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Rated R
Copyright 2010 Filmwerx77
Reviewed by Andrew Borntreger on 7 August 2012

The Characters:  

  • Lena - She seems like a nice girl, but there is quite a skeleton hiding in her closet.
  • Michaels - His name is Australian for "mercenary," which means he's like really tough and talks with a cool accent.
  • Kirkland - Big, tough mercenary who wears an earring and a ponytail. Toby Keith should have been a cowboy, but Kirkland should have been a pirate. He would be more at home sailing the seven seas looking for plunder, rum, and booty (or plundering rum booty) than fighting mutant demons on another planet.
  • Lt. Dare - Mercenary leader who runs afoul of a demon that infects him.
  • Yutani - The older female scientist who knows just enough about the project that she can tell everybody else that they are in really deep doo-doo.
  • Canning - This character is the most annoying individual, not just in this movie, but in any film I've watched in the past month. How annoying? Well, until I made an effort to track down his name, I always referred to him as "the whiny guy."
  • Jen - Argumentative and selfish b***h who finally gets an ax embedded in her.
  • Konieg - Ah, the requisite villainous scientist/corporate toad who knows exactly what is going on and doesn't give a damn about anybody else. I was wondering when you were going to show up.
  • Demon Mutants - Creatures created by exposing humans to the DNA from a fallen angel. It might be more accurate to call them mutant demons, but English is such a fickle language that I find it difficult at the best of times, let alone with both religion and genetics involved.

Buy It!

The Plot: 

Futuristic corporations always own a planet (or asteroid, or spaceship) that is used to conduct dangerous experiments involving genetics or newly discovered energy sources. In these cases, "dangerous" does not describe an accident that might cause the loss of a limb. They do not even denote possible loss of life, such as might occur if someone makes a little boo-boo while performing a criticality experiment with a screwdriver and a sphere of plutonium. No, in this case, the business definition of dangerous means "potential destruction of planet and/or human race." Killing consumers is considered harmful to corporate profits, so the scientists, equipment, and vat of mutated DNA is always shipped off to a planet well away from Sol, and then carefully watched over by a large battle cruiser armed with nuclear weapons just in case something goes wrong.

Well, that makes naked credit default swaps look relatively harmless, doesn't it?

This time around, the evil business entity conducting experiments on another world is the IDGAF Corporation. While the company name is both topical and satirical, I think that the IDKFA Corporation would have earned the movie more cool points. The Watch Officer in orbit receives a distress call from the laboratory on the planet that the proverbial fecal matter has impacted on the rotary cooling device. Things in the corporate operations center (COC) immediately kick into high gear. Mercenary assault teams are ordered to secure the facility, while in space the safety locks are removed from nuclear weapons. In short, the pucker factor multiplies by a factor of ten.

Down in the dark rooms and corridors of the doomed lab, the pucker factor is off the scale. The only person who does not seem to know that the laboratory is going to Hell in a hand basket is Lena. She wakes up disoriented and confused in an empty room, but when an ultramodern shower suddenly appears, she immediately hops in to freshen up. Elsewhere in the facility people are being hunted down and torn apart by coworkers who have changed into slimy killing mutants, but Lena enjoys her steamy shower until something almost unseen moves in the darkness that fills most of the room.

By the time that Lena dries herself off and pulls on a white jumpsuit the rest of the world has gone completely to Hell. The passageway outside of her room leads to a chaotic charnel house as Lt. Dare and his mercenaries battle swarms of attacking creatures. At a glance, it is obvious that the heavily-armed mercenaries are probably going to run out of ammunition before they run out of mutants. Not even a fully automatic knockoff variant of a M56A2 Smartgun does much good. The operator gets chomped by a wall-crawling mutant that appears from a connecting corridor.

You know, God forbid anyone ever pick an appropriate location for a last stand. Trying to defend a location with multiple avenues of approach is idiocy. Pull back to a straight section of passageway with the lift at your back and then lay down a final protective fire. Before long the demon mutants will be struggling to crawl over the piles of other dead creatures. The only weakness in the plan is the ventilation ducts, because science facilities always have them, and they always end up screwing us over when the alien apocalypse comes a-knockin'.

Look, I'm all for proper ventilation, but do we really need a conduit that is big enough for a xenomorph to crawl through? And that's assuming the human-gobbling menace is a solid human-sized mass or larger. Don't even get me started on space blobs, intergalactic slimes, and alien jellies. Those things creep and ooze through tiny cracks, drop on your head, and then dissolve you. Sure, they're bigger after they eat a few people, but that never seems to stop them from squeezing through the next airlock.

The whole universe is an all-you-can-eat buffet, and we humans are the pork. Motherf***er, that sucks.

The mercenaries, Lena, and a few scientists find themselves cut off from the exit by the demon mutants. The ventilation shafts are large enough for a big human mercenary to fit through, so into the air ducts they all go. I thought that Lena's white jumpsuit would be the first casualty, but despite being exposed to blood, grime, and sweat, it still looks great. Obi-wan Kenobi would be proud.

Even though they have seen many (probably hundreds) of demon mutants up close and personal, the humans continuously creep each other out by asking "What was that?" and "Did you hear something?" every time they hear a sound. Look, you bunch of idiots, you've killed fifty or sixty of the mutant things already. What do you think it was that just growled on the other side of the door?

Re-equipping themselves from a weapons locker, the mercs lead their little band of survivors toward a command bunker located at the heart of the underground complex. Lt. Dare goes off alone to restore the power so they can navigate a door. He runs into some demons and kicks their butts without even using a weapon. No, not even a chainsaw. Unfortunately, he is wounded during the encounter and that's the last anybody hears from Lt. Dare. Okay, that's not entirely true. After the survivors get inside of the command bunker (less one survivor, because Konieg is already inside and swings an axe at the first thing that comes through the door), a huge monster tries to force its way through the barricaded door. After blasting whatever clawed and tentacled horror was trying to get inside, the mercenaries discover it left behind Lt. Dare's nametape.

Humans not torn to bits or eaten are mutated into more creatures. Oh, that kind of mutant monster infestation. Got it, thanks.

Being trapped in a secure bunker deep underground is fine, but the mercenaries have no intention of dying for their company. The biggest problem is that the antenna has somehow been damaged. Repairing it requires someone to sneak out of the bunker, climb to the surface, and fix whatever is wrong with the antenna. Michaels and Canning are duly assigned the task and cheerily head out. What they discover topside is half Bishop bringing down the spare dropship from "Aliens" and half Dr. Sattler resetting the breakers in "Jurassic Park." There's a lot of rain, a lot of vegetation, and a little bunker with a switch inside that needs to be flipped so the antenna will work. There's also a bigger, uglier monster with armor plates that kills Canning and chases Michaels back to the command bunker.

Konieg finally gets found out for being a sniveling toad and spills the beans about what is going on, and I do mean he tells the others everything. The IDGAF Corporation purchased a fossil for their genetic research division. That is what has been going on at the facility. No, it wasn't a dinosaur fossil. No, it wasn't a saber-toothed tiger. No, it wasn't even a giant sloth. What had been found was a fallen angel. More specifically, the fallen angel: Satan. Lena is a test subject who was injected with DNA extracted from the archfiend. All of the demons, mutants, and demon mutants are just second-hand infections caused by exposure to Lena's bodily fluids.

You know, this is almost exactly like "Neon Genesis Evangelion," just without the giant biological mecha and teenagers suffering from childhood mental trauma. I'd say that Japanese characters are also a distinguishing factor, since nobody in "The Dark Lurking" appears to be, but quite honestly I don't think any of the characters in "Evangelion" are even Asian, let alone Japanese.

After discovering that she is the genetic bastard child of the oldest evil known to mankind, Lena is also introduced to a book of demons that was found with fossil Satan. The book is more than three thousand years old, but the slime and blood that covers its pages is still fresh. I guess that it must have been sealed in foil, like MRE cheese spread. You know, MRE cheese never goes bad. It changes color, and the older it gets the more alarming the colors become, but even after twenty years it's still edible.

Yeah, I know. I worry about nonexistent alien blobs wanting to dissolve me whole, but am perfectly willing to eat twenty year-old cheese.

The worst of what Konieg tells everybody is that an orbital nuclear strike will happen in one hour to ensure that the biological hazard posed by Lena and her associated hordes of demon mutants is effectively neutralized. Upon hearing that, the group realizes that they are all very tired and everybody lies down to take a nap. Yes, really. One hour to nuclear obliteration, time to get some rest.

Before the nuclear strike can put an end to the trapped humans all Hell breaks loose in the bunker. Yutani mutates after giving mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to Lena and then kills Konieg, Kirkland's legs develop a bad case of lo mein due to an infected wound, and then the demon mutants break into the bunker. Michaels and Lena escape by crawling into yet another ventilation shaft. When they crawl out, they run smack into another extraction team that Konieg requested so they could salvage the experiment by capturing Lena. Michaels is expendable and when the friendly mercenary is killed, Lena goes Old Testament on the corporate mercs.

Hopefully the IDGAF executives elected to forgo their bonuses and ordered the nuclear strike when Lena emerged from the bunker. If not, you know what that means for Earth: Satan from spaaaaacccceee! (Again, reminiscent of "Evangelion.")

In a number of ways, this is the movie that DOOM should have been. However, it also borrows a multitude of ideas from similar films, and does so so often that there is not a whole lot of new ideas to interest anyone who has watched just a smattering of horror and science fiction movies.


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Things I Learned From This Movie: 

  • Chain link fence will not prevent a Class A Biological Mishap.
  • If someone is having a seizure you should punch them in the head until they stop having a seizure.
  • Every spaceship or research center has at least one room filled with hanging chains and dripping water.
  • Being strangled will cause a person to develop a pronounced limp.
  • Mercenaries are all either basses or baritones.
  • The only way to stop arterial bleeding is to cauterize the wound with a road flare.
  • Angels have DNA.
  • Demonic possession makes you look like General Tso's chicken.

Stuff To Watch For: 

  • 4 mins - Futuristic shower alert!
  • 15 mins - I was just about to say the same thing.
  • 26 mins - Is it a weapons locker or a man cave?
  • 26 mins - For those of the fairer sex wondering: yes, there is a difference.
  • 43 mins - Worst weapons handling class ever.
  • 61 mins - THAT is a computer chassis cooling fan.
  • 73 mins - Both of you are covered with slime and scratches. I don't think that the sanitary masks are necessary.
  • 85 mins - Dude! You are loading blanks into that magazine. Dude! Blanks! You know, like "bang, bang" no effecto.

 Audio clips in wav formatSOUNDSStarving actors speak out 

Green Music Note darklurking1.wav The fecal matter is really hitting the rotary cooling device.
Green Music Note darklurking2.wav Kirkland: "This is a bad idea I tell you."
Jen: "She could turn into one of those things. Just like everyone else!"
Lt. Dare: "Shut up, or the next one goes in you! OK, she's clean."
Green Music Note darklurking3.wav Lena: "I had this dream. There were all these creatures, everything was turning black, it's all coming out of my insides."
Jen: "There is so much wrong with you. You crazy b**ch."
Green Music Note darklurking4.wav Kirkland: "What about those things running around. That other thing at the door?"
Konieg: "Minions restructuring their hosts in various ways to take form in this world. You can't exactly predict what's going to happen when you're dealing with the supernatural."

 Click for a larger imageIMAGESScenes from the movie 


 Watch a sceneVIDEOMPEG video files 

Video Clipdarklurking1.mpg - 8.0m
"It's a clock."

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