminded me of how rad the monster design was for Goro from the campy Mortal Kombat. Seeing stuff like that done over fifteen years ago makes me wonder why they chose to go fully CG on characters like The Incredible Hulk. Well I guess I am going to have to at least watch Mortal Kombat again! I recommend subscribing to their Youtube channel, there;s some amazing stuff on there!!!
Also any chance I get I love to show this Green Goblin they were working on for the Raimi Spider-man movie. A total shame they didn’t go with it, however my bet is that in the newest reboot of The Amazing Spider-man, The Green Goblin will most likely appear in the third movie-Hollywood don’t blow it get ADI to design his look!!!