Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Landy Cannon, Brigitte Kingsley, Julia Schneider, Jason Reso
Director: Andrew Cymek
Genres: Comedy, Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Bring your battle axe? Jason Parks (Landy Cannon) sees his life go from bad to worse when a series of supernatural events turn his dream of reconciliation with his ex Jasmine (Vanessa James) into a nightmare. While on a ca... more »
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A Possible new B-movie classic
Alexander M. Walker | Chicago, IL USA | 08/12/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Ah, to aspire to B-movie status and nothing more. Gone are the expectations of special effects, production values or even really having a plot. On the other hand, it leaves plenty of room for a movie full of comical interactions and out-of-this world setups that audiences just go along with. Dark Rising takes all these B-movie benefits and just piles on the cleavage, the fantastic plots and men in demon costumes. Lesbians? Yup. Scantily clad babes? Uh huh. Nonsensical greatness? A little bit of that too.
Jason (Landy Cannon) is just another one of those sad sack guys who can't accept that his relationship with a girl has ended. He mopes around and pines non-stop about how great things were while his friend Ricky (Jason Reso) tries to convince him otherwise.
Meanwhile, Jasmine (Vanessa James), Jason's ex-girlfriend, is busy buying a book on witchcraft with her two friends Marlene (Haley Shannon) and Renee (Julia Schneider). What's the book for? They want to conjure up the soul of a young girl they believe died 20 years before. Except there's a catch: the girl they think died was in fact transported to another dimension where she was imprisoned and trained as a fighting machine. When all five of these characters go on a camping trip in the woods, the three witch-wannabes run off and recite an incantation that summons both Summer Vale (Brigitte Kingsley) and a demon into their dimension. The demon begins its rampage leaving Renee and Jason to meet up with Summer who begins to remember what happened all those years ago. If the friends want to survive, they'll have to team up with Summer to force the demon back into the portal.
Yes, there's a semblance of a plot in there, but let's not fool ourselves. This film is less about telling a story and more about giving teenagers a movie that has everything they ever wanted: nudity and hot girls. Everything else is just fluff. What's nice about the fluff though, is that there are some genuinely entertaining moments in between it all. Landy Cannon actually has pretty decent comedic delivery and Julia Schneider plays the exasperated type quite well. Even though Jason and Renee seem to be the de facto main characters, once Brigitte Kingsley shows up with her perky cleavage on display - there's no question as to where our attention is supposed to go.
Dark Rising isn't exceptional because of its cast or plot, but because it knows its limits and plays to its strengths. The script may not have the sharpest comedic edge, but it still does the job. The special effects budget clearly wasn't that high, so they make limited use of CGI and instead opt for good old syrup and prosthetic masks. The movie never attempts to explain anything and it never apologizes for the things it knows it can't deliver. Dark Rising is a fantastic example of a movie made on the cheap that gives B-movie fans exactly what it wants: blood, sex and comedy. Nothing more. Nothing Less.
DVD Extra Features:
For such a small production, I was surprised to find the disc wasn't just a barebones product. Instead, there's an audio commentary with director Andrew Cymek and a few of the cast members, which is oddly as funny a track as the film itself. Then you have a production featurette and a photo gallery (the latter you can skip, but the former is pretty short, so why not). Then there's a wrestling match between Christian Cage and Rhino, but why it's included I'm not quite sure. Finally, there are some deleted scenes, but you can skip those.
I wouldn't dare compare Dark Rising to Raimi's B-movie opuses, but Dark Rising makes a worthy showing for such a small-scale production. Would I recommend you buy it? Not on first watch. Rent it once, see if it strikes your particular B-movie fancy and then go from there."