Against the Dark is a gay romp through recycled plot lines, poor continuity and even poorer character development. Did that do enough to sell the movie? No? How about this – it stars a doughy Steven Seagal and the Rock’s stunt double. Now you’re hooked, I know it.
The film takes place in a world in which a terrible plague which noone is immune to has turned people into vampires, and I say noone is immune to it because we are told this up front. There is no hope, so don’t even bother. Luckily for our heroes, which in this film are a group of 6 hapless dopes who have somehow survived amid the horror of the undead by not carrying any weapons, failing to staying together, and failing to pay attention to their surroundings, some of them are immune. Did you see it coming, because I didn’t. Richard Crudo, the brilliant director that he is set up the rules, and then totally blew them away right off the bat. If he ever gets to direct a second film I hope he clings to this gimmick. They spend their time roaming around a hospital trying to escape while the vampires who inhabit it make the occasional attempt to kill them. Since they have no weapons, their only defense is to grab the vampires shoulders and shove them away. The vampires have been poorly trained and fail to learn from their mistakes, so this turns out to be a pretty effective defense. The suspense holds up well as you don’t know who is going to be killed – the director makes sure to have no character that you could possibly care about or have an emotional investment in. One of the six is a young boy/girl with the androgynous name of Charlie (Crudo again creating an air of mystery) and as the viewer you couldn’t care less if he/she/it dies.
Enter Seagal. A hefty Steven Seagal plays the leader of a group of hunters who roam around killing these vampires. Now, you don’t need to drive a stake through their hearts like regular vampires, swords, guns, kicks and pushing hard on their shoulders is enough to incapacitate them. Luckily for Seagal, Tanoai Reed carries the action. While Seagal lurches around like a grimacing shapeless blob, Reed uses the skills he learned working with the Rock to punch, kick a maul anything that comes near him. He provides basically all the action. Seagal and his team get in to the hospital, find the heroes, and then ask them how to get out. They then split up, numerous people get killed, and you as the viewer don’t care. Meanwhile back at the local army base camp, Kieth David is planning an air strike which will take place at dawn. Why dawn you say? Well, the vampires only come out at night, and he doesn’t want them to escape the area they are in, so be attacking at dawn you take away the daylight hours in which our heroes could escape. Fine military planning.
Against the dark is an awful film, but has the advantage of trying very hard to be good. Everyone in the cast and crew gives there all and fails miserably which makes it even more enjoyable. While not safe for women who are pregnant or could become pregnant, it should be safe viewing for just about everyone else. (Side effects may include nausea, vomiting and loss of faith in the Hollywood dream machine)
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