Thursday, September 19, 2013

VHS Artwork Roundup! -- Leif Jonker's DARKNESS



For our second entry in the VHS Artwork Roundup series I wanted to pick out a film that had the most over the top gross out artwork in my collection. And it didn't take a hell of a long time for me to figure out which film best fit that description...

Behold! Leif Jonker's DARKNESS! A movie that may or may not be about vampires and is most notable for being bat-shit fucking insane. Don't believe me? Just watch this trailer:


DARKNESS is one of those films that, while not particularly good, I feel like every horror movie fan should track down and see. It is literally a love letter to the genera. Complete with more gross out effects than I had previously thought possible for a single film. At it's best every scene is like that melting guy getting ran over at the end of RoboCop. Basically just take that and multiply it to the length of a major motion picture and you've got DARKNESS.

Yes the acting is rough. The plot is inconsistent. And it looks like it was shot on a shoestring budget. But none of that matters. What's important to remember is that this picture came out during a time (1993) when horror flicks was considered dead... and did so in a way that clearly gave zero fucks if it offended anyone. And for that fact alone, we must praise DARKNESS.

Vampire Horror!
Click for Larger Image!
And the VHS tape? I don't even think it could be displayed on the shelf of your local video store... even if someone wanted to. It's literally that intense of a cover. Just look at it. Can you imagine that sucker out for rent at 'Mom and Pops: Video USA' with a case like that? There is absolutely no way that one would fly with the general public.

Which is exactly why I love it so much! Despite it's flaws this movie has balls. It went places that most major films won't even dare think of. For as much as we all love Freddy and Jason by the time the later flicks in the series came about they had been commercialized the holy hell out of.  They were still horror movies but horror movies that had to sell a lot of outside promotional material.

Vampire Horror!
Click for Larger Image!
And that meant a certain amount of restrain had to be shown to these once dominant slashers. DARKNESS earns points on top of bloody points for simply not giving a fuck. It is what it is and you are either enough of a genera fan to love it or you'll be completely offended by it. There is no middle ground with this one. Which is the way horror movies should be!

All in all Leif Jonker's DARKNESS is another fantastically underrated piece of VHS artwork and one that I proudly display year round. Just waiting to offend anyone who dare gazes upon its unholy cover!

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