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  • Dark Breed
    • Dark Breed
    • Runtime:104 min
    • Release Date:2016-12-10 05:42:56
    • Director: Richard Pepin
    • Genres: Action, Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller
    • Studio:


*** This review may contain spoilers ***

A group of astronauts led by Joseph Shay (a nicely villainous portrayal
by the always reliable Jonathan Banks) return from a failed space
mission infected by lethal evil alien parasites that plan on destroying
the human race. It's up to rugged Captain Nick Saxon (a solid and
credible performance by Jack Scalia) to stop them before it's too late.
Capably directed with considerable rip-roaring gusto by Richard Pepin,
with a constant swift pace, a compact script by Richard Preston, Jr.,
several exciting well-staged action set pieces (the wild and explosive
outbursts of vehicular carnage are especially stirring and impressive),
fluid, agile cinematography by Ken Blakey, a few effectively gross
moments of grisly splatter, engaging and well-developed main
characters, a shuddery, rattling, rousing score by Louis Febre, and
gnarly reptilian extraterrestrial monsters, this handy dandy
multi-genre combo romp rates as a perfectly enjoyable and unpretentious
serving of low-budget straight-to-video entertainment. The sturdy
acting from a bang-up cast qualifies as another substantial asset:
Scalia brings some depth and humanity to his tough guy part, Lance
LeGault is his usual pleasingly nasty self as hard-nosed military
bigwig Cutter, plus there's cool supporting turns by Felton Perry and
Sal Landi as two of the infected astronauts, Robin Curtis as
compassionate physician Marian, fetching blonde Donna W. Scott as
Saxon's spunky ex-wife Deborah, Billy Maddox as Cutter's mean
right-hand man North, Carlos Carrasco as the shrewd, likable Fox, Cindy
Ambuehl as the feisty Burgess, and the ubiquitous George "Buck" Flower
in one of his standard grubby old bum roles. A neat little flick.


Remember Mad Libs? I just know that they have one where you insert the
names and they crank out canned dialog that is appropriate to movies
like this. Sorry, Richard, but you need to stay on strike as this
script is atrocious! The only good thing about this movie is the
special effects and the fireworks. There was lots of loud explosions
and numerous bullets expended in the making of this film. There were
some really neat effects as the parasites took control of the
astronauts. The creatures were nifty. That's it, folks.

If your toenails are clipped and you've nothing else to do, it will
pass for some excitement. Just don't listen to the crappy clichés
throughout. They'll make you groan.


*** This review may contain spoilers ***

"Dark Breed" is a middle-of-the-road creature feature.


Upon returning to Earth early, the astronauts of the Space Shuttle
Aquarius, Joseph Shay, (Jonathan Banks) Zimmerman, (Sal Landi) Rice,
(Josh Clark) Jackson, (Leon W. Grant) Powell, (Felton Perry) and
Deborah Saxon, (Donna W. Scott) are feared to be infected and manage to
escape. Ordered to find them and bring them back, officers Nick Saxon,
(Jack Scalia) Lt. Burgess, (Cindy Ambuehl) and Fox, (Carlos Carrasco)
go out to search and begin to track them down. After managing to find
several of them, they soon discover that the aliens have a spy amongst
them to divert them away from their target. That leads them to learn of
an alien parasite that has infested the astronauts to take over the
planet for their own race of beings, and they race against time to stop
their diabolical plan to eliminate the planet.

The Good News: This was a pretty surprisingly good film. One of it's
best features is it's action-packed narrative. It plays out much more
like an action film than it really should. This is mostly evident in
the beginning, where it features several really impressive action
stunts. The truck's charge through the exploding battlefield is a
pretty good scene, and the highway sequence is nothing shot of
brilliant. From the acquisition of the vehicles to the brawl through
the trailer and the ensuing chases, this is a great scene that does a
whole lot right. That it concludes with a spectacular car crash and
explosion is a lot better. The gunfight at the motel is also pretty
good, and there's a really great hospital massacre scene gets some
great moments in. There's also the film's highlight, the final
confrontation in the alien's headquarters. The massive structure, the
creepy interior and the fantastic way of lighting the entire area makes
it a lot more suspenseful and give it an eerie look to it. The action
in the scene is quite intense and gets some great mileage out of it.
Along with other action scenes spread throughout the film, they make
the film seem incredibly fast-paced and manages to stay entertaining
quite easily, a great feat for a simple creature feature. The pretty
high body count also works for the film's favor, giving it lots of
kills and some great gore. There's a plethora of gunshots, a broken
neck, several bashed against the surroundings, along with more graphic
ones including having a hand punched through the stomach and coming out
the back, being ripped apart from a creature underneath the skin, a
special device tearing a victim to pieces and more, leaving this one
pretty bloody. There's also a really graphic autopsy to add, along with
all the non-fatal wounds acquired during the fights. These here make
this a really entertaining creature feature.

The Bad News: There isn't a whole lot here that doesn't work. The main
one is the aliens themselves. They're rarely on-screen, and the few
times they are on make them look incredibly fake. The appearance is way
too rubbery and covered with obviously fake goo that just makes them
look like any generic alien out there. The fact that they transform in
two of the single cheesiest-looking scenes ever doesn't do any favors,
looking like third-rate bloopers for any creature feature made. Making
them look even cheesier is that in human form they simply decide to
make their eyes yellow-ish, cat-like eyes and it takes all their
suspense away when they look like that. Also not helping is that the
film is really clichéd and plays out like any normal film in this
genre. It's quite easy to see where everything's going from the very
beginning, giving it no real surprises to play on. These make it a
little less than perfect, though it's still quite good.

The Final Verdict: Though this one did have some problems, all-together
this was a nicely action-packed film that does manage to entertain.
This one's mostly for the lovers of cheesy creature features or of the
more action-packed variety, though those of more serious fare seek

Rated R: Graphic Violence, Graphic Language and Brief Nudity

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