Directed by Danny Draven
Expectations: Not much.
On the general scale:
On the B-movie scale:
I’m having a hard time solidifying my thoughts on Dark Walker. On one hand, it is in desperate need of a story for most of the movie, it’s shot on low-quality video, and it’s a slasher without the charm of the genre’s inventive kills and gore. On the other hand, it achieves a lot with its meager budget, including an interesting monster with great makeup, better acting than these films usually showcase, and some impressive & effective sound design. Both the faults and the ingenuity are a product of the film’s budget; in most B-Movies one side of this equation is usually in charge, but in Dark Walker both sides are about equal.
One night in 1878, a man sneaks into the Hobb’s Grove pumpkin patch. He cuts a pumpkin from the vine, ignoring (or not seeing) the sign that ominously warns, “Take not of this earth.” The earth means business, too, as shortly thereafter the pumpkin bleeds when cut and the Dark Walker, a hulking Swamp Thing-looking dude, busts in and kills the wrongdoing man and his entire family.
This setup is pretty classic slasher territory, but as I mentioned before, the lack of inventive kills/gore, and shooting on video, makes it feel too much like an amateur film than anything that even remotely recalls the good ol’ heyday of the slashin’ early ’80s. There’s nothing inherently wrong with this, but if the setup whets your appetite, it probably won’t be satiated by what Dark Walker actually delivers. If nothing else, at least the Dark Walker himself is fun.
Proving my point further, Dark Walker also contains a fair amount of comedy, a well-used ingredient in the ’80s horror film. For me, these touches were mostly effective, too! That’s always a bonus. I really enjoyed the guy who lovingly oiled his chainsaw and named it Betty, but my favorite was the Sheriff (Brad Potts) who posed for photos with the Dark Walker’s victims in hopes of fulfilling his dream of appearing inside one of his favorite publications — Black Belt or a true crime magazine. Potts has shown up in a couple of more recent Full Moon movies, and I always enjoy his characters and performances of them.
I’ll leave you with a couple of great lines from the movie’s goth character:
“I told you, I’m not a freak. I’m just a goth girl in a world of death.”
and “You know, they call orgasms little deaths. I want a little death tonight.”
Next time I get around to a Full Moon movie I’ll be watching the 1995 Moonbeam movie Magic Island, from director Sam Irvin. See ya then!