Dark Queen (2004)

Starring Tian Kitchen, Sean Klitzner, Michael Marks, Sheyenne Rivers

Directed by Lou Aguilar

Dark Queen is an astoundingly bad take on the traditional Jekyll and Hyde theme that is practically boiling over with laughably bad acting and howlingly bad dialogue. If not for the occasional moments of stupefying badness, there would be absolutely nothing redeeming about the movie whatsoever. It’s just dreadful on every level. The script is total gibberish, the directing is utterly lifeless, the acting is embarrassingly amateurish, and the quality of the production values often go back and forth between looking professional and looking like a public access television production. Even though Dark Queen was obviously meant to be campy that still doesn’t change the fact that the only really amusing moments are so for unintentional reasons.

Okay, the movie does have one other thing going for it – breasts. Just about every major female character pops her top at least once yet there’s still a shocking lack of sex in this movie, and that strikes me as being especially odd since the plot seems tailor made for a film of the Cinemax After Dark variety. It just feels like the kind of film that should constantly devolve into softcore sex scenes that go on for several minutes at a time. I wish it did have long sex scenes in it, not just to see ample flesh bumping and grinding but also because it would have cut down on the seemingly endless amount of dull talky scenes. This is a movie with very little action going on and not just of the sexy variety.

Helen Reynolds (Played by Tian Kitchen, who came in sixth place on “The Amazing Race” a few years back and proves yet again that reality show contestants don’t make for the best actors) is an allegedly brilliant biochemist looking for the chemical link that generates the “Cassandra Factor”, aka psychic powers. Her scientific goal is to unlock the biological source of psychic powers in order to eventually turn mankind as a whole into the X-Men. Seriously.

Her newest test subject is Sebastian Horn, a woman-hating psychopath with a God complex who has used his ability to control the minds of women, making them commit suicide but not before declaring their undying loyalty to him.

If I’ve said it once I’ll say it a thousand times – never use mass murderers as test subjects! Death row inmates make for the worst guinea pigs because they always end up either escaping and killing a bunch of people or getting mutated into something and killing a bunch of people or someone somehow gets infected with their murderous essence that causes someone else to start killing a bunch of people. If you need a test subject for an experiment and the only person you can get to volunteer is a homicidal maniac then the experiment is not worth conducting. Nothing good can come from it! How many times do I have to keep telling you people this? Will you people ever learn?

Horn sits in prison playing chess while wearing some sort of gizmo on his head that is never adequately explained so I’m just going to assume it somehow blocks his mental powers. Helen extracts some of his brain fluid and takes it back to her lab where she mutates it into some sort of glowing green liquid. For no particular reason, she just up and drinks the formula resulting in a horny, power hungry Mr. Hyde persona named Cassandra to emerge.

If I’ve said it once I’ll say it a thousand times – if someone has developed some sort of new serum and it is a neon green color then do not under any circumstances ingest it, inject it, or even rub it on your skin! Glowing green formulas developed by scientists are extremely bad for your health, even worse than smoking. If you see a vial filled with glowing green liquid for God’s sake resist the urge to sample it. Nothing good can come from it! How many times do I have to keep telling you people this? Will you people ever learn?

So what specific effects does drinking this psychic brain fluid have on Helen, you ask? She magically develops dark blue eye shadow, red lipstick, rouge on her cheeks, and silver nail polish. It corrects her vision so that she no longer needs those bookish glasses. It inspires her to let her hair down and dress in a leather two-piece number so that she looks like someone at a Xena convention. She develops the ability to wield unspecified and unexplained blasts of light. Most importantly, she develops the personality of a megalomaniac sex kitten capable of controlling the minds of others and has a psychic link to the evil Horn, who actively encourages her new persona to aid him in his quest to destroy mankind. That’s some formula, huh?

Helen/Cassandra spends the rest of the movie killing people, seducing people then killing them, arguing with herself in the mirror, being psychically taunted and/or encouraged by Horn, and carrying out their master plan to take control of some rich industrialist’s satellite in order to beam a transmission all over the world that will make everyone that sees it run outside and behave like the people in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas do when you use the citizens riot with weapons cheat code.

The only person standing in her way is her young lab assistant Gary, who in the end takes the formula himself so he can combat her powers with some of his own. I really don’t know why Gary would even need to take the formula himself since he already seems to have some strange hold over every woman he meets. Despite being a reasonably handsome yet still quite average looking young man, Helen lusts after him, Cassandra lusts after him, he gets to bang a really hot cheerleader, and he even manages to quickly seduce a hottie police woman investigating Cassandra’s trail of carnage.

Come to think of it, except for the fat guy we’re supposed to believe is Helen’s would be boyfriend, just about everyone in this movie is young and good-looking. Then again, we’re also supposed to believe that Helen is really insecure about her looks even though with glasses, her hair pulled back, and little make-up she still looks far more attractive than your everyday scientist. It’s simply ridiculous. Heck, the policewoman’s partner looks like a male stripper, for crying out loud.

There is just so much here that is laughable for all the wrong reasons. Cassandra uses her mental powers to make a guy kill himself by drinking a jar of acid that looks suspiciously like orange Gatorade. The young police woman dresses like a 17-year old you’d see at the mall on a Friday night and walks around with a gun like they would on the old Charlie’s Angels TV series. Cassandra demonstrates her newfound powers to Gary by making her eyes glow to which a Gary far too casually responds, “Your eyes…Turn ’em off.” There’s even a staggering continuity error late in the movie when a woman dives into a swimming pool wearing a bikini, emerges from the pool topless, and when she walks over to talk to Cassandra mere seconds later not only has her bikini top magically reappeared but she isn’t even wet anymore.

The most dumbfounding moment of all comes when Cassandra tries to seduce Gary by mental trickery. First, she makes him think he’s been transported into his favorite Sheena-like TV show where the title character fails to seduce him after Gary realizes its all a deception by asking her how she escaped certain death at the end of an episode, which she answers incorrectly. Next thing you know, Gary is in a Japanese setting being seduced by his own mother, who looks like a 21-year old Playboy centerfold wearing a kimono that speaks with a thick Southern drawl. Admittedly, this bit of idiocy was clearly intentional on the part of the filmmaker but instead of being funny in a campy sort of way it instead had me sitting there dumbfounded wondering to myself, “What the hell is this crap and why the hell am I watching it?”

Now that I think about it, that phrase pretty much sums up this whole movie. Actually, that phrase pretty much sums up most of the movies I end up watching. On second thought, maybe that phrase says more about me than the movies themselves. I knew I shouldn’t have drunk that glowing green vial of Uwe Boll’s brain fluid.

1 out of 5

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