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John’s Horror Corner: Days of Darkness (2007), a zombie movie about alien reproduction and mutant fetuses.

July 30, 2018

MY CALL: This starts out formulaic and low budget to a lame fault, then takes the subgenre in a new and gross biological direction. Only recommended to the zombie movie completists out there. MOVIES LIKE Days of Darkness: For some zombie films worth watching, go for Return of the Living Dead Part 1-3 (1985-1993), the Romero trilogy (1968-1985), the Fulci trilogy (1980-1981, 28 Days Later (2002), Shaun of the Dead (2004), The Returned (2013), Train to Busan (2016) and The Girl with All the Gifts (2016).

After a regrettably weak CGI meteor crosses our galaxy (not unlike Night of the Living Dead) and finds its way to Earth, the world is infected with zombiism. Not 12 hours into the zombie invasion and there’s a squad of “survivors” so savvy to the “zombie rules” you’d think they survived a few seasons of The Walking Dead—even though zombies only existed since last night.

Writer (in part) and director Jake Kennedy (Fangoria Blood Drive II: segment We All Fall Down) isn’t the strongest filmmaker, nor did he recruit the best actors. The performances, editing, writing, zombie make-up and characterizations of zombies were weak across the board. There’s a strong student film vibe here and, if that’s the case, then I applaud him. If not, then… well… for all its flaws I can tell he was trying. Just try not to turn it off 9 minutes into it when the porn star (Marian Tomas Griffin) gives her exposition dump of a moral high ground monologue about motherhood. Or at 11 minutes when the religious zealot gives his “this is my character” intro about the end of the world.

At first, everything we see and hear smacks hard of only the most boringly familiar territory of apocalypse and zombie tropes. However, some aspects definitely separate this from all other zombie fare. For example, the zombies develop external scrotum-like amniotic sacks (much as in The Brood) producing mutant regenerating humanoid fetuses.

Whereas the majority of the special effects were pretty disappointing, the zombie autopsy gets satisfyingly gooey as our characters learn about their apocalyptic foes. And while not necessarily impressive creature effects, it’s always fun with a mutant zombie fetus crawls up walls and leaps at one of our unwary survivors and, might I add, with zero CGI to be found in the monster effects.

Things actually take a pretty weird turn when some infected women become lusty succubus-like temptresses and “attack” victims with tentacles from their reproductive system. Yes, you read that right. Sexual tentacle attacks. It’s like a live-action sci-horror hentai for a couple scenes. Oh, and watch out for the birth scene!

It’s feisty, it tries, it does some things differently that deviates from zombie subgenre tropes… but is it worth it? Probably not really. Not unless you’re reeeeeally curious about it.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. John permalink
    August 2, 2018 3:26 pm

    Great review – I actually like the look of this : )

    • John Leavengood permalink
      August 2, 2018 5:30 pm

      The first 20-40 minutes are pretty rough. But once you get past that mark, things get interesting.

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