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USA 2006
produced by
John Johnson for Darkstone Entertainment
directed by John Johnson
starring John Johnson, Whisper Nichole, Alvaro Coronado, Leo Rogstad, Syn DeVil, Doug Bare, Esperanza, Hans Moore, Paul Stark, Mariah Smith, Danielle Fluker, Lincoln L. Lilley, Brian Cartwright, Bill Williamson, Brian Hall, Phil Duffy, Raj Jagannathan
written by Lincoln L. Lilley, John Johnson, music by Andy Deane, Tony Lechmanski, Micah Consylman, makeup effects by Jamie Frazer, John Johnson

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Roy (John Johnson), a bouncer at a second-rate dive, has the same dream over and over again, a dream that shows his death. It distresses him to such an extent that he visits Dr Eisenhart (Doug Bare), a shrink who also investigates the paranormal, who tells Roy he has "the Darken", meaning the ability to actually foresee his own death. He can't die in another way than depicted in the dream, but he also can't avoid to die exactly that way. This makes him ... well, kind of immortal, but not invulnerable. After Roy survives two sure death situations, too, he tends to believe Dr Eisenhart.

Then Roy runs into Rhea (Whisper Nichole), a girl on the run from gunman, who refuses to tell him anything about herself, but somehow he's taken in by her sincerity and inner calmness. When he helps her through a shootout and she magically heals his wounds as a thank you, he knows that there is something not quite human about her, but it takes Dr Eisenhart to learn that she's actually ... a unicorn, who has taken human form only temporarily. Those after Rhea are the minions of evil Mr Scythe (Alvaro Coronado), a sort-of crime kingpin with knowledge of the supernatural, who wants to turn Rhea into his ultimate weapon. So he sends everything he's got after her (and thus after Roy as well), from gunmen to a voodoo priestess (Esperanza) to a naked she-demon (Syn DeVil) to a demonhunter (Leo Rogstad) to a hitman also afflicted with the Darken (Paul Stark) ... and finally, Scythe's men manage to capture Rhea and leave Roy to die - but don't forget, Roy can't be killed just like that, so he survives his own death and ultimately storms into Scythe's headquarters, guns blazing.

But will he be able to save Rhea? And what about Scythe's other, evil unicorn (Danielle Fluker)? And will Roy be allowed to die the way he's supposed to?


It's true, in writing, Darken doesn't make much sense, even seems slightly on the silly side. What totally makes up for this though is that it's on one side well-written and makes sense of all its absurdities at least for the duration of the movie, on the other, you feel the joy of storytelling in this one that has gone rather lost in today's genre fare otherwise. Add to this some very nicely executed action scenes (even if they've obviously been done on a budget), a very compact and at times atmospheric directorial effort and a solid cast, and you've got yourself a pretty entertaining piece of genre cinema.

Fun, really!


review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD