1 September 2018 | BA_Harrison
Warning: this film contains graphic mullet fondling.
Produced by Nico Mastorakis, of Island of Death infamy, but directed by Terrence O'Hara, Darkroom is an obscure late-'80s horror that owes a debt to the Italian giallo genre in in its opening scenes, but which descends more and more into tired American slasher territory as the plot progresses.
The giallo elements are evident in the opening double murder, in which an unseen photographer, who has been spying on a married couple with his high-powered lens, dons yellow rain coat and rubber gloves before picking up a hatchet to kill his subjects. The maniac then sets his sights on the family of pretty teen Janet (Jill Pierce), who has gone to visit her folk at their remote farmhouse. One by one, the family members are picked off, leaving Janet and her mulleted boyfriend Steve (Jeff Arbaugh) to try and stay alive until help arrives.
With pedestrian direction, a weak script featuring dreadful dialogue and obvious red herrings, and most of the deaths occurring off-screen, Darkroom is, for the most part, predictable trash, O'Hara even seeing fit to throw in a gratuitous shower scene (for which I am grateful - it helped to alleviate the tedium). Admittedly, I was impressed by the number of family members who fall victim to the killer, and surprised by the film's flirtation with the taboo subject of incest (although, thinking about Mastorakis's debut movie, I shouldn't have been), but the majority of the film is so by-the-numbers that it all proves rather mundane.
4.5 out of 10, rounded up to 5 for the creative opening credits, which were apparently the work of Mastorakis.