Dark Universe – USA, 1993 – reviews of trashy Alien-in-a-swamp movie

Dark Universe is a 1993 American science-fiction horror about a group of scientists searching the Florida swamps for a crashed spaceship only to discover its pilot has mutated into a bloodthirsty creature.

Directed by Steve Latshaw (Return of the Killer Shrews; Jack-O; Biohazard: The Alien Force; Vampire Trailer Park) from a screenplay written by Patrick Moran (as Pat Moran). The movie stars Joe Estevez (Fangs vs. Spurs; Doctor Spine; Axe Giant: The Wrath of Paul Bunyan), Blake Pickett (They Bite; HauntedWeen; Vampire Trailer Park), Laurie Sherman and Bently Tittle. Fred Olen Ray and Jim Wynorski were executive producers.

Reviews [click links to read more]:

Dark Universe is the definition of ideological catharsis. With mere minutes of substantial entertainment, it’s about as shortchanging an experience as you can have in this life or the next. Which is putting it mildly.” 90 Lost Minutes

“There’s killer spores, Joe Estevez, stock footage, gratuitous breasts (thanks, Jim, you made it a trademark), stereotypes, long talky bits, long dull stretches, bad music, bad effects, a photo of William Grefé and cinematography that makes you notice how substandard it is.” Down Among the Z Movies

“This was a typically lame B sci-fi movie.” Dr Gore’s Movie Reviews

“The special effects look like they were done on someone’s home computer, and Estevez was obviously filmed at a different time since all of his scenes feature just him alone. Dark Universe is awful. There is not one good thing here, and it is not even funny on a “bad” level.” eFilmCritic

“Most of the dialogue here is forgettable, but we do get a few decent lines here and there. But for a regional indie, I expected a bit more outlandish dialogue from this one. On the crazy scale, we have a bargain-basement xenomorph, a killer armadillo, food that animates and attacks, and some humorous performances.” Marc Fusion

“And so it came to be that the boundless possibilities of an entire Dark Universe of action and suspense unceremoniously crash-landed in a nice, cheap swamp. Of course, if the opening scenes in space are any indication, we should be glad to be staring into a poorly lit bog instead.” Something Awful

Release:

Dark Universe is currently available to watch on Amazon Prime.

 

Cast and characters:

  • Joe Estevez … Rod Kendrick
  • Blake Pickett … Kim Masters
  • Laurie Sherman … Judy Lawson (as Cherie Scott)
  • Bently Tittle … Tom Hanning
  • John Maynard … Frank Norris
  • Paul Austin Sanders … Jack Reese
  • Patrick Moran … Carlson
  • Tom Ferguson … Denning
  • Steve Barkett … Steve Thomas
  • Dave ‘Squatch’ Ward … Birdwatcher (as Dave Ward)
  • Beth McCollister … Birdwatcher
  • Henry Laurence … Old Trapper
  • Frank Peacock … Boat Pilot
  • Grant Austin Waldman … Tourist One
  • F. Grace O’Hea … Tourist Two

Filming locations:

Gatorland, Kissimmee, Orlando, Sanford, Titusville, Winter Park, Florida
Los Angeles, California (scenes with Steve Barkett and Joe Estevez)

Technical details:

82 minutes

Notes:

Not to be confused with Dark Universe from 2015.

 

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