Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Vampiress Review: "Dark Town"

The Gist: A creepy suburban California family and a group of black stereotypes get caught up in a nightmare situation where everyone is being turned to vampires.

Clarification:  This is one of those films that would be a great horror movie if the writing as far as the character interaction wasn't so ridiculously dumb but on the other hand, the dumb writing makes it really entertaining. The fact that the beginning of the film concentrates on establishing that the black stereotypes are indeed black stereotypes is completely irrelevant to the rest of the story and makes it all the more entertaining (Watch the film "Not Another Teen Movie" which explains the role of the black stereotype in films that have them, this movie follows those rules to a tee). Anyway the main issue comes from the suburban family.  One night they gather together to celebrate Curtis Armstrong Sr.'s birthday who is the patriarch of the family, this is when we find out they're a bit dysfunctional with the main issue being that the dad is a bit of a flake with an alcohol problem who is also a slumlord who isn't too popular with his tenants (which results in him being turned into a vampire while checking on one of his properties).

When dad finally shows up, he's drinking from a Thermos and acting all molestery (I know that's not a word but if you see the movie it's very appropriate). He has everyone take a sip out of his thermos to confirm he's not drinking alcohol which they do and that's when everything starts (cause it was vampire blood that sneaky bastard).  The kids he doesn't get to drink out of it (his two daughters and pregnant daughter in law) get turned the old fashion way which dad doesn't mind doing at all because as I said... he's really, really affectionate with them anyway.  Coincidentally while all this is happening is when our stereotypes break into their house after a run in with the neighborhood watch (who are black non-stereotypes who really hate black stereotypes,  this would be the political correctness lesson learning portion of the film) and try to take them hostage. 

Selling Points: Pretty much all the females in the film get turned and the film revolves around them.  Also once the vampire turning starts the film gets entertainingly odd which I go further into below.

Female Vampire Factor:  As I said, if you're a female in this film. You're eventually getting fangs but everyone has their side story.

The Armstrong women: Mom Sandy, daughter Heather and Daugher in Law Ellen

Sarah Horvath (Heather Armstrong)
 Heather is described by her creepy dad as the strongest of the group.  She's the youngest and is treated like a kid but when no ones looking she a cigarette smoking, gangster loving delinquent who often covers for her drug dealing boyfriend. She gets turned via the old fashioned dad hickey on the neck which is much faster than the other method in her case.  After she makes short work of her boyfriend  she takes the time to teach mom how to do it. Then uses his dead body like a puppet.

Alison Miller (Sandy Armstrong)
It doesn't take mom too long to get the hang of the whole "fanging out and blood sucking" routine.  Quite frankly the whole family seemed to be way too into it to the point that it seems like they were into some kinky stuff before all this anyway.  Especially with the amount of incest talk they have between them once they vamp out.

Claire Mills (Ellen)
 Ellen is the pregnant wife of Curtis Armstrong Jr. who gets turned via her father in law getting too close as well (I'm telling you, this guy got around in the movie Count Yorga style).  Her being turned results in her loosing the baby (which prior to this screen cap Curtis Sr delivers).  As a result of loosing the baby, vampire Ellen goes kind of nuts and projects the next person she sees as her baby which happens to be the only female of the ghetto stereotype crew Tisha.  This results in a weird scene in which Tisha gets the vamp blood to turn her into her system via BREASTFEEDING.

Janet Martin (Jen Armstrong)
The most normal of the crew, Jen is the last to actually give in to the vampirism.  Her and the leader of the ghetto thugs Rakeem come together once everything starts to go down and protect each others backs as they try to escape.  This works out up until they head into the neighbors house (a hot foreign female whom her father has already gotten to of course).  That's when she's seduced by her body and blood (she's a lesbian by the way) and can't hold onto her humanity any longer.  It's an awesome scene as her blood lust is very sexual.

The rest....

Kobina Wright (Tisha)
Tisha who has a slight resemblance to Jada Pinkett Smith circa 1996 is only in this situation because she hangs out with the wrong crowd for reasons unknown to anyone.  Lucky for her she's female so unlike almost everyone else in her crew the worst thing that happens to her is getting a crazy vampire mom who treats her like an infant. 

Meghan Stansfield (Lisa)
Lisa is the live in lover of Jen Armstrong.  She really doesn't have much purpose in the film other than being the reason Jen goes to her dads birthday party (Jen and her dad didn't get along) and one of the two actresses in the film to agree to full frontal nudity (no sex, apparently she just sleeps topless every night).  She is turned by Sandy.

Ariana Fronti (Monique)
The hot neighbor I mentioned when it comes to bringing the fun side of Jen Armstrong out. Monique was cranky when we first see her because she is Curtis Armstrong Sr.'s mistress (again, this guy REALLY got around in this film) but unlike his family he refused to turn her. She gets around this by tricking Jen into finishing the job her dad started via cutting herself to bring her close then stabbing her to get her blood. This leads to her finally getting her new pearly whites.  This also leads to a lesbian vampire on stripper slut vampire cat fight between Jen and Monique.  Monique apparently is also the only character in this neighborhood that sleeps as she is in a bathrobe, panties and nothing else when we see her.  Did I mention she never actually closes the robe. Can we say lesbian bate?

So basically we have a movie where the guys are offed pretty quickly and the ones who aren't are barely seen anyway while the women are the dominant roles and not stake fodder (at least the ones I cover, there are others in this film including the girl who originally turns Curtis who are stake fodder).  Once you get past the negative stereotyping in the beginning of the film (thew one of them is a carbon copy of Ken Saegos character in "A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors" which I got a huge kick out of) then its got everything a fan of female vamps would want in their films.  For that it gets a Vampire Beauty Rating of 5 out of 5.



  1. love your blog as always, but would just say that the unfortunately stereotyped "gangstas" were not part of the original script but were forced in by the producers late in the day. Also, interestingly, the actors playing the "'hood kids" improvised all their dialogue, throwing out the script for being too phoney. And I don't think anybody involved in the movie saw Dream Warriors so that's just a bizarre coincidence. Very generous review overall, though, I'd say,

  2. I hope this site never goes down. It feeds my desires. Is there any way that I can help keep it up, donation or such?

    1. Check out my "Submit Content" page above and thanks for reading

  3. interestingly the writer of this movie has been redeemed a little bit. He wrote the most recent Paul Verhoeven movie. Strange twists and turns to careers, I guess.