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Dark Metropolis (DVD Review)

13 Jan, 2011 By: John Latchem

Street 1/18/11
$24.99 DVD
Not rated.
Stars Bailey Chase, Arthur Roberts, Nicki Aycox, Eric Scott Woods.

The opening narration of Dark Metropolis tells us that in the future humans will create a race of genetically engineered soldiers, called Ghen, for wars that never happen. Unhappy with being mistreated by their masters, the Ghen rebelled, leading to a 300-year war that ended with the Ghen in control of the planet.

Under the new order, the Ghen created a vast underground utopia for themselves, leaving the impoverished original-flavor humans on the surface in ghettos, where they are decimated by plague.

As Dark Metropolis unfolds, the Ghen leader, Baron Pryme (Eric Scott Woods), is obsessed with finding the leader of a homo-sapien resistance movement, hoping that fear of the humans will help his re-election campaign.

Pryme sends elite soldiers to comb the surface with hopes of discovering an excuse to wipe out the entire human race. He must also deal with growing opposition among his own people while protecting a deep secret that could destroy him and empower his brother (Bailey Chase, who guested as Graham in a few episodes of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”).

The setup is intriguing, but the film may be too ambitious for its meager budget. The Ghen look like outcasts from a vampire saga, adorned in black leather coats and too much eyeliner as they stroll through “futuristic” sets that look like they were filmed in and around some nice buildings of a local university.

The film was written and directed by “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers” co-creator Stewart St. John, which may imply some inherent camp value, though it’s too serious to elicit much comic value. Sci-fi buffs might enjoy the intriguing premise, and at less than 90 minutes the film doesn’t stick around long enough to really wear out its welcome.

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