DAYS OF DARKNESS
Reviewed by: JimmyO
What's it about
When two lovers go on a camping trip to enjoy some alone time together, the world changes. During the night, a meteor shower hits leaving much of humanity a bunch of flesh eating zombies. Your typical walking dead flick… or is it?
Is it good movie?
I give props to any zombie film that can add a freshness to the genre. In the past couple of years I have seen so many zombie films, many of them extremely low-budget, a few high budget and a bunch more somewhere in between. And with Days of Darkness, I found myself pleasantly surprised that it offered something a little different, yet still felt like an homage to the great George A. Romero. Basically, you have a group of people from very different backgrounds trapped in some kind of military bunker. The undead are all around them, and one of them, is chained up in the basement. Yeah, basically this is Day of the Dead. But about half way through, we are introduced to another element, kind of like an updated Night of the Creeps. Sure, there is nothing terribly original. And I also was a little bothered by the major lack of subtlety from a few of the more over the top characters. It’s not a classic, but there is enough good here in the midst of all it’s homage’s to make it worthwhile to zombie lovers.
It all starts when a young couple, Steve and Mimi (played by Travis Brorsen and Roshelle Pattison) spend a night together camping in the hills. While Steve is looking for a little intimacy, Mimi wants to wait. Being that Steve is a stand-up guy, he handles this pretty well. The next morning, on their way back, a bloody man attacks them, that is until another man (a less bloody one) saves them. He takes them to this bunker where they find a crew of misfits (survivors) getting rid of a few really dead zombies, you know, the ones not walking around eating people. Throughout this, they stay very true to the Romero style. There is the bad ass who wants everything to be his way. The bitchy woman who has a daughter, and that bitchy lady is a porn actress (in the film, not in real life). And her daughter is just a plain old slut. There is of course, a religious nut that thinks this is God’s will and has issues with one of the other characters sexual preference. But writer/director Jake Kennedy keeps the story moving by way of tweaking the clichés. Although many of his twists are predictable, like the religious nut and some desires that he may have are very well done. Sex and death people, sex and death… no wonder Jesus freaks are sometimes so pent up with rage.
As mentioned, I liked the cast for the most part. Both Travis Brorsen and Roshelle Pattison do some nice work. Also quite good are John Lee Ames as the religious kook, Chris Ivan Cevic as a gay man who lost his partner and child, and Sabrina Gennarino as the tough chick with a heart. For a movie like this, it seems to be very difficult to bring in something new. Yes, much of this has been done, it was kind of a creepy idea that Kennedy had regarding scrotum. Seriously, once the audience finds out what is happening and why Herbert the zombie boy (William Cannon) and his balls become separated, I’m guessing a few guys will be squirming. With that said, the special effects are pretty good and the zombies look suitably creepy. And I also really appreciated a couple of zombie facts that were sort of changed, although they may piss off zombie purists… you know who you are.
Video / Audio
I really enjoyed Days of Darkness for what it was. Part Day of the Dead and part Night of the Creeps with a dash of Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Thanks to a few good performances, some gooey special effects and a capable director not afraid of tweaking the genre, Days is one of the better low-budget zombie flicks out there. It is atmospheric enough, and I can think of a couple of scenes that really stand out. And there is also a reason for consumers of alcohol to celebrate in regards to this flick. Woo Hoo! Have a brewsky. While a fairly predictable film, Days still has a ton of fun times and is definitely worth digging up from the grave.