Title: Dark Universe

Also known as:

Year: 1993

Genre: Sci-Fi / Horror

Language: English

Runtime: 83 min

Director: Steve Latshaw

Writer: Patrick Moran

IMDb: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0106666/

Spores manage to get into the body of an astronaut on his way back to earth. It transforms him into a monster, and he is now crashing in a swamp in Florida. A small crew of people are sent to investigate the situation.

Our thoughts:
Unlike with a film like "Shapeshifter" I didn't buy this one because it was cheap. I mean, it was cheap, but I didn't buy it specifically for that reason and then expected to hate it. I bought "Dark Universe" simply because the monster on the front cover looked cool and I dig a cheesy "Alien" rip-off. It was as simple as that, and look what I got! A stupid but entertaining "Alien" rip-off!

Okay, "Dark Universe" isn't just ripping off "Alien", but it's obviously where the main influence is from. But the movie does seperate itself on a few important points, mainly being that it's not set in space, but in a swamp. And it's more an infection story than an alien story. A cloud of space spores transform a lonely astronaut into a large, blood-thirsty monster, and his spaceship crashes on Earth. This sets of an infection that causes animals around the swamp where it crashed to attack. One example of this is a very silly scene with a horrifying.. armadillo! As expected we have a group of scientists and similar who are sent there to study it. Soon people are infected, infected animals attack, and a huge hungry monster is hunting them!

"Dark Universe" is fun because it doesn't try to fool you. You know that the story is unimportant as long as you get some cheap entertainment. It's okay with having stupid characters and cheesy effects. Hell, the infections are shown as large, orange boils. And things that are infected often makes what can only be described as farting noises. Not to mention we have a monster armadillo! It's not even a big one, just a normal-sized armadillo attacking the leg of a man while he's about to fuck a woman.

Then we also have the main attraction - the big "Alien"-esque monster! It's actually pretty cool looking I think. You see the obvious influences, but it still manages to be more than just a cheap copy. It manages to be everything I would've wanted as a child. I say this because I am now much more grumpy, but I usually rate my monster movie experiences after what I would've wanted to see when I was a kid. In that sense this is first class stuff!

What else can you expect from the movie? Well, this release came with a Fred Olen Ray introduction that offered a few laughs as well as tits for the sake of tits. And actually, the movie itself does that too! Joe Estevez can be seen in a small role, and one of the lead characters looks like a Bruce Campbell impersonator. And not to mention a few silly continuity errors!

There's no deny that "Dark Universe" is a very bad movie, but it's one of those films that simply doesn't care. It set out to be a cheap, 80's inspired, sci-fi rip-off and that's what it is, so who am I to judge it too much? I'll gladly take a fun but stupid monster movie over a typical, modern horror movie. You're likely to get a few laughs out of the stupidity of this movie, so get some friends together, sit back and just enjoy the fucking ride for a change!

Positive things:
- I actually thought the monster was cheesy coolness.
- Infected armadillo!
- Has some boob shots that were very obviously thrown in there to satisfy. I don't mind!
- Really stupid and the filmmakers know it.
- Orange boils, yay!
Negative things:
- Could've been slightly gorier.

Gore: 1.5/5
Nudity: 1.5/5
Story: 1/5
Effects: 2/5
Comedy: 2.5/5

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