Tuesday, May 29, 2012

DARKNESS Reviews - 2006 VAMPIRE VERSION

NEW REVIEWS - DARKNESS: THE VAMPIRE VERSION
Saved from the older 13th Dream website.  Many of the links are no longer working.

Internet and Magazine REVIEWS of the
2006 VAMPIRE VERSION:

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

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FIVE STARS - HIGHEST RATING
A "MASTERPIECE OF UNDERGROUND HORROR."

"If you're looking for something violent and fun, give this one a chance. The dvd presentation by Barrel Entertainment is the single best dvd presentation a film at this budget has ever seen. It's LOADED with stuff."
B-Independent.com - NETFLIX Review
Read the Full Review log in to NetFlix and click HERE!

“His raw, powerful vampire gorefest DARKNESS has sustained a decade-long buzz as one of the cornerstone films of the microcinema scene.  ...delivers a string of harrowing, shocking scenes, delivered with such unvarnished acting and production value that the film almost seems lensed in a quasi-(or perhaps I should say queasy-)documentary style.  And Jonker fills the double DVD with loads and loads of extras...  THE VAMPIRE VERSION is a great testament to this memorable achievement.”

John Oak Dalton - THE HOMEMADE WORLD REVIEW
Read the Full review HERE!
This review first appeared, in a slightly different form, at MICRO CINEMA SCENE.COM.

#5 ON THE ULTIMATE GORE LIST!
"You will never see a vampire movie this gory.  Exploding hordes of vampires here with bubbling flesh!"
Jose Angeles - AMAZON LISTMANIA!
SEE THE ENTIRE LIST OF 35 MOVIES BY CLICKING HERE!

"Gory and juicy...  The first commentary is with the cast and crew. It’s pretty enjoyable, as there is a good dynamic among them. There are some genuine funny moments here that I actually laughed out loud.  The third commentary with the director has an interesting history of the film...  There are some featurettes as well, including cast interviews and making of special effects. This disc is worth it just for the value alone. It will take you more than one night to go thru all of it, and some parts are very educational, if you’re into low budget filming."
DirkMaster - My Nightly Bad Movies BLOG
Read the entire review HERE!


HIGHEST RATING!  5 STARS!  "SPLATTACULAR"!
"This movie was gore PACKED. Quentin Tarantino should have taken some lessons from the effects crew in DARKNESS, I mean blood sprays everywhere!  My personal favorite is a kill scene at a carwash, it was the main scene that stood out in my mind all these years since I watched the movie on VHS -- other than the insanely cool ending, and that my friends, the ending, WOW. The ending of this movie is splattacular!  For Gore and Splatter fans this movie is right up your alley.  Leif Jonker's DARKNESS: THE VAMPIRE VERSION is an inspiration to all budding independent horror movie directors."
Jaysin Champion - EVIL DREAD.COM
Read the Full Review on EVIL DREAD.COM by clicking HERE!
Originally posted:
Jay Decay - CUTTING CREW REVIEWS
Read the Full CUTTING CREW Review on MySpace by clicking HERE!

"...Jonker would be the perfect guy to do 30 DAYS OF NIGHT."
"Enter DARKNESS: THE VAMPIRE VERSION, a two-disc, digitally remastered set with more goodies than you can shake a crucifix at.  ...you’ll find yourself cheering these besieged survivors to safety.  It’s much the same feeling people got the first time they saw THE EVIL DEAD -- and I’m not talking about when it first came on video.  It’s so enjoyable, that I actually found myself thinking that Jonker would be the perfect guy to do 30 DAYS OF NIGHT.  Just a thought, but I think he could pull it off.  Now, however, you can have the film in a format that does it and its cast and crew justice.  Do yourself a favor, horror fans, and get this ASAP if you don’t already have it in your hot little hands."  Rating: 3.5 out of 4 STARS!
Doug Brunell - FILM THREAT
Read the Full Review by clicking HERE!

"Man, I've been waiting for this DVD for years!  DARKNESS is a great example of raw talent, ambition and creativity overcoming budgetary restraints.  To this day the movie is a blast to watch!  The last fifteen minutes just can't be beat - and that includes anything I've seen in EVIL DEAD, BRAINDEAD, etc."
Richard Dean - Author of FINAL DEATH and TOTAL DARKNESS
Visit Richard Dean on his MySpace page by clicking HERE!

"The Vampire Version rocks! Looks sooooo much better now."
Ronnie Sortor - Director of SINYSTER and RAVAGE
Visit Borderline Entertainment HERE!

"We check out Barrel Entertainment's DVD remastering of Leif Jonker's energetic 1993 vampire flick.  Small on budget it may be, but gorehounds will love it."
Single-Disc Edition Review:
"When the vampires are exposed to ultraviolet rays their reaction is, especially considering the DARKNESS budget, spectacular.  Writer/director Leif Jonker is a huge talent: it's a shame that he made this in 1993 and hasn't gotten another feature.  Darkness looks great and the sound is crisp and clear.  Scenes at night featuring pools of light isolated in inky darkness show just how good the remastering is.  For adventurous viewers, Darkness comes highly recommended."  Score: 8/10
And excerpted from a personal note from Howard:
"...I hugely enjoyed it.  Although I'm not that big on blood and gore I was completely absorbed in what was going on and thought it was really well done.  Had I seen it prior to the digital restoration I probably wouldn't have gotten much farther than ten minutes into it.  Wow.  The comparison scenes showing the before and after really made me appreciate what good work was done on the film."  Also featured on their "Recent Recommendations" list!
Howard Paul Burgess - THE FILM ASYLUM
Read the Full Review HERE!

"I think it's a great film.  DARKNESS is the EL MARIACHI of horror movies!"
Eric Tomosunas - Producer of FURNACE and DEAD HEIST
Visit Swirl Films HERE!

Included in the upcoming book:
100 GREATEST GORE FILMS OF ALL TIME!

From SKULLRING.ORG interview:
"Leif Jonker’s DARKNESS finally hit DVD this year—if you’re into ultra low budget gore, this one is good."
From MySpace:
"Darkness made the cut in my forthcoming book on the 100 GREATEST GORE FILMS OF ALL TIME and I'm eagerly awaiting your next project."
Mike Bracken - "The Horror Geek" Comedy Central's BEAT THE GEEKS
Read Matt Staggs Full Interview with Mike on SKULLRING.ORG by clicking HERE!
Visit Mike's MySpace page by clicking HERE!

HIGHEST RATING! 10 OUT OF 10!
"Every once in a while a movie that has a $0.00 buget manages to do the unthinkable, become a world wide underground cult classic.  And thanks to BARREL ENTERTAINMENT I can finally throw away my 9th generation VHS that is not even watchable now.  This is the best micro budget, independent film...period.  This is a movie in the same spirit of BAD TASTE, EVIL DEAD, TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE, but done on a fraction of the budget of those films.  But don't let the lack of budget fool you, what they were able to accomplish is amazing & this first time director has some real talent.  Leif is able to keep the film moving at a frantic pace, so you never have a chance to zero in on the lack of budget (well almost), always throwing something at you to keep you busy, but at the same time, it never feels forced.  The chase scenes are fantastic, & the scares come at you with startling speed.  If you can really enjoy small independent films, with zero budget, (at times) bad acting, & GORE BY THE BUCKET LOAD, this film is calling your name."  Rating 10/10!
Miguel Bain - THE TRPC.COM Discussion Forums
Read the Full Thread of Reviews by clicking HERE!

"DARKNESS: THE VAMPIRE VERSION (2-disc limited edition) is an absolute must have for any fan of indie cinema and gore!!  This flick could give Peter Jackson's DEAD ALIVE (BRAIN DEAD) a run for it's money!"
Eric Butts - MySpace BLOG
Visit Eric's MySpace page by clicking HERE!

Review translated from Italian into English.  "Do you want some advice?  Buy the limited edition!!!  The dvd’s development took ages, 9 years, but the final product is something amazing.  Darkness is a bloody orgy of gore and human/vampire flesh.  In addiction, the makeup is terrific and we can assure you that you’ll enjoy that very much.  In our opinion, it is the most violent and gory vampire movie ever filmed.  For the people who saw [John] Carpenter’s VAMPIRES and this one (1993), they’ll notice some similarities between them.  In particular, during the vampire’s resurrection where it is very noticeable…  We’re not saying that J.C. copied that idea from DARKNESS but…  As regards the original soundtrack, it is composed only by brutal/death and thrash metal songs, which is a positive aspect of the film.  Anyway, the acting is a kind of hilarious because all the actors are only meat for the slaughterhouse like us and you.  Lastly, the best scene in this movie is the one inside the abandoned house in the desert infested with vampires (Carpenter rings you a bell?)!  Once and for all, this is one of the most marvellous underground movies in a spectacular edition (both limited and standard).  If you like splatter, gore or whatever, you have to buy it immediately!"
HELL OF THE LIVING DEAD.COM's Fanzine SEEDS OF FEAR Vol. 1 - ITALY
Visit HELL OF THE LIVING DEAD by clicking HERE!
Download a PDF of SEEDS OF FEAR by clicking HERE!

"From start to finish it's one of the goriest movies you'll ever see.  Hardly a minute goes by without blood spurting across the screen, an eyeball popping or a head exploding.  The climax alone gives the lawn mower scene in Peter Jackson's DEAD ALIVE a very chunky run for its money.  Hollywood movies with multi-million dollar budgets haven't accomplished half of the gross-out effects as effectively as Jonker's novice crew did."
Last Chance Lance - RUE-MORGUE MAGAZINE Issue #57
Read the Full Article by Buying RUE-MORGUE #57  HERE!

BEST DVD RELEASES of 2006 List!

"5. DARKNESS: THE VAMPIRE VERSION - Company: Barrel  Dir.: Leif Jonker  Another old grassroots horror film – Jonker's Super8 splatteriffic vampire extravaganza DARKNESS – was given an even more lavish release.  Another gem from the low budget world."
TetsuoMARK13 - MySpace BLOG
Check out the full listing by clicking HERE!

"...you go into a film like this for the blood, guts and gore!  ...high on the blood meter.  From the opening scene until the end of the film, the blood flows quite freely...  ...you have few minutes in this film where someone isn't being ripped to shreds, squirting blood all over the place or being shown up close in a convulsing death scene. The 'meltdown' scene is probably a gore-lover's dream come true and adds a couple of jaw-dropping moments.  From what I understand, this is a re-release of the film and had until this time, only been available on DVD in Germany and Japan and from the sequences shown before the film begins, this edition appears to be a vast improvement over the earlier two releases.  Barrel Entertainment, the fine crew that gave us Special Editions of both Nekromantik films, along with Roger Watkin's Last House on Dead End Street, have really out done them selves with this DVD release.  ...if you're a fan who enjoys a very 'moist' and bloody film, then I'd certainly not hesitate in recommending this film."
Hammer Fanatic - HOUSE OF HORRORS
Read the Full Review HERE!

"Leif Jonker, for the extreme low budget he had and using college students and friends, pulled off this feature length splat fest, beautifully!  The gallons upon gallons of blood, sprayed, spilled and spread in this film is to me, absolutely Gorious (or glorious for those of you, not down with the lingo).  The climax of DARKNESS is quite possibly one of the goriest and most blood filled sequences in film history.  Leif has truly built an independent goldmine with this one.  I definitely look forward to future projects from him. When it comes down to the splatter factor, Darkness: The vampire version gets my rating of a 10.  For a shoe string budget, this film had some fucking gruesome, outstanding gore FX.  Leif and his friends went all out and by far made this picture one of the bloodiest things ever put to celluloid.  Over all DARKNESS: THE VAMPIRE VERSION gets my rating of an 8.  All I can say now is, go get this film!  If you value your love of underground, independent and extremely gory cinema, do it!  Well… what the f*#k are you waiting for, GO… NOW!!!"
CINEMA EULOGIES
Read the Full Review by clicking HERE!

HIGHEST RATING - 10 OUT OF 10!
"One of the finest zero-budget horror movies I've had the pleasure of viewing.  DARKNESS: THE VAMPIRE VERSION is a terrifically ambitious zero-budget movie by first-time director Leif Jonker. Its high-octane, non-stop bloody action is gripping from the start...   ...this film succeeds with its large-scale portrayal of the effect that a master vampire (Randall Aviks) has on various towns in North America.  Aviks' character manages to turn a seemingly endless number of townsfolk into fast moving, gut chomping vampires and there are some superbly dark scenes of carnage.  This shot-on-film horror production puts much higher budget pictures to shame.  The scenes of jugular-spurting bloodshed are numerous and intense - very impressive for a film of this independent nature.  The excellent synthesiser produced score is very reminiscent of early John Carpenter tracks - very moody and foreboding. Director Leif Jonker also co-produced this music - is there no end to the man's talent?  I've given DARKNESS a 10 for sheer effort. Along with [Jörg Buttgereit's] NEKROMANTIK and [Mike] Mendez's KILLERS, this ranks as one of my favourite low-budget movies."  Rating: 10/10
DVD_Connoisseur - INTERNATIONAL MOVIE DATABASE (IMDb)
Read the Full Review HERE!

"There are some really good shots in the movie; the carwash blood bath, the slice and dice death and the meltdown at the end is pure BLOOD FEST.  If you're into underground movies then this is for you.  If you're not and you want to expand your mind, open it a little bit, you know, taste the brains, then watch this and see what true, and I mean TRUE, independent movie making is all about.  Patch gives this 5 BLOOD SPLASHES out of 7!  Patch says open your mind and watch some underground cinema!"
Patch/Lucio Fulci is God - THE SEVEN DREADED GATEWAYS/MySpace Blog
Read the Full Review by clicking HERE!

"This film is a gorehounds wet dream come true.  Lucio Fulci would be proud.  For a low-budget feature, the gore effects are top notch...  If you like ripped-off throats, hands torn off by chainsaws, bodies being crushed by trucks, people being hacked to bits by machetes, and vampires melting into skeletons before exploding and dousing everything within a twenty mile radius in blood and intestines, than this film was tailor made for you! Drink Up!  P.S.: a little BTW, this film predates FROM DUSK TILL DAWN in it's portrayal of vampires as blood-hungry zombies."  Rating: 8/10
The_Movie_Defender - INTERNATIONAL MOVIE DATABASE (IMDb)
Read the Full Review HERE!

"In my quest for the goriest movie ever made, I came across Leif Jonker's DARKNESS.  ...it's fun to watch.  There's a lot of gore scene...  ...you can't see anything but blood squirting everywhere...  Call some friends, have a few beers and enjoy!"  FILM RATING: 3/5    GORE RATING: 4.5/5
Jitan Forcier - SPLATTERMANIA
Read the Full Review HERE!

"Just a couple minutes in, and we've got suicide, vampires, blood all over the place, and some dude who lives in a trailer park running from things.  Then, niftiness ensues.  Great metal soundtrack to tons of killing of vampire thingies.  Regular countdowns to sunset or sunrise.  Chainsaws.  Shotguns.  Desperate teens.  Blood.  Creepy stuff.   The brooding music, the usual lack of friends or family around to help (until our heroes band together, of course), and yes, the Darkness, all come together to create quite a nice atmosphere for the film.  Add in the well placed metal songs (by Apostasy in this version) for the chase scenes, and you have a film that uses all of its tools to create the mood.  There are some seriously cool bits of gore - heads being shot off, drills used as weapons, limbs being hacked off with swords, and other grisly bits of killing goodness.  One of the best is about 45 minutes in, where a bad guy gets run over and disintegrates into a bunch of pieces.  Cool stuff.  There is a great scene near the end with some fabulous gore- lots and lots of vampires dying in the sun in a horrific manner.  Overall, I give it, um, some sort of rating that translates to pretty darn good.  And bloody."
scotian42 - LiVEJOURNAL BLOG
Read the Full Blog/Review by clicking HERE!

"This movie was raw and powerful. ...the direction and special effects were incredibly cool.   These guys love horror films, and their homage is great.  Please give them a bigger budget and let them do more films."
lukasmontoe - Reader/Contributor on YAHOO MOVIES
Read the Full Comment HERE!

HIGHEST RATING!
"Finally the 2-disc special edition of the underground classic, Leif Jonker’s DARKNESS!  The gory vampire film made for no money was beautiful in the fact that it told a story about a vampire which would invade a town and turn people into vampires, or kill them, until the whole town was destroyed!  ...with the new remastered print for DVD, the blood and the gore are better than ever to see!  This vampire film inspired quite a few filmmakers out there that a great movie can be shot for no money if you have the talent, the passion, and skill for great make-up effects.  I give the movie 4 STARS."
Tim Gross - BASTARDS OF HORROR
Read the Full Review HERE!

"It's very clearly the work of a very talented young man... The energy comes through and it's fun to watch.  As a resume piece, it would be excellent, the shots are beautifully considered and well-framed, the momentum is strong and the effects are remarkable.  I was very pleased with the I AM LEGEND [novel] styled vampires, quite possibly the only true cinematic representation of that style."
Neil Sarver - THE BLEEDING TREE Blog
Read the Full Review HERE!

"...what really sets this one apart are the effects. During some of the more effects-laden scenes I had to remind myself that I was watching a 15-or-so year old low-budget movie...  In particular, the last scene (which I won’t ruin) has some of the best gore effects I’ve seen on such a low budget."
Justin - CATHODE RAY MISSION
Read the Full Review HERE!

"...the zest and fiery creativity in the special effects and alltogether presentation of the film give it a charm which is impossible to deny.  There are only one or two scenes in the film where the action cuts away from the violence. The remainder of the movie is unflinching in its display of carnage...  To make a long story short, this film is sickly violent.  There is so much violence in this movie it becomes almost humorous at times.  It's not one of those low budget horror movies that tries to be suspenseful at the expense of gore, as some of the scenes are absolutely soaked in blood and kind of suspenseful as well.  How these guys got all this blood to flow demonstrates an amazing level of creativity and resourcefulness on the part of the creators. And speaking of suspense, there's also quite a few convincing chase sequences in the film that speak volumes of the directing talent of this amateur film crew. Much of the last half of the movie the main characters are running from large groups of their vampire assailants, and for a brief moment it almost felt like watching [Walter Hill's] THE WARRIORS.  When you think that this whole movie cost what Tom Cruise's hairdresser probably gets for about 30 seconds of work, it becomes that much more impressive. If you're a fan of horror movies in general, I'd definitely say give this one a try.  Hopefully you'll be as surprised as I was."
Travis Hunt  - THE GLOBAL CAFE
Read the Full Review by clicking HERE!

Included in FAVOURITE DVD RELEASES OF 2006 List!
"Barrel Entertainment put out a definitive edition of the underground horror classic, Leif Jonker’s Darkness. ...a fantastic example of micro budget horror film making, heavy on the splatter gore, but still managing to offer more than just that including some very cool scenes. Sure it’s a little ruff around the edges, but it’s a low budget film I would highly recommend even to people who would normally avoid such stuff.  If you liked early [Sam] Raimi and [Peter] Jackson you should get a real kick out of this movie from Leif Jonker."
Feral Cat - I SPIT ON YOUR MOVIE
To check out the rest of Feral Cat's "Favourite DVD releases of 2006" click  HERE!

Included in BEST DVD RELEASES OF 2006 List!
"The horror genre has long been a breeding ground for aspiring filmmakers who want to make it big.  Filmmaker Leif Jonker’s first attempt at making Darkness in [1988] failed and few years later he would start all over again and what he created would become an instant underground horror classic."
Michael Den Boer - 10,000 BULLETS
To check out the rest of Michael Den Boer's "Best DVD releases of 2006" click  HERE!
Included in TOP DVD RELEASES OF 06 List!
"Another film that took its sweet time coming to Region 1 with Barrel seemingly all but off the radar as far as new releases were concerned.  They only released one new DVD for the entire year, but boy is it a doozy.  I would rather one marvel of a release then 50 shoddy films any day and the quality of this DVD package shows the love that the people behind Barrel have the film. Their love wasn’t wrongly placed as it’s truly a great example of low budget independent film making. I couldn’t help but think however if this was initially picked up by a bigger label back in the day of Vhs ([Film Threat] had it before) that it would've become a sure fire cult classic and a huge hit. Now thanks to DVD Technology and tender love and care from all those behind the DVD release it’s now easily assessable for a new generation of potential fans and I'm sure its popularity will grow.  "
Proteus - I SPIT ON YOUR MOVIE
To check out the rest of "Proteus's Top Dvd Releases Of 06" click  HERE!

DVD OF THE MONTH!
"...jam-packed two-disc set...here’s my advice: Start with Jonker’s terrific solo feature commentary...  Then move on to the commentary by Jonker (in more anecdotal mode) and several of those actors for a most entertaining group recollection.  Longtime fans will appreciate the inclusion of DARKNESS’ original release edition, which points up just how superior THE VAMPIRE VERSION is in both letterboxed picture (still grainy, but with much-improved colors and clarity) and pacing.  Budding filmmakers will take inspiration from footage of the restored DARKNESS’ festival play, and true devotees will dig the exhaustive gallery of hundreds (!) of stills.  ...however you look at it, this is a milestone in the presentation of DIY horror on DVD." 
DVD RATING: **** (FOUR STARS!)
Michael Gingold - FANGORIA Magazine Issue #258
Order your copy by clicking HERE!
Visit FANGORIA Magazine Online HERE!

"The first thing I have to say is WOW. The digital transfer from the original film is incredible.  People, I have to tell you, this is what underground horror filmmaking is about.  A no holds barred story with texture, gore and excitement. This will please any gore hound.  [Thirteen] years later, this film is still sought after.  Do yourself a favor and join the ranks of fans who already own this extraordinary release."
Eve Blaack - Editor THE HACKER'S SOURCE MAGAZINE
Look for issue #22 at fine booksellers everywhere or order your copy by clicking HERE!

HIGHEST RATING!
"Leif Jonker's Darkness is a great low-budget vampire film from the early '90s.  Despite its extremely low-budget, Darkness has managed to become one of the best cult horror films out there.  ...the film manages to create atmosphere, suspense and classic gross-out moments...  The directing is pretty incredible.  The chase scenes are especially great.  The scenes are just overflowing with amazing amounts of energy.  The F/X work in Darkness is really great, and it actually rivals some of the F/X work done for The Evil Dead and Dead Alive. The ending meltdown sequence just has to be seen to be believed!  Despite the faults in Darkness, everything positive about it comes together and makes it one amazing film.  Leif Jonker has created a cult film for true horror fans, and I can't help but highly recommend this incredible little film to everyone.  Overall, this is an amazing DVD package, and the film is an absolutely must have for any true horror fan!"
Score Film: 5 out of 5!  DVD: 5 out of 5!
Lust del Carrion - REAL CULT FILM
Read the full review by clicking HERE!

"Darkness is a low budget gore fest that has that certain something.  The effects are extremely good for a movie of this budget and will keep the thirstiest gore-hound happy.  ...Jonker actually builds quite good tension within the movie and this keeps you glued to the screen.  It is a nightmare drawn on screen.  In many respects the zombie genre was spawned from the vampire genre (specifically from I am Legend) and this film takes those elements, that the zombie genre borrowed, back with a vengeance.  ...I highly recommend this movie, so long as you can handle high gore movies."
Taliesin - TALIESIN MEETS THE VAMPIRES (BLOG)
Read the full review by clicking HERE!

"The film is about a bad ass vampire named Liven who is going through Kansas turning townsfolk into bloodthirsty killers.  These first few minutes contain more action, gore and fun than any horror film I've seen in years.  One thing that one must mention when speaking of the film is the gore.  Jonker along with Gary Miller (Tobe) put together some absolutely superb effects, considering the budget.  Throughout the film, there are gunshot wounds, scenes of flesh eating, skin melted off by holy water (including a great one w/ Leif), chainsaw attacks, melting bodies, etc etc.  The finale of the film is just absolute brillance as far as the gore goes.  I honestly believe that if Jonker had made this film in the 70s, although not possible, the guy was born in the 70s, he would be listed with Romero, Hooper, Craven and Raimi as the masters of modern horror.  Buy it and support indie movie-making at it's absolute best." 
That Geeky Guy - MY SPACE BLOG REVIEW
Read the full review by clicking HERE!

"...the camp is very thick in this picture, you can almost taste it, which I love. The whole movie has this awesome haziness, and film feel to it that really adds to the expeirience. The over-the-top gore and early 90's fashions make it a movie the whole (vampire-possesed) family can enjoy.  Theres a whole lot of bloodsucking, exploding heads, chainsaw dismemberment, and a climactic scene that will make you have a complete gore-gasm.  In closing this film is a must have for gore hounds and indie junkies alike, or if your looking for something to watch and laugh your ass of to when your baked, it really is a great acheivment and I give this film a much deserved 9.5  out of 10. Now go buy this DVD before I bite you in the fucking juggalur vein."
Pizza Heaven - MY SPACE BLOG REVIEW
Read the full review by clicking HERE!


From the original review:
  "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."  From the DVD Review/Update:  "Looking back at Leif Jonker's microcinema masterpiece DARKNESS is like watching a new movie...  ...the movie is now even more rocking and harder edged.  Viewers who pick up the extremely affordable 2-disc set of DARKNESS will see that Barrel has gone above and beyond the call of duty to release the single best release for a film of this size an scope ever.   If you include commentaries, that's about [16] hours of material on these two discs which far outguns any of Peter Jackson's LORD OF THE RINGS releases.  If you're even simply a casual fan of independent horror or underground cinema, you NEED to pick up this disc. You won't find a better presentation for this sort of movie anywhere."

Allen Richards - B-INDEPENDENT.COM
Read the Full Review HERE!


"If you're looking for an old school bloodfest stop because this is it!  Leif Jonker’s Darkness was without a doubt, one of this year’s most anticipated DVD releases for me.  Right from the opening sequence Darkness takes off and never lets up. I know people say that all the time about movies, but I assure you, in this case it’s never been truer. It brings the kind of energy that you wish more horror films would have.  Darkness is without [a doubt] one of the goriest films I have ever seen, definitely in my top ten at least."

The Butcher - KILLER REVIEWS
Read the Full Review HERE!

"Darkness: The Vampire Version is a movie for horror fans who can appreciate the genre at its rawest extremes.  ...anyone who enjoys underground-style horror will be impressed by the intensity of Darkness: The Vampire Version.  Director Leif Jonker keeps the viewer from focusing on the film's shortcomings by giving it a lean, speedy pace and delivering plenty of outrageous, bloody set pieces (the highway-set finale in particular is a grue-soaked stunner).  Like the film it showcases, Barrel Entertainment's DVD of Darkness: The Vampire Version is a jaw-dropping labor of love.  The new version offers drastically improved picture quality, not to mention slicker editing and better title graphics...  In short, Barrel Entertainment's edition of Darkness: The Vampire Version is one of the most impressive (and exhaustive) DVD packages ever assembled for a low-budget horror film, and it is an obvious must for the film's fans."
Donald Guarisco - ALL MOVIE/ALL MEDIA GUIDE
Read the Full FILM Review HERE!

Read the Full DVD Review HERE!


HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION POSSIBLE!
"Leif Jonker’s DARKNESS is the kind of movie that dares you not to like it.  For every flaw inherent in this cheap backyard back-lot splatter epic, there are three or more genuinely good things that are so inspired and invigorating that, by the end, even the negative points turn into pluses.  The exhilaration Leif puts into his film, that sheer joy and release of moviemaking that feels embedded into every second of DARKNESS succeeds in completely winning over its audience with spectacular results.   ...one really gets to know Jonker as a person during this commentary and he reveals himself as the kind of guy you can’t help but love.  It's one of the best audio commentaries I’ve ever heard, thank you very much.  ...a pure, pedal-to-the-metal, ass-kicking horror flick.  For the great presentation, and especially the smörgåsbord of fine special features, I give this the highest recommendation possible.  It’s absolutely essential viewing for gorehounds."
David Austin - CULT CUTS
Read the Full Review HERE!


"Where else but in the underground independent scene would you find a splatterific gold nugget like this one?  DARKNESS: THE VAMPIRE VERSION has a distinct independent charm that only a handful of low-budget films ever really capture.  For all you jaded mainstream horror fans out there looking for an hour and a half of straight-up gory thrills, this one’s tailor-made for you – a film chock full of grisly and gruesome gut-munching goodness!"
Room 237 - BLOODY-DISGUSTING.COM
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"Darkness had hit the underground circuit back in 1993 and ten years later, it is now one of the most sickest gruesome indie films of all time...  This is definitely a gore hounds film by far with outstanding special effects that will simply blow you away.  You get to see throats torn out, slashing & hacking from machetes, sh*t loads of splattered blood right down to vampires melting to death from sun light and gun fire.  ...I highly recommend you buy this movie on DVD right now while you still can. You wont be sorry that's for sure. ...you will love this film to death and look at independent cinema in a whole new way."
Zer0hal0 - DVD RESURRECTIONS
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HIGHEST RATING!
"The film is a fun, LOW budget splatter flick, and a must see for fans of independent splatter.  This is quite possibly the most deluxe special edition of all time, and an absolute must have for fans of DARKNESS, or those interested in indie horror or splatter flicks."
Overall Rating: 5 out of 5!

Devon Bertsch - DIGITAL RETRIBUTION
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"Sifting through every horror film that comes out -- or even a good chunk of them -- is like fishing a wedding ring out of a septic tank.  You have to swim through a lot of s#%t to find that little piece of gold.  Leif Jonker's Darkness is indeed that piece of gold, and considering the number of crappy films I've seen lately, it's presence in my DVD player is a truly wonderful thing.  ...one of the goriest climaxes in the history of horror cinema.  Darkness accomplishes the seemingly impossible by making vampires scary again.  A real triumph of talent, enthusiasm, and perseverance over budget, and one of the best horror films I've seen in quite awhile."
Matt Bradshaw - OMEGA CHANNEL
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HIGHEST RATING!
"A MUST OWN Limited Edition, for the loyalists of ‘DARKNESS’ and for those who have yet to discover this little known gem.  For those who are not familiar with Leif Jonker’s ‘DARKNESS’ and have a deep appreciation of the classic 70’s Indy horror films like EVIL DEAD or NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, then this IS mandatory viewing!  This is ONE horror film that is more then deserving of its cult status and reputation, real, true horror with a naturalistic style is back with a vengeance---‘DARKNESS’ is a must see."
DVD & Film: 10-10!

The Dead One - JO BLO'S HORROR REVIEW FORUMS
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HIGHEST RATING!
"I’m so f**king in love with this movie it makes my balls ache.  Jonker has created a landmark in modern independent horror cinema; a film so full of passion and ingenuity that it has almost single-handedly rendered every other film of its ilk moot by comparison.  Darkness is, hands-down, the best micro-budget garage-horror flick ever made…ever.  Show me a flick that has an ounce of Darkness’ passion, ingenuity and old-fashioned gut-slinging awesomeness that was made for less than five-grand and I’ll eat this review. You owe it to yourselves to add this disc to your collection."
MOVIE: 4 out of 4!    
DVD: 4 out of 4!     OVERALL: 4 out of 4!
Rees Savidis - ARROW IN THE HEAD
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"Though obviously impoverished in terms of budget and technical capacities, DARKNESS manages to beat the odds with its rocket-speed pacing and go-for-broke gore effects, climaxing with a wild, incredibly moist finale that's conceptually similar to NEAR DARK but a hundred times redder.  Grab this gore-drenched puppy now; you get your money's worth atleast ten times over!"
Nathaniel Thompson - MONDO-DIGITAL
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"The film eventually found its way into the underground circuit, and for the last ten years, it's grown to be something of a cult classic amongst those who have seen one bootlegged edition or another.  Barrel Entertainment finally gave the film a proper DVD release, and the two disc edition features the cleaned up, director-approved version of the film along with (literally) hours of extras.  I'm not even going to attempt to run down the extras found within this set, but I will say that it contains more stuff than in any other two disc release that I have ever seen.  Do you want to see some of the most insane displays of blood and gore ever to be found in a vampire movie?  ...this one definitely comes recommended by yours truly."
MvMMDI - MOVIES MADE ME
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"In the world of DARKNESS, vampirism is still spread via bites, and holy water and sunlight are still effective weapons against them. But they’re among the first to break from the fanged nobleman image. Without fangs, they tear into victims with knives, teeth or bare hands like wild beasts, spraying around as much blood as they consume. Jonker borrows further from the zombie genre with plenty of hacked limbs, exploding heads, and spewing entrails. ...climaxing in a crowd-pleasing orgy of splatter and screams. It’s the film’s apocalyptic attitude and efforts to deliver “the goods” that has endeared it to gorehounds, and now that it can all be viewed more clearly it should earn a new generation of admirers."   Movie Grade: B    DVD Grade: A+

Brian Thomas - CINESCAPE 
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"This film is like Lucio Fulci on steroids, this is actually an insane film.  It was filmed on a shoestring budget and was never intended for public audience but someone was so impressed it ended up doing rounds at film festivals all over the world in the early 90's.  The acting and music are impressive and the gore is absolutely insane.  ...I have never seen so many exploding heads in one movie.  If you are into gore then I suggest you see this film if you get the oportunity."
Dungeon Master - CASTLE GORE 
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<>"Darkness was originally shot in 1992, and has been kicking around in various incarnations – including the classic “9th generation bootleg” – ever since.  This re-release trumps ‘em all, though.  The “Vampire Version” is a digitally remastered print that lifts the gloom off the original super 8 film and provides a miraculously clear, detail-filled image.  It all ends up in a spectacularly bloody showdown between the vampire hordes and the local teenage heavy metal dirtbags.  Along the way, there is a literal truckload of gore-gags, from throat slashings to machete mayhem and plenty raw, ragged bullet holes.  It’s a classic of its kind, relentlessly downbeat and as bloody as they get.  Barrel’s fully-loaded double disc version is amazingly thorough.  There’s enough stuff here to keep you up all night, anxiously waiting for the break of dawn.  Great fun."
SLEAZEGRINDER.COM 
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"Darkness feels like early [John] Carpenter or [Tobe] Hooper, and it's more than a simple homage.  There's a spirit here that channels the masters of horror, and allows Darkness to rise above its limitations.  Leif Jonker wanted to make a brutal vampire film that would steal the undead back from the likes of Anne Rice with her sensitive, soul-searching monsters who were just misunderstood junkies with a thing for blood.  What Jonker achieves most easily is a '70s documentary feel, and an unbridled glee in allowing the gore to flow in buckets while a rock-and-roll soundtrack pumps up the action.  ...had it been twenty years earlier, Jonker may have been mentioned in the same breath as [George] Romero or Carpenter.  Barrel Entertainment has just trumped Criterion for setting the bar high on supplemental material. Truly this is the most definitive set of extras I've ever seen.  THE VERDICT:  Guilty of being a gory good time. Darkness: The Vampire Version rocks on DVD."

Judge Brett Cullum - DVD VERDICT 
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"As soon as the sun rises, viewers are treated to one of the most intense, nastiest, gore-soaked mass vampire meltdowns ever put to film. This is the kind of scene all vampire movies should end with. These vamps don't just turn to a pile of dust and blow away; in Darkness they boil, bubble, melt, and explode in spectacular buckets of gore.  They just don't make 'em like this any more.  It's full of kinetic, fast-paced and creative cinematography and editing, which come together to give the film a look that beguiles its meager budget."

Johnny Butane - DREAD CENTRAL 
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HERE!


"...if you're a fan of gritty, grimy and very gory horror and give films like the original Evil Dead and Peter Jackson's Bad Taste pride of place in your DVD collection Leif Jonker's Darkness: The Vampire Version is more than likely a film for you.  While I won't say it's quite a match for those low budget splatter gore classics, it's surprisingly not that far off.  Especially when you see the final "meltdown" scene, which is simply one of the coolest most surreal splatter scenes ever put on film.  If you're a splatter gore fan you really have no excuse for not picking up this DVD and most low budget horror fans in general should be pretty pleased to own this."

Film: 8/10 - DVD: 10/10
Feral Cat - I SPIT ON YOUR MOVIE 
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"Darkness: The Vampire Version, the official director's cut, features extras as plentiful as they are crucial for establishing the aesthetic goals, historical timeframe, and social context of the movie, its makers, and the genre.  A perfect example of hard-hitting, fast-paced, tongue-in-cheek (and teeth in throat) movie mayhem, Darkness asks no friends, takes no prisoners.  This bloody splatter opera puts the the blood back in violence and the attitude back into horror!"

William P. Simmons - SEX GORE MUTANTS 
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THE CULT DVD RELEASE OF THE YEAR!
"...an instant underground horror classicThis film has a high body count as many of the films characters are either stabbed to death by a machete, filled with bullet holes or served up as food for the vampires. The film’s strongest asset is its quick moving plot that keeps the scares and bloodshed coming at a manic pace.  DARKNESS: THE VAMPIRE VERSION is given a spectacular DVD release from Barrel Entertainment making this the cult DVD release of the year.  Not only does the film sound and look better then ever there is enough extra content on this release to keep even the films most diehard fan busy for hours, highly recommended."
Michael Den Boer - 10 THOUSAND BULLETS 
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"Chainsaws tear through undead flesh, drill bits find their way into foreheads, limbs are severed, guts are munched en masse, and in the most famous part of the film, some poor suckers melt.  Barrel has given a fun and entertaining independent gore-fest a fantastic special edition release. ...it's a splattery good time and the insane amount of supplements on this disc make it pretty tough not to recommend as a lot of them are as interesting as they are entertaining."
Film 3.5 out of 5!  DVD Extras: 5 out of 5!
Ian Jane - DVD MANIACS 
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