Dark Metropolis is set for a December 18, 2010 DVD release date from Indican Pictures after having been screened in select theaters across the U.S. in September. Despite these screenings, Dark Metropolis is largely going to be a film most viewers will see at home.
Dark Metropolis is set in the year 2202 and chronicles the beginning stages of a battle for earth between humans and the Ghens, a “generic race” of beings with the duplicate DNA of a human but superior in every way. The Ghens were created by humans and tested on, tortured, and treated like animals – a behavior the Ghens did not rise above in their dealings with humans after a 300 hundred year war Ghens emerged victorious from.
The film largely follows three characters who each establish the roles they will play in potential future movies released as part of the Creation Wars Saga. Eric Scott Woods portrays Baron Crecilius Pryme in Dark Metropolis. The Baron is very anti-human and frequently delivers lecture worthy commentary regarding the purity of the Ghen race – it is quickly established that “purity” is the Baron’s favorite word.
Bailey Chase portrays Aiden Pryme, the younger brother of the Baron. Aiden is a ready-to-kill Ghen who, at the beginning of the film, wants to join the Ministers despite a rule against members of his line being Ministers. The Ministers are an “elite” group of hunters who go out and destroy humans, in particular troublemakers. In this film they are particularly interested in obtaining “The Channeler.”
Kristy Jean Hulslander is the Channeler, who, as one might suspect, “channels” messages. Her body and mouth draw forth the power and words of the Kalendoah in a manner worthy of “The Exorcist: The Beginning” and related films. The look on her face when channeling is part snarl and part haughty!
This expression is one of a couple of different small things I can take issue with in a film that is otherwise a solid political and sci-fi genre meld. When one is channeling information from higher beings with conversational dialogue, a delivery that brings to mind demonic possession seems out of place. Maybe I’m too used to Cate Blanchett -esque voice overs.
My only other issue with the movie is again, dialogue related. This movie is almost entirely dialogue driven and there were a few lines repeated verbatim in different parts of the film. At one point, I actually checked my time indicator to make sure I hadn’t backed up to a former scene inadvertently.
In terms of special effects, this movie is not driven by them. It actually only has a few heavy moments of action. The most interesting effect is actually the graphic of Ume City. Much better was the costuming. Women who swooned over Johnny Depp’s “guyliner” in the “Pirates” movies can find much to admire with Aiden and Crecilius Prime. Deep burgundy capes for the Ministers were effective at being a visual show demonstrating their power over human men dressed in tattered clothing reminiscent of the middle ages. The Ministers also carry a weapon that looks a great deal like Lady Gaga’s disco stick and use it as a killing tool intermittently. It only used a couple of times in the film. Other clothing details in the film were pretty standard.
Warning, Dark Metropolis spoilers ahead. The plot of Dark Metropolis, despite the minor issues mentioned above, does move along well enough. Very early in the film the viewer realizes that Hannalin Pryme, the mother of Aiden and Crecilius has a secret. A follower of this genre of film will likely guess that her secret is that one of her actively anti-human sons is a human. You may be surprised which one. I was.
Dark Metropolis ends with scenes and character “cliffhangers” that suggest a sequel, but as of December 2010, none of the principle actors are signed on for one according to their imdb.com profiles. Since this month marks the first DVD release of Dark Metropolis, a project with an original 2009 title of Chronicles of Hollow Earth: The Next Race, that sequel could become a reality.
Final Thought:Use subtitles. You will need them to keep up with this dialogue driven film.