Written by: Michael Den Boer on December 24th, 2010
Theatrical Release Date: USA, 1995
Director: Tom Berna
Writer: Tom Berna
Cast: Joan Dinco, David Rommel, Anna Zizzo, Susan L. Cane
DVD released: January 18th, 2011
Approximate running time: 82 minutes
Aspect Ratio: Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Stereo English
DVD Release: Apprehensive Films
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $12.95
Synopsis: When a wife finds out that her husband has been cheating on her. She exposes him to an experimental serum. That turns his limbs into ravenous creatures that need live flesh to sustain themselves.
Is this film a cautionary tale about adultery or perhaps an ambitious creature feature? And while there are merits to both questions. It is the latter one which this film clings onto the most. After a lengthy setup in which all the main players are introduce. The film finally evolves into something more diabolical after a pivotal moment. In which a cheating husband is exposed to an experimental serum by his wife. Apparently this serum turns body parts into their own separate entities. That need live flesh to survive. Once the husband’s transformation starts. Where things are going and how everything is going to end quickly becomes apparent. The bulk of the film alternates between the husband trying to find a cure so he can finally be with his mistress. And when he is not looking for the cure. He is goes looking for his next victim.
Besides the aforementioned problems with the opening set up. Another area where this film comes up short is its tedious pacing. Also it would be so easy to pick apart the performances. Which are dreadfully wooden. It should be noted that this the film and in many instances only film that the majority of the cast have appeared in. The one area in which this film succeeds the most are its oddly created special effects. That look crude and often call attention to themselves. And yet their gaudiness is exactly what makes them so appealing. The scenes in which body parts eat their victims are hilarious. Every year there is an influx of cheaply made horror films. Most of which fail to inspire to the viewer to overlook its short comings. Ultimately Colony of the Dark is a schlocky horror film that in the right frame of mind can be a lot fun.
Colony of the Dark is presented in an anamorphic widescreen. The aspect ratio for this release fluctuates between 1.66:1 and 1.78:1. The IMDB lists this film’s original aspect ratio as 1.33:1. Framing wise this anamorphic presentation does not look cramped as objects that should be in frame, generally are in frame. Reportedly this film was shot on 8mm. The source used for this transfer exhibits flaws that are inherent to VHS. So how do things look? Pretty rough! The image looks consistently murky, with blown out contrast levels and black levels are nonexistent. Also there are some mild instances of combing present. It should be noted that are a few instances where the film fades to black during the middle of a scene.
This release comes with one audio option, a Dolby Digital Stereo mix in English. There are issues with background noise and distortion that vary in degree throughout. At least dialog is clear enough to follow.
Extras for this release includes trailers for other titles also available from Apprehensive Films. Overall Colony of the Dark gets a mediocre DVD release from Apprehensive Films.