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Darkman (1990)

6.4
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 42,389 users   Metascore: 65/100
Reviews: 132 user | 114 critic | 15 from Metacritic.com

A brilliant scientist left for dead returns to exact revenge on the people who burned him alive.

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(story), (screenplay), 4 more credits »
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Title: Darkman (1990)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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...
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Nelson Mashita ...
...
Rafael H. Robledo ...
...
Skip (as Danny Hicks)
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Rick (as Theodore Raimi)
Dan Bell ...
Nicholas Worth ...
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Arsenio 'Sonny' Trinidad ...
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Convenience Store Clerk
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Chinese Warrior
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Storyline

Peyton Westlake is a scientist who has discovered a way to produce synthetic skin. This could revolutionise skin grafting, except for one minor glitch; the synthetic skin degrades after 100 minutes of exposure to light. When gangsters attack Peyton, he is horrifically burnt, and assumed dead. In his quest for revenge, Peyton, aka the Darkman, is able to take on the appearance of anyone (using the synthetic skin,) but he only has 100 minutes per disguise. Written by Rob Hartill

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

They destroyed everthing he had, everything he was. Now, crime has a new enemy and justice has a new face. See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

24 August 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Czlowiek ciemnosci  »

Box Office

Budget:

$16,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$33,878,502 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Larry Drake was cast because of the way he underplayed Durant. Quiet, careful, but intense. Sam Raimi had never watched a single episode of L.A. Law (1986), where Drake played the developmentally disabled Benny. But Drake's face reminded him of a modern day Edward G. Robinson. He looked so mean and domineering, yet he had an urban wit about him. Raimi believed these qualities made him the perfect adversary for Darkman. See more »

Goofs

Throughout the movie, Darkman is able to talk as normal despite his lack of lips. You cannot pronounce 'b', 'f', 'm', 'p', 'v' without lips. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Eddie Black: [on phone] 'Cause he's an asshole! Tell him no. Tell him no, too. Him, tell "fuck you." No, I'm gonna be here a minute. Got some guy coming up who thinks he's gonna muscle me out of my property. What's it matter! Just another tough guy, that's all.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening credit sequence is full of dark clouds and brief images of Darkman. The second A in the title is shaped like Darkman's silhouette. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Episode #21.9 (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Give It To Me
Written and Performed by Judy Valenti
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Spiderman is a Sissy!
11 October 2008 | by (the Draconian Swamp of Unholy Souls) – See all my reviews

"Darkman" marks Sam Raimi's debut for a major film studio with a reasonably high budget, after a handful of cheap but nevertheless legendary independent movies. Analysing his career as a whole, "Darkman" actually was a logical choice for Raimi to direct! It's an extremely violent comic-book styled superhero movie and hence the ideal transition from "The Evil Dead" onto the "Spiderman" cycle. It's like Raimi used his already gained experience and knowledge of horror movies and practiced to realize his ultimate dream projects. Of course, we avid horror fanatics will always prefer Raimi's earliest horror projects over his later big-budgeted and crowd-pleasing movies, and from that viewpoint "Darkman" is on of his last truly great movie with an immense cult-value (along with "Army of Darkness" in 1992).

"Darkman" is a strange type of superhero movie. It has all the characteristics of being adapted from an existing comic book, but it's not and actually has a screenplay that is written directly for the screen. You could compare it to "The Punisher" or "The Shadow", but instead Raimi's intention clearly was to bring homage to the oldest and most classical horror movies, namely the Universal landmarks revolving on misunderstood monsters (like "Phantom of the Opera") and brilliant scientists slowly going mad (like "The Invisible Man"). Liam Neeson is terrific as Peyton Westlake, a brilliant scientist with a stable relationship and a promising career since he's on the verge of breakthrough in his research to create a lasting synthetic skin to cover up disfigurements. Following his girlfriend Julie's involvement in a bribery scheme, the malicious gangster Robert Durant blows up his laboratory and leaves Peyton for dead. He survives, mutilated beyond recognition and mentally messed up, and promptly begins to exterminate his killers by using his own techniques of temporary impersonations. Meanwhile, Peyton also re-creates his own face in order to win back Julie without having to tell her about his dark secrets.

The combination of horror, dramatic story lines and blackly comical situations isn't always equally successful, but Sam Raimi turns all separate elements into one fast-paced, highly exciting and ingenious wholesome with great performances overall, awesome make-up effects and several impressively staged action sequences. The helicopter chase near the end, for instance, is excellent proof of Raimi's talented vision regarding spectacle and breath-taking suspense. Other very memorable moments in the films include a masterful scene at a carnival, the introduction with Durant and his gang at the very beginning and the climax taking place on a construction site high above the city at night. Neeson and Frances McDormand (Mrs. Joel Coen) provide some genuine on screen chemistry, but the villainous characters truly steal the show. Particularly Larry Drake ("Dr. Giggles") is genius as the arrogant, cigar-smoking and finger-collecting gangster. His crew features some familiar faces like Nicolas Worth ("Don't Answer the Phone") and the director's brother Ted Raimi. "The Evil Dead" star and professional cool dude Bruce Campbell makes a brief but essential cameo appearance near the end. Highly recommended.


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