The space transport vessel "Hunter-Gratzner" carrying 40 people on-board crashes on a desert planet when the ship is struck in a meteor storm. There are only 11 survivors, among them are pilot Carolyn Fry (Who has assumed command after the ship's captain is killed), bounty hunter William J. Johns, religious man Abu Al-Walid, Antiques dealer Paris P. Ogilvie, runaway teenager Jack, settlers John 'Zeke' Ezekiel and his lover Sharon 'Shazza' Montgomery, and Richard B. Riddick, a dangerous escaped convict. Marooned, the survivors discover the barren and hot desert-scape has sunlight from three suns. Not only must they find food and water and worry about Riddick, the survivors find themselves being hunted by the planet's flesh-eating alien inhabitants when the planet is engulfed in darkness, which happens every 22 years, as they emerge from underground to hunt and eat all signs of life. Fry and the survivors find Riddick is their best chance of survival, as Riddick has surgically-enhanced ...Written by
Producer Tom Engelman explained of filming the movie in the South Australian outback mining town of Coober Pedy in South Australia: "We needed a unique environment that looked more desolate and dangerous than Mars". See more »
Obvious doubles in the scene where the crew boards Shazza's ride to escape from the eclipse, just as they ride through the skeleton barrier. See more »
They say most of your brain shuts down in cryo-sleep. All but the primitive side, the animal side. No wonder I'm still awake. Transporting me with civilians. Sounded like 40, 40-plus. Heard an Arab voice. Some hoodoo holy man, probably on his way to New Mecca. But what route? What route? I smelt a woman. Sweat, boots, tool belt, leather. Prospector type. Free settlers. And they only take the back roads. And here's my real problem. Mr. Johns... the blue-eyed devil. ...
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The persons and events in this production are fictitious. No similarity to actual persons or predators, living or dead, is intended or should be inferred. See more »
Universal released an unrated Director's Cut, three minutes longer than the theatrical release. See more »
Let me waste a moment of your time to explain how I approached this film. 1st I dismissed the trailers out of hand because the film appeared to be an uncredited remake of Aliens, which I consider to be one of the weakest films in the Alien series. Stupidly continuing to dismiss the film after I heard positive things about it from people whose opinions I trust, I missed the theatrical run completely. I then became hooked on Farscape, in its 3rd or 4th season at the time, and found Pitch Black on cable one night around bed time - so I said "oh why not, at least it has Claudia Black in it." Soon, I recognized Keith David, and began to realize that Vin Diesel, Radha Mitchell and Cole Hauser could all act (why this should surprise me, I do not know). I was captivated. I have now remained captivated for four years. I just watched the film for the 3rd or 4th time, and I still love it.
This is not an art film, not an independent, and its not entirely original, but where it fails to break a lot of new ground, it utterly succeeds in providing interesting, realistic characters, hard-driving action in the medium of a compelling but simple plot, and non-stop entertainment; an absolutely beautiful environment with tastefully rendered special effects. Sound to good to be true? Don't take my word for it... see it for yourself.
The film also highlighted the charisma of the now somewhat iconoclastic Vin Diesel, introducing the character of Richard Riddick. Diesel would go on to star in the somewhat Riddick-ulous Chronicles thereof (which I also enjoyed, though recognizing its rather huge flaws) and is now something of a legend. Diesel is so charismatic, so big, and so interesting to watch that it is easy to ignore the fact that he is not only a talented actor, but a smart one too. Checking out the DVD version of Pitch Black, with the audio comments on might just blow you away.
The film is about the crew of an inter-system transport ship stranded on an unknown planet after a crash-landing in which their captain was killed. The new commander is inexperienced but bright and heroic (Mitchell), but she is caught between two dominant and dangerous personalities - a bounty hunter with secrets (Hauser) and a dangerous criminal who has been surgically altered to see in the dark (Diesel). Is that all? Of course not - the planet is inhabited, and the inhabitants are hungry.
As unoriginal and improbable as some of this may be, Pitch Black is beautifully filmed, well told, and very nicely performed. Don't expect to learn anything, and don't expect to have to think a whole lot, but do expect to have fun with this modern sci-fi action classic.
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