Tuesday, May 29, 2012

DARKNESS Reviews - ORIGINAL RELEASE VERSION.

ORIGINAL REVIEWS - Leif Jonker's DARKNESS: ORIGINAL RELEASE VERSIONS
Saved from the older 13th Dream website.  Many of the links are no longer working.

Internet and Magazine REVIEWS of the
ORIGINAL RELEASE VERSION:

DARKNESS
OLDER REVIEW & ARTICLE EXCERPTS:
(In no particular order or chronology, however, most recently
discovered entries are added to the BOTTOM of the list.)
UPDATED 10/11/07.


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"High energy gore!  Bravado filmmaking!  A new director to watch!  I wish I had the guts to make a movie like this!"
Don Coscarelli - Director of PHANTASM and BUBBA HO-TEP
Visit Don’s Official PHANTASM Site HERE!

"Plenty of BANG for your buck! Ferocious splatter! An easy 10+ on the Gore Score!"
Chas. Balun - Editor DEEP RED Magazine U.S.A.
Visit DEEP RED’s Official Website HERE!
Visit Chas. Balun’s Official Website HERE!

“There's a young horror director, Leif Jonker, out in Kansas who finances his films by selling his own blood at the local blood bank. He made a feature Super-8 vampire epic [DARKNESS] that I loved.”
Don Coscarelli -- MASTER OF HORROR/Director of PHANTASM
Interviewed on THE DIGITAL BITS - Read the whole interview HERE!


“A self-assured, stylish, heartland chunkblower.  Jonker shows a real flair with his meaty and mannered handling during its numerous action set pieces and rousing attack scenes! ...isn’t at all hesitant when it comes to painting the town red!”
Chas. Balun - BEYOND HORROR HOLOCAUST: A DEEPER SHADE OF RED
Buy BEYOND HORROR HOLOCAUST HERE!

THREE STARS!
"...has some of the most impressive gross-out special effects since the original EVIL DEAD.  Multiple exploding heads. Exploding torsos. Exploding necks. Neck ripped open. Bloodsucking. Walking dead. Chainsaw attack. Neck-chewing. Power-drill attack. Stomach-gouging. Two motor vehicle chases. Hand rolls. Arm rolls. Drive-In Academy Award nominations for Jake Euker, Gary Miller, Randall Aviks, Steve Brown and Leif Jonker, for the beginnings of a bright drive-in career.  Joe Bob says CHECK IT OUT!"
Joe Bob Briggs - THE JOE BOB REPORT/JOE BOB’S DRIVE-IN
Read the Full Article/Review HERE!

"Fans of true grue look no further, as DARKNESS is a splatterific good time, filled to bursting with 10-foot arterial sprays, chainsawed limbs, and a climactic meltdown orgy of explodin' noggins that'll have any worthwhile film-fan cheerin' themselves hoarse!"
Bruce Holecheck - DEEP RED Magazine 2003 review. U.S.A.
Buy the 15th Anniversary issue of DEEP RED Magazine by clicking HERE
or get the COMBO PACK by clicking HERE!
Or visit Bruce Holecheck’s MySpace page by clicking HERE!

"A completely demented, outrageously blood-drenched vampire tale called DARKNESS - which could best be described as Richard Matheson's original story I AM LEGEND as directed by...well, let's say Jonker's style combines [Tobe] Hooper with [George] Romero, but the story is pure John Carpenter with a dash of Peter Jackson's insanity thrown in for good measure."
Tom Brown - FILM THREAT VIDEO GUIDE Issue #9 U.S.A.
Buy Issue #9 with the Full Article HERE!

"...enjoyed the hell out of it...the film has a definite, relentless energy that is almost entirely lacking in most horror films. 28 DAYS LATER kind of reminded me of DARKNESS actually, but DARKNESS is a lot "wilder"."
Vincent Pereira - Writer/Director of A BETTER PLACE
Unofficial Historian of VIEW ASKIEW Productions - U.S.A.

Visit VIEW ASKIEW’s official site by clicking HERE!
Or visit Vincent’s MySpace page by clicking HERE!

"An extremely gory but also very atmospheric and well-directed film."
MOVIESTAR Magazine GERMANY

"...a cut above the rest...amazingly violent...probably the goriest movie I've seen since [Peter Jackson's] DEAD ALIVE!  There's a door left open for DARKNESS 2, I'll welcome it with open sores!"
Mike Baronas - G.A.S.P. ETC. Magazine U.S.A.
Visit G.A.S.P. ETC. HERE!
Or visit their MySpace page by clicking HERE!

"...I regard DARKNESS as the horror film of the decade!"
André Quintaine - SUEURS FROIDES Magazine FRANCE

"...a gore-splattered vampire epic to end all vampire flicks...  DARKNESS manages to rival even the imposing likes of DAWN OF THE DEAD on a scale of apocalyptic terror."
Nathan Tyler - HACKER'S SOURCE Magazine 2002 Review U.S.A.
Visit HACKER’S SOURCE by clicking HERE!

"...unbelievable amounts of carnage...a hugely enjoyable film for the armchair horror fan... Thoroughly deserving of it's cult reputation."
MJ Simpson - SFX MAGAZINE ENGLAND
Visit SFX Magazine HERE!
Or visit MJ’s official website by clicking HERE!

"This film is scary, I mean really scary, even for a fan of horror films like me. This movie is NEAR DARK, NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD and THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE all rolled into one!"
Diana Weese - INDEPENDENT VIDEO Magazine U.S.A.

"Leif Jonker is the director of this great movie. DARKNESS is an absolute MUST-SEE!"
GORY NEWS Magazine - GERMANY

"Very cool...a cornucopia of carnage...very entertaining... ...I felt like I was watching an early work from Sam Raimi.  Grab this!"
Al Shevy - WORLD OF FANDOM Magazine U.S.A.
Visit the WORLD OF FANDOM Official Website HERE!

"...creepy...this movie is great...DARKNESS delivers the goods....totally entertaining...!"
Hugh Gallagher - DRACULINA Magazine U.S.A.
Visit DRACULINA Magazine HERE!

"For avid followers of gory excess there is plenty to savor... A bloody THUMBS UP from me."
Paul J. Brown - UNCUT Magazine ENGLAND
Find Out More About UNCUT HERE and HERE!

4 out of 5 STARS!
"His raw, powerful vampire gorefest Leif Jonker's DARKNESS has sustained a decade-long buzz as one of the cornerstone films of the microcinema scene, and the latest word is that a tenth-anniversary DVD edition may be in the offing. ... delivers a string of harrowing, shocking scenes...deserves a wider release and a mainstream reputation."
John Oak Dalton - MICROCINEMASCENE.COM
Read the Full Review HERE!

“But I have to go with the hard-rawkin’ teens of Wichita, getting chased by a vampire horde through a bleak night in Leif Jonker’s Darkness. There’s this scenes where they zip through an eerie car wash in the dead of night that just made me think, as I said in my review at this site, if this movie had come out to drive-ins in the 70’s, Jonker would be a cult hero today..“
John Oak Dalton - Reviewer's Roundtable MICROCINEMA SCENE
Read the Full Article HERE!

"Leif Jonker directed, wrote and produced this very gory vampire tale that mixes elements of such films as NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD and a whole slew of Fulci Zombie classics.  The low budget look adds greatly to this film which has terrific special effects and plenty of vomit inducing gore.    This one may be a bit hard to find but it is an outstanding effort..."
Losman - LOSMAN'S LAIR OF HORROR
Visit Losman’s Official Website HERE!

"...is a gore-fest and a half and proud of it. 
This is low-budget horror at its best.  Of the $6000 budget, I reckon $5900 went on fake blood and the other hundred bucks went on power-tools (don't mention the 'Texas Chainsaw Massacre'?).  The gore comes quick and faster, and there are times when I really had to cringe.  Cheap or not, the special effects are effective.  If you like splatter you'll love this..."
Pan - BLACK STAR REVIEW
Read the Full Review HERE!

"Tremendously savage! ...outrageous bloodshed..."
Dr. Cyclops - FANGORIA Magazine U.S.A.
Visit FANGORIA Magazine Online HERE!

"Leif Jonker's DARKNESS is everything John Carpenter's VAMPIRES should have been, and then some. It's dark, brooding, frightening, raw, exciting, disgusting…hell, I could bring in the editing team for Webster's to throw around adjectives all day long for a week and it still wouldn't be enough to do this film justice."
Allen Richards - B-INDEPENDENT.COM
Read the Full Review HERE!

"...beats the crap out of tinsel towns latest efforts in the bloodsucking stakes (no pun intended honest). ...the gore effects are great. Jonker manages to create an epic scale throughout building slowly towards a literally explosive finale, which will have goremongers cheering."
Richard King - THRILL CITY

"...stunning (considering the budget) special effects. Blood flows everywhere in this film! It spurts, pours, gushes and a wide array of internal organs follow closely behind. The outrageous finale aside, the gore here is more shocking than it is in the thematically similar but light-hearted THE DEAD NEXT DOOR. The murders are realistically brutal..."
Rob Dyer - DARK STAR VIDEO


"DARKNESS is a grim, dark, brooding film with lots of gore, great soundtrack music, and enough mayhem to choke a small army. The good thing is that it tries to be a scary film; no humor, no quirky one-liners to lighten up the scenery, just scene after scene of creative camera angles, good makeup effects... All the classics are put to a good use as influences - NEAR DARK, NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD and TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSCRE, and just wait until you see the ending. You want to see a 10-minute acid flashback scene done by Lucio Fulci? You won't believe this one. ...a classic of the underground genre, if there ever was one."
Greg Dellaria - SLEAZEGRINDER
Read the Full Review HERE!

"It's good to find an unsentimental, grim vampire flick...DARKNESS owes more to THE EVIL DEAD than Bram Stoker...gloomy atmosphere...the gratuitous multiple exploding-head finale provides a showcase for Jonkers' overworked special-effects team, in which dozens of vampires melt into pools of red jello."
Jeff Frentzen - DARK WATERS

#5 ON THE TOP 10 EXPLODING HEAD MOVIES LIST!
"Here's a list of the flicks with the top 10 exploding head sequences ever put on film.
1. MANIAC
2. SCANNERS
3. THE FINAL CONFLICT
4. DAWN OF THE DEAD
5. DARKNESS
6. THE EVIL DEAD
7. HELLRAISER..."
E-SPLATTER.COM
Check out the Entire Top 10 List HERE!

Extremely gory...  ...it really does go over-the-top with the gore...  ...shocking, balls-to-the-wall gore effects.“
E-SPLATTER.COM
Read the Full Review HERE!


"Think ASSAULT ON PRECINCT 13 with Vampires. DARKNESS is what John Carpenter's VAMPIRES and it's weaker straight to video sequel should have been. It's dark, raw and blood drenched, with some genuine moments that Carpenter himself would have been jealous of...Jonker clearly loves Carpenter's films as the excellent shot composition and original score reminds you of such classics as ASSAULT ON PRECINCT 13 and HALLOWEEN. The film opens with one of the most memorable massacres since the bar scene in NEAR DARK. In this film, they don't die with a puff of smoke ala BUFFY, they scream and scream and scream, dripping blood and flesh everywhere, before ultimately exploding. There's been talk of re-release of DARKNESS on DVD if it happens I want a copy. If you are out there Leif…Make another movie. I need more DARKNESS! If you guys haven't seen it I think you should track it down, especially if you are a vamp fan and need it to complete your collection. This is a diamond with a lot of rough edges, but a diamond nonetheless."
Lee Bailes - THE RUMOUR MACHINE
Read the Full Review HERE!

“Films like Peter Jackson’s, BAD TASTE, Robert Rodriquez's EL MARIACHI, John Carpenters DARK STAR, Midnight Pictures ZOMBIE GENOCIDE, Leif Jonkers DARKNESS, J.R. Bookwalter’s THE DEAD NEXT DOOR, and Sam Raimi’s THE EVIL DEAD are simply pure inspiration for amateur filmmakers. These classics of low to no budget independent cinema can be watched repeatedly and each viewing serves to renew one’s interest in filmmaking and fuels the ambition and commitment necessary to pull off your own project.”
Lee Bailes in his review for TERRARIUM
Read the Full Review HERE!

"The ending is a special effects extravaganza...  Buckets of blood here folks!!!  One of the better non-Bram Stoker vampire stories of the 90's, just for the gore alone. ...this low budget gem really packs a punch for gore."
The Caretaker - HOUSE OF HORRORS
Visit the House of Horrors HERE!

"EVIL DEAD meets Tarantino..."
RoD - SUBURBAN HOMEPAGE OF THE DEAD

"Yeah, we were late getting on stage cause I was watching your movie on the bus.  You’ve got a hell of a lot of blood in that convenience store scene."
Rob Zombie - Lead singer WHITE ZOMBIE
Writer/Director of HOUSE OF 1000 CORPSES & THE DEVIL'S REJECTS

(To Leif Jonker at the Cotillion Ballroom, Wichita Kansas on WHITE ZOMBIE tour 1993)

"WOW!  Leif Jonker's DARKNESS is a tour de force of low budget horror filmmaking.  This movie plays it straight and goes right for the guts, delivering a feast of manic gore and unnerving pace.  VERY gory schlock that eschewes laughs for terror and features an effective and memorable soundtrack.  Movies like this seem to fall out of the sky, or off the Internet, and renew my faith in the horror genre and where it's headed."
The Gore-Met - ALT.HORROR NEWSGROUP
Read the Full Thread HERE!
Read Other Reviews from the Gore-Met by subscribing to RUE-MORGUE Magazine HERE!

"...it's a "Videodrome" fave. ...the blood spews beyond measure, and Jonker obviously harbors some real talent."
Scott Philips - VIDEODROME/WEEKLY ALIBI
Read the Full Review HERE!


"If you' re a fan of 70's Zombie-slasher-horror, this movie's your cup of tea.  It's BRAINDEAD [aka Peter Jackson’s DEAD ALIVE] for the vampire-genre. I think I've never seen any vampire-movie with more bloodshed and gory effects."
VAMPYRES ONLINE
Read the Full Review HERE!

"The BLOOD SPLATTERED BRIDE is easily one of my favorite vampire films, alongside classics such as DAUGHTERS OF DARKNESS and Leif Jonker's DARKNESS (which is more of a gorefest than a vampire flick, really, but I digress)."
Goden - Editor ETERNAL FROST Extreme Music Webzine

"The blood-suckers in DARKNESS are into their roles and just want to go out and kick ass. It was a breath of fresh air, as is the entire experience of watching this film, which is dripping with gore and cool effects. ...DARKNESS has faster pacing, better effects, and more entertainment value than any other American horror film in recent years."
Keith Allison - TELEPORT CITY
Visit Teleport City HERE!

“...DARKNESS was just released to high acclaim...  ...an extremely graphic but technically masterful vampire horror...“
Tom Allen - MOVIE MAKER MAGAZINE
Read the Full Article HERE!


"...DARKNESS is amazing!!  Great special effects, a good cast, very professionally done, superb camera angles and ideas, and music that gives you a feeling you don't get often when watching this type of very-low-budget movies.  I was highly surprised by this movie, which is filled with tension, convincing actors and great EFX.  Independent Video Magazine wrote that DARKNESS is a mix between NEAR DARK, NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD and THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE.  I'd like to add EVIL DEAD to that list! This is excellent!!"
Kristian P. Mølgaard - TRAUMA MAGAZINE
Read the Full Review HERE!

*EXTREME GORE AWARD*
"Kick ass, rare, vampire splatter flick is proof that you don't need a huge budget to make something cool. Tons of blood spilling madness and a soundtrack that could wake the dead. The goriest vampire movie of all time! Check it out, you'll be blown away.“
Gorefiend - BLOOD DRENCHED CINEMA
Read the Review HERE!

FOUR STARS!
"...an all out assault...a slickly produced, well acted, ultra-intense gore fest...the last word in low budget splatter... If you thought horror, true horror was dead, think again! "
Thomas Brown - WHIZ NBC RADIO U.S.A.


"I'm a big fan of splatter movies and Darkness is at the top for me. Leif Jonker and Gary Miller who pulled off the EFX have great talent for what they do.  It's not only the EFX but the movie is also great, being shot on super8 gives the film a retro grind house look (and this is a good thing).  If you're a fan of ultra low budget underground gore shockers like Jim Van Bebber's DEADBEAT AT DAWN or COMBAT SHOCK, then DARKNESS is the film for you." Rating: 9/10
Zombiecore04-1 - INTERNATIONAL MOVIE DATABASE (IMDb)
Read the Full Review and other IMDb Reviews HERE!

"Darkness = low budget vampire gorefest classic!!!  ...it was fast moving and had a lot of creepy moments and atmosphere.  ...if you love gore then you will love this movie, it has loads of it, loads of blood, zombie meltings, heads being blown up, flesh being ripped off and loads more blood!!!!!!  If you enjoy low budget horror movies and you're also a fan of gore then you must try and find this movie, you'll be happy you did!" Rating: 8/10
cool_cool_1 - INTERNATIONAL MOVIE DATABASE (IMDb)
Read the Full Review and other IMDb Reviews HERE!

"DARKNESS is a really entertaining, micro-budget vampire film.  ...for a low-budget production, I really have to give it credit. The acting is better than I would expect from something this cheap, the gore FX are very good and plentiful, and there are some genuinely tense moments in the film. The ending is really over-the-top on the gore scale, which is always a good thing.  If you're a splatter fan, definitely check this one out."
Rating: 8/10
EVOL666 - INTERNATIONAL MOVIE DATABASE (IMDb)
Read the Full Review and other IMDb Reviews HERE!

"An energetic and imaginative independent vampire flick!  This movie kicks ass! Its got a lot of imagination. It might have had no budget but that doesn't mean that Leif Jonker didn't think up imaginative ways of overcoming their obstacles in making this vampire Opus!  First off the flick opens with a bang in a gas station. This whole sequence was designed to grab you by the throat in the first opening minutes, and that it does! The pace of the movie is very fast and energetic, right from the get go, the movie never stops. It's like a roller coaster ride of vampiric thrills.  In conclusion, I'd say this is a fun movie to watch. Never boring, lots of energy and imagination. Hurray for Independent cinema and bring on Darkness 2!"  Rating: 8/10
spacemonkey_fg - INTERNATIONAL MOVIE DATABASE (IMDb)
Read the Full Review and other IMDb Reviews HERE!

HIGHEST RATING!  
"Excellent Low Budget Gorefest!  Director Leif Jonker shows how much can be done with a minimal budget and a lot of gore and imagination and a willingness to totally re-invent the vampire movie.  The gore is incredible as we see meltdowns galore, a vampire get chainsawed, people gutted and feasted on, and many exploding heads. This movie is very hard to find but the searching is well worth it. Start hunting."   Rating: 10/10
diabolic213 - INTERNATIONAL MOVIE DATABASE (IMDb)
Read the Full Review and other IMDb Reviews HERE!

HIGHEST RATING!
"Wow. This film is low budget, and shot on Super8, but is still a great horror film. I personally think this will be a cult classic eventually. Read the Plot Outline on IMDB for the story... but let me just tell you this, this movie is f***ing gory!"  Rating: 10/10
leetkurp - INTERNATIONAL MOVIE DATABASE (IMDb)
Read the Full Review and other IMDb Reviews HERE!

"Splatter = Fun  ...for a low-rent [Super8mm] splatterfest this is one of the best I've seen in the independant market for quite some time. Darkness holds many moments of cinematic glory - the chainsaw farmhouse scene, the ending sunrise melting scene, the fact that most the vampires wear Iron Maiden T- shirts... This film is a buried gem and I implore all true fans of independent gore-based cinema to hunt this one down. Leif Jonker, I salute you."
Ryan Bartek - INTERNATIONAL MOVIE DATABASE (IMDb)
Read the Full Review and other IMDb Reviews HERE!

"A low budget gem!  A vampire movie like no other. Leif Jonker should be praised for his attempts to drag the vampire genre out of the terrible goth phase it's currently lingering in.  A well written plot combines with great gore and some genuinely terrifying scenes to make a great movie. The sense of menace and terror is never far from the screen, and the end is truly horrific."
James Mcconnell - INTERNATIONAL MOVIE DATABASE (IMDb)
Read the Full Review and other IMDb Reviews HERE!

"If nothing else, see this for two things: the amazing chase sequences, and the splatter effects!  My favourite scene (apart from the ending which surpasses the gore level of [Peter Jackson's] BRAINDEAD [aka DEAD ALIVE] is the chase scene in the middle of the film where a guy gets chased down by a group of about twenty vampires. This little scene has to be seen to be believed.  It's so fast-paced.  Plus, the rock song played in the background while the chase was occurring was very rousing, and really gets your adrenaline pumping.  rest assured, if you're a hardcore horror fan who loves gory flicks, this is the bloodiest that they come (which is a GOOD thing to people like myself). I'd take Jonker's `Darkness' over Raimi's `Evil Dead' films any day; at least Jonker has the courage to show carnage that Raimi never could pull off." Rating: 8.5/10
Vladimir_Grozescu - INTERNATIONAL MOVIE DATABASE (IMDb)
Read the Full Review and other IMDb Reviews HERE!

"The main attraction in DARKNESS is the gore, and it spills by the gallon! They're impressively done and they're graphic, as well as plentiful!  Jonker does his best to overcome his technical limitations to create a pretty cool little film, creating some memorable and haunting images - especially at the gruesome climax!"
mizziah74 - INTERNATIONAL MOVIE DATABASE (IMDb)
Read the Full Review and other IMDb Reviews HERE!

"Awesome independent horror! I bought this movie recently and was pleasantly surprised to find that it was way better than I thought it would be. With the budget that the filmmakers had I didn't expect FROM DUSK TILL DAWN, but this movie is awesome all the same. There was even a shot of Liven (the vampire king) coming out of the ground that would later be used in John Carpenter's VAMPIRES.  This film shows vampirism among normal people and not wealthy and elegant aristocrats. The vampires in this film don't just suck blood from people's necks, they revel in it. There is a lot of cool gore in this film, too, which is amazing considering how low the budget was. The scene where a group of vampires start to disintegrate on a lonely road when the sun comes up in the middle of chasing the heroes of the film is the most memorable. Altogether this is an awesome film!"
Otacon10 - INTERNATIONAL MOVIE DATABASE (IMDb)
Read the Full Review and other IMDb Reviews HERE!

"A must see for true fans of the horror genre.  Unlike a lot of the big-budget horror mush from studios, this film cuts to the chase and provides us scenes that really are horrific. In fact, this film will provoke some nostalgic feelings in anyone who recalls with fondness the days when Eurohorror was at its best, terrorizing filmgoers with its messy gore and shocking images. A must see for true fans of the horror genre."
milo-17 - INTERNATIONAL MOVIE DATABASE (IMDb)
Read the Full Review and other IMDb Reviews HERE!

"This is a REALLY gory movie!  If you are a hard gore fan this is a MUST for you.  This is the goriest movie I have ever seen. (Yes, I have seen [Peter Jackson's] BRAINDEAD [aka DEAD ALIVE].  The end of this movie almost tops BRAIN DEAD's lawnmower massacre."
900 - INTERNATIONAL MOVIE DATABASE (IMDb)
Read the Full Review and other IMDb Reviews HERE!

"Here's a vampire movie that's certainly not your average vampire story.  It's definitely one of the goriest movies I've ever seen.  The vampires in this one are more like zombies almost.  We get throat rippings with jugular fountains, blood spraying everywhere, and an amazingly bloody finale where all the vampires begin to melt and explode in the sunlight. It's an absolute nonstop chunk blower.  Highly recommended. "
Mario Dominick - FILMS ON THE FRINGE/CRITIC ONLINE
Read the Full Review by clicking HERE!<

TOP 10 ALL TIME FAVORITES - BEST UNDERGROUND MOVIE!
BEST DIRECTOR - John Woo
BEST AMERICAN DIRECTOR - Sam Raimi
BEST ACTOR - Franco Nero
BEST ACTRESS - Barbara Steel
BEST MOVIE - THE KILLER (John Woo)
BEST AMERICAN MOVIE - FIGHT CLUB (David Fincher)
BEST GENRE MOVIE - MANNAJA, A MAN CALLED BLADE (Sergio Martino)
BEST UNDERGROUND DIRECTOR - Augustine Arredondo
BEST UNDERGROUND MOVIE - DARKNESS (Leif Jonker)
Alexandre Michaud - Director/Producer URBAN FLESH, BEAST and GOREGOYLES
Read other filmmaker's TOP 10 LISTS on HELLTIMATE.COM by clicking HERE!
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