Dark Universe (1993)

Produced & Directed by: Steve Latshaw

Produced & Written by: Patrick Moran


.... Judy Lawson
Bentley Tittle .... Tom Hanning
John Maynard .... Frank Norris
.... Jack Reese
.... Carlson
Tom Ferguson .... Dennings
Blake Pickett .... Kim Masters

Special Appearance:

Joe Estevez .... Ron Kendrick

Release Date: Direct-to-Video: December 29, 1993







An astronaut gets infected by alien spores turning him into a blood thirsty monster while crash landing in a swamp endangering and infecting anyone in the area.


In the beginning of the film there's phony looking effects on a space shuttle in outerspace heading for home as with a no budgeter I didn't expect anything big but there seemed to be fun touches with the astronaut Steve Thomas inside communicating with Ron Kendrick which wasn't that great but not too bad either. However it looked cheesy regardless which is to be expected.
Then fun type of cheesy computerised effects with Steve turning into a monster after what happens in the ship as well as this object crashing on Earth exposing a big explosion but there's no great special effects on this folks so don't look too deep into this.
Then when other people go searching for the crashed ship lead by Judy Lawson the situations looked extremely dull and pointless as I was hoping some action would happen but very little of it while we keep watching. However though there's a scene with an Old Trapper trying to catch after his dog only to find out on what happened but it's phony on how devastated he is. Then some cheesy red screen shots on something creeping up on him as well as a nice shot on a monster drooling before attacking him as this works well in a creature feature. Still the moment already discussed were plainly amateurish.
However later on in the story this monster knocks someone down which looked effective in a low budget manner as well as checking this person over.
Nice setting with a campfire and Tom Hanning getting cocky towards everyone driving Frank Norris to point his gun at him which was an attention grabber but you could tell that it's a toy gun so no pointers with the object but still it was a nice drive on how far someone would go to drive the other person to be violent. Plus some nice night shots on the monster spying on them.
More lame brained situations when Judy and her boyfriend Jack Reese try to do a videotaping on a report of the crashed shuttle and then later on get into a lustful mode which looked terribly uninspired as well as an armadillo munching on Jack's leg which was supposed to look creepy but misses by a longshot.
Yet a neat cheesy moment when someone from their tent is being attacked by the monster with it's tongue grabbing onto him and low budget effects on the life being sucked out of him which should be a pleaser to zgrade horror fans.
Then it slopes again when Jack becomes infected after what bit him and acts powerful and deadly as this looked amateurishly done with very little effects on him which looked trashy but there's a situation on what comes out of his neck that seems pretty gross. Still doesn't make up for the crappy story.
Some near creepy suspenseful moments when Frank tries to do some research on what looks like fungus that enlargens and then plays tricks on him as it does look mildly chilling when this object lands on him but then it looked hokey when he was struggling with what was on him.
Good shots on the monster crashing in at the groups bonfire but the struggling scene between this beast and Tom looked terribly lacking and very slow which made me wonder as to why the makers didn't bring up the intensity with this all happening. Very amateurishly done.
However there's a nice intense moment when the monster crashes in the hut and tries to come after Kim Masters as this brings up the pace but still not to save this clunker from bombing.
A near nicely drawn in moment when Frank tries to confront this monster by explaining the mistakes that were made as this almost catches my attention by wondering if this creature will come to reason or will kill this fellow. When watching this I got a sinking feeling that the conclusions to this is not gonna be a good choice.
Bottom line is that this is a bad ripoff to Alien in which there's barely a plotline that makes you want to keep watching till the end. Some of you may want to turn this off and if you choose to do so you're not missing on much believe me. The creature outfit looked nicely done as that's what I will say was the only good thing on this amateurish scifi/horror garbage. I really wanted to have fun watching this but I couldn't. The story sounds better than the movie itself. The makers put very little cash into this one as you could tell with certain scenes.

The acting is terrible with virtual unknowns but will try my best to review the cast members as much as I could.... (Judy Lawson) is one of the better cast members in this story as she seemed to pull her weight a bit better than the most but that's saying very little. Seemed to get to the point on what she is talking about. Came across okay onot the camera so her presence wasn't too shabby.
Bentley Tittle (Tom Hanning) played the cocky type in which he seemed to do a fair job as someone whom is unlikeable but at the same time he is very stiff in his performance by forcing out his words. Can't seem to get into characteristics too well and needed some acting lessons as you could tell here. Only had the hunky guy next door looks which did most of the talking.
John Maynard
(Frank Norris) was another cast member that only had the looks. He seemed to do an average job with his serious attitude but when he gets angry for certain spots it isn't believeable at all. Also when he freaks out on a situation he is extremely wooden it's not even funny. He represented himself well onto the camera though.
(Jack Reese) was supposed to be the hunky charming type but he is off big time with both of these in which he looked nerdy. He was a wrong choice for the part with this along with him not being able to get into characteristic especially near the end of his performance when he is infected and acts monstrous. Nope it's laughable and not in a good way.
Joe Estevez
(Ron Kendrick) is the best in the cast but mind you he's a serious actor but only has a smaller role in this one but knew on how to do characteristics within everything but you could tell that he wasn't keen on doing this role. He was good with his speech though in the scene's that he was noticed.

Blake Pickett exposes her breasts opening her shirt when trying to get it on with someone in their hut.
Laurie Sherman does the same thing outside near a swampy area.

Slimy object bursts out of someone's neck but nothing too gruesome here due to their lack of budget for these types of effects.

The music by Jeffrey Walton sounded terribly amateurish for the most part with his adventureous synthesizer music having it in a classical mode which doesn't shine off at all. But at times it works well when a terror happens in a certain scene so I will give him credit for that. Also some okay woodwinds music for travelling in the hot swampy and forestry areas. Plus there's some flowing music which seemed okay sounding.