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Friday, 6 November 2009

Dark Breed (1996)

From an era when PM Entertainment were spitting out low budget action and SF b-movies left right and centre comes this ambitious but extremely derivative flick that is a big fat rip-off of Species, Alien, Predator and maybe bits of the X-Files as well. A bunch of astronauts are infected with an alien virus while in space, and upon their return to Earth they head off on a killing spree.

Starring Jack Scalia, the film follows a team of government operatives as they try to track down the infected astronauts and stop them causing chaos. Of course, the astronauts have other ideas. Their ideas tend to be 'talk in a dodgy scary voice until we turn into massive monsters', which they do.

Dark Breed is quite an achievement, as you couldn't give a toss about a single character, and you're very tempted just to skip forward until things start blowing up again. It features production values far above the usual PM Entertainment fare of the era, but this is from the era of home video, and thus on DVD the limitations of the budget and the dated CG effects are very obvious. That's not to say the effects are bad, as they're actually pretty good, and way above a lot of other b-movies of the era.

The film itself is stuffed with elements that have been taken directly from other titles (there's even an 'Alien' style chestburster scene for crying out loud), and it can actually be fun picking them all out. I recommend a Dark Breed drinking game, where you have a shot every time you spot something nicked from another movie. You'll be on the floor, unable to speak or remember your name before the middle of the flick.

The cast are pretty bad, even for this calibre of film, but they join the dots passably until things start blowing up again. Oh look, someone;s running away from an explosion in slow motion! Awesome. It's a fun film to go with a pizza and some cans, but only if you tune the volume up and enjoy things going BANG while pointing at the screen and laughing. Fun, but about as compelling as a verruca.

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