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Dark Heritage (1989)

 -  Horror
4.3
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Ratings: 4.3/10 from 168 users  
Reviews: 14 user | 2 critic

A group of campers in the woods come upon a gang of satanic serial killers.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Mark LaCour ...
Clint Harrison
Tim Verkaik ...
Jack
Eddie Moore ...
Mr. Daniels
Joan Parmelee ...
Mrs. Daniels
David Hatcher ...
Greg
Todd Leger ...
Daryl
Joe Jennings ...
Roger
Bonnie Darensbourg ...
Camper
Jay Reed ...
Camper
Jesse Carnes ...
TV Newsman
Robert Carnes ...
TV Paramedic
Ann Darphin ...
Librarian
Johnny Grimmet ...
Creature
Shane Grimmet ...
Creature
Mark McCormick ...
Creature
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Storyline

An uncredited adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft's "The Lurking Fear." After a violent thunderstorm, mutilated bodies are found at a Louisiana campground. Investigative reporter Clint Harrison uncovers a dark local legend about the reclusive Dansen clan, who may be connected with the murders. Determined to dig up the truth, Clint and his buddies decide to spend a stormy night at the seemingly abandoned Dansen mansion... Written by <friday@fridayjones.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

h.p. lovecraft | camper | mutant

Genres:

Horror

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Also Known As:

Dark Heritage: The Final Descendant  »

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Did You Know?

Connections

Version of Lurking Fear (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

Study in Gothic
Written & Performed by Jesse Carnes (as Jesse I. Carnes)
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User Reviews

Not a bad effort
23 November 2004 | by (Naples, FL) – See all my reviews

Another uncredited adaptation of Lovecraft's "Lurking Fear". I admit, that even with the low quality packaging, I had a bit of hope for this one. The fact that I'd never heard of it until is surfaced on DVD, 14 years after being filmed didn't exactly help matters.

The first thing I noticed about this no-frills DVD is that the title of the film is presented as "Drak Heritage" on the menu. This didn't exactly fill me with confidence as people who give a damn about their release would never let such an obvious and glaring error slip past them. The sound quality fluctuates horribly during the film and some of the soundtrack overwhelms the system and obviously went far beyond the redline during mixing. The film quality is iffy, at best, and lighting seems to be a problem in numerous scenes. Of course, we've all scene bad, low-budget Lovecraft films before.

The next problem with the film is the cast. Cardboard like at best, just plain awful at their worst, the cast seems wholly unbelievable. The flat delivery of dialog casts one more horrible shadow on this film.

Still, there are some bright points. First, the locations. The plantation home used for the Dansen manor was wonderful. It evoked an almost "Blair Witch" feel, the cracked plaster, and vacant halls. Of course, someplace that has been abandoned for 150 years shouldn't have light switches by the door, and a fairly well manicured lawn, but I was actually willing to overlook that.

Secondly, bad as this film is (and make no mistake, it is pretty awful), Dark Heritage does manage to create a bit of atmospheric tension during a few of the more eerie moments of the movie. In fact, had this been done as a silent film, it would have most likely enhanced the overall production by not allowing bad acting to spoil the few solid atmospheric shots.

Still, this adaptation is weak, leaving a few unanswered questions, but perhaps they are best left unanswered. Interestingly enough though, the only actor from this movie who has gone on to continue his career to any note, Eddie Moore (Mr. Daniels), went on to play bit parts in two Brendan Fraser movies ("Blast from the Past" and "Dudley Do-Right"). Nice to see that he managed to overcome that little problem of being incapable of acting his way out of a wet paper sack.

Overall the film comes off like someone's college project and, viewed in that light, it isn't too terribly bad. Of the three Lurking Fear adaptations available (Bleeders/Hemoglobin, the Lurking Fear, and Dark Heritage) this is by far the most faithful adaptation. Certainly, the setting has been moved to Louisiana and the name Martense has been changed to Dansen, but much of the film is actually quite faithful to the original story. This alone makes it an interesting find


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