Feb 12

Forgotten Films: Against The Dark

After stumbling across this gem on sale, hidden at the very bottom of an already heavily reduced DVD bin, I figured that was only fair after my recent review of Under Seige to have a look at the more recent work of one of our favorite action stars, Steven Seagal, and what I got was a very unique experience.

The story as best as I could gather seems to be about a group of survivors with no real direction or plot trying to survive/escape/hideout in a seemingly abandoned hospital which turns out to be filled with vampires and crazy people. Now, my first problem is that instead of leaving this death filled hospital, they decide to keep wandering around without any weapons or even an alarmed pace. But if that was this films biggest problem then I could have let that go. Instead from here we are taken on an incomprehensible journey through the depths of z-grade trash.

Combine a story and dialog written by a preschooler with an effects budget of fifteen dollars and you still could have achieved a better film than this ever attempted to be. Footage is reused like this was an old Loony Toons cartoon, actors seem to be making up the lines as they go and the stoner character seems to have more personality than the rest of the cast combined. This is never something to be proud of.

Now, if you are wondering why I haven’t got to Seagal yet it’s because he’s not the lead. That’s right, NOT the lead. His character is the head of a small group of vampire hunters who’s job seems to be to walk menacingly down hallways doing very little. Steven Seagal’s character, unable to hide his  physique even under the giant leather trench coat he is wearing for the whole film, wanders around looking angry (possibly at the film crew) carrying an unconvincing prop sword under his arm and saying very little.

Oh, how the mighty have fallen. His lines are dull and hurried, feeling like the director had one take and one take only to get it right. His action is neither clever nor well shot and his two female hunter companions don’t do anything for the entire film, except providing low budget eye candy. Add to this an underwhelming performance from Keith David (who is really struggling to make sense of what his motivation is) and you have a mess that spells ‘crap’ no matter how you look at it.

This film is pushing the term ‘bad film’ to the extremes of it’s meaning and will have you groaning and laughing at almost every second of screen time. For those that enjoy bad cinema this film may be a good film to reset your crap-o-meter. For the normal film lover this one is best left on the bottom of the self next to Zombie Nation and The Pod People.

– Josh