4.2/10
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42 user 36 critic

The Dark (1979)

Someone, or something, is on an indiscriminate killing and mutilation spree during night-time. Frustrated by the clueless police, the father of the first victim is looking for answers, no matter how far fetched they are.

Directors:

John 'Bud' Cardos, Tobe Hooper (uncredited)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
William Devane ... Roy Warner / Steve Dupree
Cathy Lee Crosby ... Zoe Owens
Richard Jaeckel ... Det. Dave Mooney
Keenan Wynn ... Sherman 'Sherm' Moss
Warren J. Kemmerling ... Police Captain Speer (as Warren Kemmerling)
Biff Elliot ... Detective Jack Bresler
Jacquelyn Hyde ... De Renzy
Casey Kasem ... Police Pathologist
Vivian Blaine ... Courtney Floyd
John Bloom ... The Dark
Bill Derringer Bill Derringer ... Herman Burmeister (as William Derringer)
Jay Lawrence Jay Lawrence ... Jim Hampton
Russ Marin ... Dr. Baranowski
Vernon Washington ... Henry Lydell
Mel Anderson Mel Anderson ... Policeman
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Storyline

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 <durlinlunt@acadia.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

After fear...beyond terror...there is THE DARK! See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

27 April 1979 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Mutilator See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,700,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

From the screenplay stage and all the way through to production, The Dark (1979)'s antagonist was an abused, autistic child who had been locked in an attic for his entire life. In the original script, his house burned down, allowing him to escape and take vengeance on the outside world. Toward the end of the shoot, the film's producers decided to capitalize on the success of Alien (1979) and demanded extensive re-shoots to change the killer into an extra-terrestrial. See more »

Quotes

Sherman Moss: I'm not afraid of the dark; I'm afraid of what's in it.
See more »

Connections

Featured in 42nd Street Forever: Blu-ray Edition (2012) See more »

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User Reviews

It's grey, Scoob. Yikes!
30 August 2002 | by heathblairSee all my reviews

Years ago while watching this picture on TV for the first time, I figured about half way through 'Hey, this ain't a sci-fi alien-on-the-rampage flick! It's an occult zombie movie hastily re-edited in a fever of post-production panic to cash in on the popularity of the same year's Alien'. Phew. What a literal thinker I was. Looking at IMDB's 'trivia' section, I see I was right. Wasn't I clever way back then? No. It really IS that obvious.

Disjointed, silly B movie. Not without some pleasures though. Keenan Wynn's fearful walk through a darkened underground car park worked for me, and there are a few unintended laughs here and there eg. William Devane's rather strange reaction to the sight of his dead daughter lying on a mortuary slab: he burps, and somewhat skittishly too. I wonder what Lee Strasberg would have thought of that. Perhaps William was expressing his heartfelt feelings toward the movie he found himself in. Actors get up to these tricks, you know.

And then there's Casey Kasem's police pathologist who is asked by a cop what colour the murderer's (still assumed to be human) skin is. Shaggy Kasem's reply of 'It's grey' is pleasantly creepy and recalls similar moments from Kolchak: The Night Stalker. In fact, Carl Kolchak's shadow looms large over this picture, even down to the unexpectedly spectacular denouement featuring a growling monster throwing cops bodily in all directions. VERY Kolchak.

Actually, damn it, I recommend this movie. It's enjoyable trash if you're in the right mood. But be warned - thanks to/in spite of post-production re-cutting (complete with inept Ed Wood type voice-over to fill in the plot holes) IT MAKES NO SENSE WHATSOEVER. Might be part of it's idiotic charm.


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