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The People Who Own the Dark (1976)

Último deseo (original title)
R | | Horror, Sci-Fi | 1980 (USA)
A group of rich businessmen and military officers who are partying in an old castle are spared when a nuclear war ravages the earth. When they venture out into the nearest town to search ... See full summary »



(story) (as Gabriel Burgos), (screenplay) (as Gabriel Burgos) | 2 more credits »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Nadiuska ...
Alberto de Mendoza ...
Prof. Fulton
Emiliano Redondo ...
Dr. Messier
Julia Saly ...
Marion (as Julia Sali 'La Pocha')
Tomás Picó ...
Diana Polakov ...
Leona Devine ...
Ricardo Palacios ...
Dr. Robertson
Carmen Platero
Estela Delgado
Barta Barri ...
Russian ambassador (as Berta Barry)
Gumersindo Andrés ...
(as Gumersindo A. López)
Gonzalo Tejada


A group of rich businessmen and military officers who are partying in an old castle are spared when a nuclear war ravages the earth. When they venture out into the nearest town to search for food and supplies, they find most of the residents blinded, and soon they discover the existence of a sinister group called The People Who Own The Dark. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Now ... there is nothing between you and ... "the people who own the dark"


Horror | Sci-Fi


R | See all certifications »





Release Date:

1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The People Who Own the Dark  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


The English dubbed version released in the United States as "The People Who Own the Dark" had a replacement score that included music cues from "The Blob" (1958). See more »

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User Reviews

THE PEOPLE WHO OWN THE DARK (Leon Klimovsky, 1976) ***
5 February 2011 | by (Naxxar, Malta) – See all my reviews

This easily makes for the best film from Leon Klimovsky I have watched, since he had otherwise come across as a strictly pedestrian director. Given the apocalyptic sci-fi premise, this plays like a variation on 1962's THE DAY OF THE TRIFFIDS (revolving around a town-folk blinded by nuclear fall-out) and 1968's NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD (having a besieged unaffected community as its protagonists). The former are led by a vicious real-life case who instigates his 'followers' to gouge out the eyes of one girl and shoot another in the mouth!; the latter, predictably, would just as soon fall out {sic} amongst themselves – best of all in this regard is Maria Perschy's put-down of the Paul Naschy character as "the biggest faggot of all time"! The film, therefore, is an ensemble piece – apart from Perschy's hostess (eventually revealed as a lesbian) and Naschy's rugged but volatile man of action (constantly imbibing drinks and smoking), we get Alberto De Mendoza as a Physicist (who probably knows more than he lets on about their current state of affairs) and Antonio Mayans (later elevated to leading-man status in several Jess Franco pictures).

Interestingly, the opening sequence has all of these (and others besides, notably a fat man who gradually regresses to an animalistic level!) convening for an underground Sadean 'experience' – donning masks so as to conceal their high-profile identities and with several willing girls at their disposal! – which, ironically, saves their hide. Other films which can be seen to have inspired this one to some degree are two popular Charlton Heston sci-fi vehicles, namely THE OMEGA MAN (1971; the look of the 'monsters'), SOYLENT GREEN (1973; the downbeat 'mass of human flesh' finale), and even Luis Bunuel's THE EXTERMINATING ANGEL (1962; the party-turned-survival-game premise). Incidentally, one of the co-writers here was himself a notable director i.e. Vicente Aranda, who had previously helmed the popular "Carmilla" update THE BLOOD-SPATTERED BRIDE (1972). In the end, while the English title of the film under review is undeniably memorable, I admit to being partial to the subtlety displayed by the Spanish original – which translates to "Last Wish"; as for the copy I acquired, it was only let down by the first three minutes which had jerky movement coupled with audio that was both distorted and out-of-synch!

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