Darkroom – USA, 1989

‘He kills at the blink of an eye.’

Darkroom is a 1989 slasher horror feature film co-directed by Terrence O’Hara (Grimm TV series) and [uncredited] producer Nico Mastorakis (Grandmother’s House; The Zero Boys; The Wind; Island of Death). The Omega Entertainment production stars Aarin Teich, Jill Pierce, Jeff Arbaugh and Sara Lee Wade.

Vinegar Syndrome is releasing Darkroom as a Blu-ray + DVD combo on April 30, 2019. The film has been newly restored in 4K from the 35mm original camera negative. It features 5.1 surround sound and stereo audio mixes, plus reversible cover art. Special features:

  • Interview with actor Aarin Teich
  • Interview with actor Jeff Arbaugh
  • Still gallery
  • Trailer

Plot:

Janet has just returned home from college to visit her conservative family at their remote farmhouse, nestled deep in the countryside.

What should be a happy reunion is quickly disrupted by the arrival of an unexpected guest: a mystery killer who photographs their unsuspecting victims before murdering them in a variety of brutal ways.

As her family and friends are picked off one by one, Janet is forced to fend off the mysterious maniac, all the while uncovering unsettling secrets surrounding her family’s violent and bizarre past…

Reviews:

“There is some pretty silly dialogue in this one. It would be easy to fault the cast for it, but I don’t think that’s fair. None of them are A-listers, but they take what they’re given and run with it. This meal is probably best served with a couple of drinks and like-minded friends.” Warren, Letterboxd

“It’s basically twenty-five minutes of story stretched in to an hour and a half of screen time and it really feels like the director was struggling to fill scenes with  the empty script that he had. I guess that if they had hired better actors, the character development and family feuds could have added a bit of depth to the plot.” Luisito Joaquin Gonzalez, A Slash Above…

Cast and characters:

  • Aarin Teich … Perry – Devoured: The Legend of Alfred Packer; The Boy from Hell aka Bloodspell; Dead of Night aka Mirror of Death 1988
  • Jill Pierce … Janet – Witch Hunt; The Unborn II; Dance with Death
  • Jeff Arbaugh … Steve (as Jeffrey Alan Arbaugh) – The Collection; Watchers II
  • Sara Lee Wade … Cindy – set dresser on The Return of the Living Dead; Friday the 13th: A New Beginning 
  • Allen Lieberman … Mark
  • Stella Kastner … Nora
  • John O’Connor … Hodge
  • Jo Samon … Denton
  • Timothy Hicks … George
  • Shannon Absher … Alice (as Shannon B. Absher)
  • Michael Halpin … Norm
  • Abigail Lenz … Paula
  • Robyn Truxal … Woman
  • Billy Pollina … Man
  • Eric Foster … Young Perry

Filming locations:

Valencia, California

NB. Not to be confused with Darkroom (2013).

Image credits: VHS Collector

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