MARCH 20, 2007
Usually I defend Uwe Boll. I don’t think his films are particularly good (though each one has been better than the one before), but mainly because I’m a root for the underdog type guy. Also he’s batshit insane, which is endearing.
But one thing that pisses me off is that THIS movie titled Alone In The Dark is actually quite good, and it’s fairly obscure. And if you bring it up, you always have to say, “No, not the one where Tara Reid plays a scientist and fucks Christian Slater while a song about racial oppression plays in the background.” Thanks Uwe.
THIS film has Donald Pleasence, Martin Landau, Jack Palance, and some other dudes no one has seen since. Pleasence is the head of the institution and is just as loony as the patients. I particularly enjoy when he gives Landau a match, knowing perfectly well Landau’s character is a known arsonist. Immediately, Landau sets his shirt on fire and begins waving it around while Pleasence comforts a patient who believes she is being turned into porcelain.
Note - I’m pretty sure it’s OK to laugh at the various mental illnesses on display here. If not, well, reason #486 why I’m going to hell.
The film cemented its place in horror’s hall of fame when Jamie Blanks paid homage to it in his 2001 slasher opus Valentine, an underrated little movie that tried to bring holiday horror back where it belongs: existing at all. The killer in that film bled whenever he killed someone, just like a character here, whose face we never see. Could he turn out to be the random stranger the family meets downtown?
This is brought up on the commentary, but the asshole moderating it makes it sound like they were ripping it off. If he took the time to listen to the Valentine commentary, he would know it was an intentional homage.
Also, the full scale riot that occurs when the electricity goes out is a marvel of illogical but hilarious writing. Does the power go out so infrequently in this town that the residents feel the end is nigh when faced with the prospect of their frozen foods going bad? I usually just listen to my Ipod. But they didn’t have those back then, so maybe their reaction was appropriate.
And for the hell of it, I’d like to mention that there is a female character named Bunky.
Anyway, I highly recommend this underrated little gem. But I also recommend Boll’s film, so I dunno.
What say you?