Dark Universe

January 28, 2012 5 Min Read

Review by: Fusion3600

Plot: What’s it about?

As the space shuttle Nautilus heads back toward Earth, it would seem the dangerous portions of the mission were over. That isn’t the case here however, as the ship somehow ends up in the midst of a mysterious cloud, which causes the sole astronaut some problems. It seems the cloud was filled with alien spores and when the craft passed through, the spores infected the astronaut on board, Steve Thomas (Steve Barkett). He soon goes through a horrific transformation, one that leaves him a drooling, vicious alien creature. The ship continues toward the surface however, which could mean real trouble for the world that awaits its return. The ship crashes down in the Florida swamplands, where Steve is able to escape his pod and of course, this means bad news for the local residents. Not only do the locals have Steve’s violent new form to deal with, but also the potential threat of the spores infecting them as well…

A low rent space epic, Dark Universe has a lot for creature feature fans to like, but of course, it has some serious flaws also. Of course, veterans of sci/fi B movies don’t expect masterful scripts and high end special effects, so it’s all relative, I think. The box makes this look like an Alien clone, but aside from the actual creature itself, that isn’t the case. The alien looks cool and while it isn’t as complex as other movie monsters, the beast is fine by B movie standards, without a doubt. It gets to wreak some real havoc also, though not as much I would have liked. I would have loved an all out “alien demolishes all in its path” kind of flick, but I guess the budget wouldn’t allow for massive destruction and such. When the action picks up or the breasts are unleashed, this is a more than decent low rent picture, but neither of those events happen often enough, So Dark Universe has some moments, but it has too many dull stretches and needed more breasts & blood, though that’s just my opinion. I’d say this one is worth a rental however, but only to hardcore B movie fans and those interested in the hilarious special effects.

Video: How does it look?

Dark Universe is presented in a full frame transfer. As I knew this was a low rent movie from the start, I didn’t expect a pristine transfer and while the film isn’t too old, the wear signs come sooner on these super low budget flicks. The image has a “video” look to it, but comes across well most of the time, I think. The darker scenes have more grain evident, but contrast is stable and as such, no real problems on that end. The colors seem bright and natural also, but as I said, this looks more than video than film, at least in some instances.

Audio: How does it sound?

As expected, the audio here reflects the low budget roots of the movie, but I was never let down much here. The materials seem thin at times, especially for a film made in 1993, but the mix is solid and seems to be as good as can be expected. The sound effects are stable throughout, though sometimes a little tinny, while the music is clean and never distorted in the least. I found dialogue to be clear and never a problem at all, thanks to well balanced volume levels. As I mentioned, not the most impressive track, but it handles the material well enough.

Supplements: What are the extras?

This disc includes some still photos, drive-in antics with Fred & Miss Kim, and the film’s full length trailer.

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