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The Dark (1979)

 -  Horror | Sci-Fi  -  27 April 1979 (USA)
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Ratings: 4.0/10 from 629 users  
Reviews: 33 user | 25 critic

An alien mutilator stalks and kills human prey during the night.


, (uncredited)
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Title: The Dark (1979)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Roy Warner / Steve Dupree
Zoe Owens
Det. Dave Mooney
Sherman 'Sherm' Moss
Warren J. Kemmerling ...
Police Captain Speer (as Warren Kemmerling)
Detective Jack Bresler
Jacquelyn Hyde ...
De Renzy
Courtney Floyd
John Bloom ...
The Dark
Bill Derringer ...
Herman Burmeister (as William Derringer)
Jay Lawrence ...
Jim Hampton
Russ Marin ...
Dr. Baranowski
Vernon Washington ...
Henry Lydell
Mel Anderson ...


At night the Mangler stalks the streets of Los Angeles, killing and mutilating random victims. On the trail are a TV reporter, the father of one of the victims, and a police detective, but despite their efforts only the mysterious psychic DeRenzy knows what the killer is and how to stop it. Written by Jeremy Lunt <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

alien | laser beam | police | city | murder | See more »


Now there's a reason to be afraid of ... "The Dark" See more »


Horror | Sci-Fi


R | See all certifications »




Release Date:

27 April 1979 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Dark  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The television station is KFVI. The last part "FVI" refers to this film's production company, Film Ventures International. When Shelley is by the movie theater at the beginning of the film, two posters can be seen for Beyond the Door (1974) (aka "Beyond the Door") and The Night Child (1975) (aka "The Night Child"). These Italian horror films were distributed by Film Ventures International. See more »


Zoe Owens: I will do it, until I get it right.
Sherman Moss: That is the way you learn! What do you think I sent you to Beverly Hills for those roadshows? Why do you think I sent you to Pasadena for those swim suit shows?
Zoe Owens: It's hard to describe how full filling Rose Gardens can be!
Sherman Moss: Well you've only been with us exactly six months!
Zoe Owens: Look at the ratings!
Sherman Moss: Well of course. Half of the male population of LA is staying up all right trying to figure out a way to get into your pants!
See more »


References Beyond the Door (1974) See more »

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User Reviews

Uneven is the word: Excellent Cinematography, Pretty Good Soundtrack, BUT the movie is a mess nevertheless
25 April 2011 | by (Istanbul, Turkey) – See all my reviews

I'd first watched this in a cinema in Istanbul in the early 1980s. The Turkish title was GERÇEK YARATIK (The Real Creature) and an English-language title as ALIEN TERROR was tagged on to the Turkish posters. - and ALIEN had been released a while ago in Turkey as YARATIK (The Creature). So the publicity for this movie was suggesting that it was related to the much-publicized ALIEN and that it was actually the real stuff! I was just 13 or 14 years old at the time... (and there was no internet back then!) Naturally, I was pretty much disappointed when I went ahead to see it and realized it was basically an ordinary urban murder thriller until the last scene. Nevertheless, I've recently bought its DVD to rekindle childhood memories and watched it last night. Now watching it with a more open mind, zero expectations, I find it not half bad as most reviewers have it. First of all, the cinematography in night scenes is simply perfect, beginning with the opening scene. I think the problem most of the other reviewers face ("too dark") simply stems from bad transfers of previous VHS and/or TV prints. The DVD's brand new digital transfer from original materials is really a beauty. Plus, the soundtrack is also very effective, as even the most negative reviews acknowledge. So, overall, the nighttime attack scenes are really brilliantly crafted. Top-notch horror filmmaking there. Having said these, the movie is sadly not competent in other departments and is a mess overall. Richard Jaeckel, who was great in MAKO JAWS OF DEATH, looks very wooden here as the main cop protagonist. William Devane shows some charisma and has got what is called as a screen presence, but is out of tune with his character as a father who had lost his daughter as a savage murder victim. All the secondary characters, esp. the boss of the female reporter, play it for laughs. A few of the lines are intelligently sarcastic, but the demonstration scene (what is it by the way? a student demonstration?) is very offensive: a bunch of youths protest that the city police is busy harassing them rather than tracking the murderer and they act like stupid monkeys (jumping around, etc!) during the demonstration! The director must be a feeble-minded cop-loving right-winger who strongly resents student activists deep in his heart and used this as an opportunity to make fun of them... Anyway, the incoherence of the plot, which, as is widely known, stems from a reworking of the script, is already well-covered in all reviews. I am not very much troubled by that precise aspect and actually find it interesting that you can trace two versions of one story in one movie! As everyone who has read anything about the movie knows, the original scripts did not entail an alien! The DVD has an informative video interview as well as a commentary track with the director Cardos. I've watched the interview and listened to part of the commentary. Cardos explains that the original version entailed a freak-child (and not a zombie, as has been claimed). He also says that none of the footage Tobe Hooper shot before being replaced has made into the final edit of the movie.

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