6.2/10
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Alone in the Dark (1982)

A quartet of murderous psychopaths break out of a mental hospital during a power blackout and lay siege to their doctor's house.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Lee Taylor-Allan ...
Phillip Clark ...
Elizabeth Ward ...
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Gordon Watkins ...
Carol Levy ...
Keith Reddin ...
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Storyline

Thanks to a major power cut, a gang of psychopaths breaks out of the Haven maximum security mental institute in order to lay siege to the psychiatrists who have tormented them over the years with their bizarre theories... Written by Michael Brooke <michael@everyman.demon.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The movie that cuts like a razor. See more »

Genres:

Horror | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

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Release Date:

12 November 1982 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Solos en la oscuridad  »

Filming Locations:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was one of the first horror films to be made with Dolby Stereo sound. The advanced sound level would often blow out the speaker systems in older theaters while the movie was being screened. See more »

Goofs

When the escaped inmates climb into the white van in the parking lot of the strip mall, the van is parked head-on in front of a store. We see the inmates climb in and the next shot has them hurriedly driving forward, which was impossible given the cement barrier and curb that was in front of the van. They would have had to reverse the van first. See more »

Quotes

Bicycle Messenger: What are you, some kind of asshole?
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Connections

Referenced in The American Nightmare (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

Insects Rule My World
Written and Performed by The Sic Fucks
Produced by Andy Shernoff (as Adny Shernoff)
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User Reviews

 
Dr. Loomis Lets Three Fly Over the Cuckoo's Nest During the Night of the Living Dead
24 July 2006 | by (New York City) – See all my reviews

That high concept title tells you a lot of what you need to know about this film.

Alone in the Dark has a great cast that's strangely underused, and its derivativeness and slight lack of spark make it an eternal underling to much better films, but it's still worth seeing for many reasons.

Donald Pleasance--the one of three stellar cast members who is almost not underused--turns in a typically, wonderfully goofy performance as a famed psychiatrist. He's heading an asylum, he's a bit crazy himself, he's fond of smoking weed, and he has experimental techniques, which turn out to be dangerous considering that he has a criminally insane ward. The two very underused actors are Martin Landau and especially Jack Palance, who are both members of the aforementioned ward.

Problems begin when the New Jersey town that houses the asylum experiences a blackout, allowing the patients to escape--if Donald Pleasance as a psychiatrist isn't strong enough to suggest a Halloween film, this scene of escaping loonies certainly is. This leads to the Night of the Living Dead-styled scenes, which are a lot of fun.

I suppose I can see how someone would find this film a mess--it does change gears frequently and doesn't worry very much about continuity or even coherence, but anyone who is a fan of these actors, or asylum films, or any of the many horror films referenced (including some playful jabs at the Friday the 13th films) should get a lot of enjoyment out of Alone in the Dark. There's a high camp factor throughout, including the scenes of going to a club to see a band called The Sick F*cks.

In some ways, it almost feels like producer Robert Shaye and director Jack Sholder--the same team that brought us A Nightmare on Elm Street 2 a couple years later--got a hold of this cast, some money and some time and just started making things up on the spot, seeing how much fun they could have and how crazy they could get while still producing a marketable horror/thriller film. While that's not likely to produce a masterpiece, and it certainly didn't, it did result in a film that's a hoot to watch, especially late at night or on a lazy Sunday afternoon.


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