Every day, Robert Saucedo shines a spotlight on a movie either so bad it’s good or just downright terrible. Today: Vampires that really suck.
To put it lightly, Reign in Darkness, the directing debut from Australian filmmakers David W. Allen and Kel Dolen, is a stinker. And by stinker, I mean a putrid film that plays like rancid baby poo smells.
Dolen stars as Michael Dorn, a scientist working on a cure for AIDS who discovers that the cure is actually a plot to spread the curse of vampirism to unsuspecting humans.
A hodgepodge of movie plagiarism, the film lifts scenes and plot devices from other movies like a weightlifter lifts, uh, weights.
Dolan garbs his character in an assortment of plastic and leather, leaving himself looking very much like a poor man’s Neo. Horrible attempts to ape the gunplay of The Boondock Saints and the sword fights of Blade leave audiences feeling nostalgic for the days of Dolph Lundgren. But even Lundgren, an MIT scholar, is smart enough to avoid this showcase of absurd acting and zany plot holes.
To be fair, the movie packs a decent number of action scenes. Unfortunately, unbelievably bad computer effects hamper almost all of them.
For a movie called Reign in Darkness, a good portion of the film seems to take place in broad daylight. From gunfights to car chases to explosions, the sun shines bright and cheerfully above the vampires’ heads. Of course, it’s possible that the directors forgot the teeny little detail that vampires are supposed to be allergic to the sun — not to mention forgetting that their movie is called Reign in DARKNESS!
After all, the two filmmakers were too busy stealing from every other vampire movie imaginable to worry about little things like details.
With an absurd plot and painful displays of acting, this movie is proof that not all foreign films are insightful and/or educational.
Fortunately, any movie can be made enjoyable depending on the way it’s watched.
In order to make the most out of Reign of Darkness, gather up a group of friends. Keep the lights nice and bright to attract daylight-loving vampires and serve up a tray of assorted cheeses and corn-based food products.
For a real treat, invite friends to participate in a movie-themed game. During the course of the film, players are encouraged to steal as much as they can from their fellow audience members. Wallets, watches and precious time are all up for grabs.
The player who has stolen the most from their friends by the time the credits roll is the winner and should go on to direct Reign of Darkness II: Vampire Dundee.
Robert Saucedo lied. There is no enjoyable way to watch Reign in Darkness. Follow him on Twitter @robsaucedo2500.
Robert Saucedo is an avid movie watcher with seriously poor sleeping habits. The Mikey from Life cereal of film fans, Robert will watch just about anything — good, bad or ugly. He has written about film for newspapers, radio and online for the last 10 years. This has taken a toll on his sanity — of that you can be sure. Follow him on Twitter at @robsaucedo2500.