Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Against the Dark (2009)

Reviewed by JM

Peanut butter and chocolate. Two great tastes that taste great together. Steven Seagal and vampires… Well, I guess it's like peanut butter and pickles. I like the combination. But, it’s not for everyone.

Don’t gloss over that third sentence. You read it correctly. Steven Seagal and vampires.

What can I tell you? This movie is probably exactly what you think it is. Steven Seagal’s character is “Tao”. Stop rolling your eyes. It is just a name. He and his band of misfit soldiers (a guy who looks and acts exactly like the Rock and two pretty girls who never speak one word of dialog) hunt the vampire population that has grown out of control in some unnamed city.

By the way, I could not get over how much the one guy is was aping the Rock’s shtick. So, I looked him up. It turns out he is the Rock’s stunt double. So, there you go.

Against the Dark is a lot like Halloween Night or I Am Omega. It is a cheaply made rehash of much more popular fare.

If I were a betting man, I was wager that this movie started production as a low budget knock off of 28 Days Later. Somehow or other Steven Seagal was brought in and what was we get is… pretty weird.

There are pretty much two or three story lines all happening that all kind of tie in together at the end. But, not in any clever way, or anything. I mean, this is not Seinfeld. Basically, the characters all just kind of meet.

Most of the movie centers around a group of people that have hunkered down in an old hospital. These sections of the movie are very, very much a rip off of 28 Days Later and I Am Legend (which was a rip off of 28 Days Later, which was a rip off of the short story I Am Legend). They are trying to wait until daylight to make a break for it and get away from the vampires that have taken over the city.

The very hefty Tao and his group are just wandering around the city getting in fights with vampires. But, and I should not be surprised, this doesn’t really make much sense.

Firstly, I am not convinced these are vampires at all. I mean bullets and swords kill them and, in one gross scene, we see one of these people using a file to make her teeth sharp. I think this virus just makes people mentally ill or something. They do drink blood and stay away from sunlight, though.

Secondly, why does everyone insist on fighting these things at night? They hide all day and are afraid of daylight, right? But, still, Tao and his group wander the streets at night. Even the military has decided to wait until daylight to destroy the city. Huh?

Here is another weird thing. About a half hour into this Keith David shows up. This is the guy who teamed up with Steven Seagal in Marked for Death. I am not sure what his character's name is, but he is in the military. He is in charge. One guy calls him "colonel". That same guy calls him "lieutenant" a few moments later. Who the hell knows?

He doesn’t have one shared scene or one shared moment with Seagal. But, at least he does get to utter this little gem of dialogue: “…the last I heard, I don’t plan to retire any time soon”.

The last he heard? That’s a weird way to phrase it. What does that even mean?

Anyway, the vampires look a lot like they are right out of Lamberto Bava’s Demons. The story is the same as any zombie movie.

This is exactly the type of movie that would be getting huge audience reactions at horror movie conventions.

Two and a half fingers.


  1. I've been waiting to check this one out. Fat Steven Seagal + Vampires = something that is at least entertaining

  2. It's not bad. It's very similar to the last several he has put out (but with vampires, obviously). I own about a dozen of his movies and will just keep buying everything he puts out. So, my opinion is pretty biased.