Edges of Darkness (2008)

Edges of Darkness (click for larger image)Reviewed by Kryten Syxx

Starring Annemarie Pazmino, Shamika Ann Franklin, Alonzo F. Jones, Michelle Rose, Jay Costelo, Alisha Gaddis

Directed by Jason Horton and Blaine Cade

The apocalypse has passed. The once crowded malls and streets of the U.S. and maybe the world now bear no living loads. God’s will to punish us is done, and now those left must battle themselves and the dead to maintain some strain of civilization. Oh, don’t forget the vampires are having to deal with this, too…

Edges of Darkness is an ambitious anthology by Jason Horton and Blaine Cade set among a zombie infested world. Split up into three stories, EoD shows us the lives of two vampires, a geek with an abnormal computer, and a survival nut who must protect the Anti-Christ. That’s quite a lot to undertake in the world of indie filmmaking, and the pair pull off most of it with flair, about two thirds to be exact.

The one third that doesn’t exactly work is what we’ll get out of the way first. The wraparound story involving a PC obsessed guy and his ignored wife just didn’t fit into the whole mix. The story starts out simple enough with a good amount of tension between the husband and wife, but as soon as the focus jumps to a hentai inspired processor which seeks out living beings to power the desktop computer … the shark has been jumped.

Edges of Darkness (click for larger image)Oddly enough, a story about these two and the alien/mutant/whatever computer processor that eventually kills them to keep itself alive feels too far out there even when we’re talking about zombies and vampires. Had this been a tale about a man so swept up in his need to write that his wife would rather be part of the undead world than their dead marriage, the emotional payoff could have been huge. Keep in mind that this is just one part of the film that doesn’t work. Therefore, we have two other stories that make up for it.

Putting in a spin we don’t see too often in zombie features, Jason Horton added in a vampire couple (Stan and Stellie) who must deal with the sudden depletion of their food source. These aren’t typical vampires as they can walk around in daylight and lack the usual bloodsucker allergens. Stellie and Stan never play into the depressing vamp stereotypes, which makes them a refreshing change for those of us who’ve grown tired of emo treatment.

The couple also bring a real relationship to the screen. Regardless of what they need to survive, these two have a genuine chemistry that is only brought down by the introduction of their new food source, Natalie. Though she appears weak and scared at first, it is soon revealed that Natalie isn’t your normal human. It is never made clear why, but her blood actually weakens our vampiric duo to the point of almost being comatose.

Edges of Darkness (click for larger image)While Natalie’s twist keeps things moving, her character is a bit too cartoony. She’s got all the speeches of your typical comic book villain and only needs a “Bwah Ha Ha! to make it complete. She gets what she had coming to her anyway, and the audience has a reason to cheer.

Rounding out the stories comes the little son of Satan. He’s on the run from a group of religious fanatics who wish to ritualistically murder him to stop the coming of dear old papa. Luckily he is taken in by Heather (played by the super sexy Michelle Rose), a tough as nails survivalist who has no qualms about killing the living or undead. In an strange twist of fate, she won’t end the life of the Devil-spawn after he reveals how the world’s current situation came about. For more on that subject you’ll have to see the movie yourself, but I’ll fill you in on the messy details: The action and gore come in hot and heavy during Heather’s story, and I don’t think I’ve seen this much blood in any independent film. Gorehounds will be pleased!

When thinking back on Edges of Darkness, the positives far outweigh the bad. The independent film market is flooded with flops that don’t try in the least to break new ground, but Jason Horton and his crew created something that breathes life into a tired and clichéd subgenre. Edges of Darkness is certainly an anthology that should be expanded as it employs many creative ideas and a cast of memorable characters. Kick ass!

3 out of 5

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Mike Phalin

Mike Phalin is a contributing writer, reality television star and engineer.

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