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Dark Country on DVD

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I'm stunned speechless. I just finished watching this and I don't even know where to begin. First of all, BIG congratulations to Thomas on his directing debut. It's a freakin' masterpiece of cinematic storytelling. Nothing else to say. Thomas has distinguished himself incredibly well with this. The visual style was absolutely breathtaking, from the opening shot of the motel (one of my favorite shots of the movie, btw) to the stunning use of light and shadows, and the amazing camera angles that he came up with. The story was tight, without a second of wasted space. Despite it being such a small cast of characters, it kept moving at a brisk pace that left me breathless several times. It's been a very long time since I've seen a movie that did that to me.


I loved the different camera angles that were used throughout the film, but one that really blew me away was the exit from the diner- that long pullback from the doorway that went all the way around the car. Amazing! I remember Tim describing setting up that shot in his diary, but seeing the actual shot on film totally blew away anything that I could have imagined.


Also loved the use of the mirrors, both in the car and in the diner, and some of the tight closeups were freakin' awesome! And again the use of light and shadow was brilliant. Whoever was responsible for that- big kudos to you too! Someone else mentioned that the car was like another character in the movie. I had the same thought about the darkness. Btw, that Seneca was a cool car- perfect for the feel of the movie, but I gotta give my props to the Mustang at the end. That's always been my fave car, and a fastback!! WICKED!


I was overwhelmed by the David Lynch- Twilight Zone feel of it. It was incredible. It's hard to describe right now. I need a little time to process my thoughts on the particulars of the story, but I just had to say that this was one of the best freakin' horror movies I've seen in ages.


I'll add my thoughts on the meaning of the movie later, after I've had a little time to process them. Again, BIG congratulations to Thomas, Tim, Geoff Boyle, Dave Allcock, Tab Murphy, and everyone else involved in the making of this film.


You've all outdone yourselves. Job well done, everyone!



One more thing- throughout the movie, there were a lot of moments when I found myself thinking Damn, that shot would have looked freakin' fantastic in 3-D!! It's painfully obvious that the folks at Sony screwed the pooch on this one. They blew a freakin' golden opportunity by not releasing this in 3-D. With the current boom, and the latest trends toward 3-D development, this movie could have been a smash if Sony had released and marketed it properly. It's a cryin' effin' shame.


Ah, well, all I can say is, I hope and pray that one day we get to see this as it was meant to be seen.

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Listening to the commentary (which is quite good), I wondering did they chop it up a bit? Because there are moments where it just goes into silence.


Also, for some reason, I always love seeing that Sam Raimi rapid zoom in films, it took me the second viewing to notice it in Dark Country.


Edit to add: I actually had no difficulty finding a DVD of this, well outside of thinking it was in the horror section instead of sci-fi.

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No problems here either Mike. Found it at Wal Mart...in Texas...and no mutants.


Watched the film again last night with the wife and noticed some interesting tidbits.


Bloodyface asks for a cigarette (Dick "Isn't fond of that").

Dick says "all the same"...and Gina asks "this isn't the first time you've made this trip" (paraphrased slightly)

Gina is NOT wearing the clothes Dick leaves her at the rest stop in when the unbury her.


Still developing theories as to what all this means...

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I too believe she was wearing the same outfit (at least the shorts if not the same sweater).


One thing though, and I'm going off memory here....


When they set her body down, I remember her eyes being open, and then when it cuts back to them putting the sheet over her, I could have sworn they were closed.


The ring on the hand that popped out of the dirt near the end of the movie was the same as the ring Gina wore, right? But I think Dick found that body and said it wasn't Gina, right?


I'm not sure if it was the same ring, but I think that hand had red polish on the nails, while I don't remember Gina wearing any fingerpolish.

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When he leaves her, she is wearing a type of sweater thing. When the cops lay her down on the ground she is wearing the white dress from earlier. Tim can probably chime in and clarify if I am completely off kilter. This would make sense if she had actually been dead LONG before the rest stop. :)


The RINGS are identical it appears accept that Gina's is red and the one he finds is blue. NL you are also right about the nail polish. Notice too that the corpse was NOT decomposed at ALL! :)

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Don't mean to be disagreeable, Fred, but I'm pretty sure that when they pulled her body out of the ground, she was wearing the shorts and sweater, and NOT the white dress from earlier.


Also, about the body not being decomposed, I never got the impression that she was supposed to have been there as long as the rest stop, or the cars, but more recent. Could have been wrong about that though.


I did notice that when he dug the body up, the ring was blue instead of red, and he said that it wasn't her. So that made me think that it was one of the other missing women from the rest stop. Kind of made me think of the time loop thing because

when he left the rest stop after discovering the body, the buildings were still there but

her body wasn't. So sometime between when he left and when he returned with the sheriff was when the time loop began. At least that's my interpretation. And after he escapes and wrecks the car is when he discovers that he is reliving it again. Maybe the moment that he realizes that she's dead is the catalyst for the time loop, and everytime he relives it, it starts over again.

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That's it, my god.... the movie... its pancakes! Sweet delicious chocolate chip pancakes!* :blink:


I swear, next time I watch this, I'm keeping a pad of paper and a pencil to jot down notes. Anything and everything. The absolute fun part about this, every single one of our theories is applicable, everyone has noted things we all missed. I like a movie that would make David Lynch and Rod Serling go "that's different."


Here I started out with the "Dick is an unfortunate soul" theory... and now I'm really swaying to him having a seedier than expected past. All in his head... Gina being dead before the body reveal, maybe the car trip... pancakes*....


*Shawn's mind broke... rebooting

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THow different was it to light something knowing it was being filmed for 3D?



Not a lot really, I obviously went for a dramatic look!


I gues that as it develops I think that we'll probably use a slight lighting emphasis on the main point of interest as we probably won't use selective focus as much as we do in 2D.


My personal feeling is that 3D works best with wide lenses and lots of depth of field and that we then move in to close ups rather than change to tighter lenses.



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I've given up waiting for Amazon and have downloaded a full DVD from the web :-(


I had to watch it, it's been so long since I shot it and almost as long since I saw Toms first cut.


Whilst I do have some issues with the grading and the green screen work, i.e. the same set-up works in some shots and not in others??, I can only say that Tom has done a great job of cutting which only adds to the initial terrific direction :-)


I do miss the wolves, probably because I've told the story of me growling at them to try and get a reaction and instead of them attacking me they ran away!


But overall I think it's a great job, well done Tom.









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I do miss the wolves, probably because I've told the story of me growling at them to try and get a reaction and instead of them attacking me they ran away!


But overall I think it's a great job, well done Tom.







Now that's a man in control :D


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As for the questions in the film, I have to admit that when the film closed it didn't really matter to me who killed Gina. Though part of me wonders, given how blue she looked if she was ever even in the car with Dick. I have to wonder if she wasn't killed in the hotel room, and brought out to the desert to be buried, and Dick just fabricated all the conversations in his head. He probably had that argument with her corpse.


How blue she looked?? It seemed to me that Gina had very warm skin tones and Dick looked almost grey in the car. It's not consistent through the whole movie and I don't have time to watch it all again right now anyway. But I just don't know where you're coming from with the "blue" comment. When does she look blue to you?



When Bloodyface asks, "Have you been murdered before?" Was he directing that at Dick or Gina? I'm thinking Dick, but I'm not sure.


Watching the scene where Dick goes back and finds the empty grave and yells, "I killed you. I killed you." I wondered if in "reality" Dick had committed suicide.

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As promised, I took some notes when I watched it again last night. Some of these probably don't mean anything, but we might find some interesting things here. They are in chronological order.





- "T" in MOTEL sign is the only letter blinking

- Moth appears after the phone rings

- Dick's monolog references "saving her" and himself; speaking of the events about to occur

- White fade into kissing

- 2nd kissing scene in red lights, 3rd in blue lights

- Gina appears to be whispering in Dick's ear, you have to listen close; I wasn't able to make anything out, too rapid

- Red gem in the wedding ring




- 1st missing poster at the diner, blonde, age 25

- Only vehicles spotted at the diner lot besides Dick's are two motorcycles

- Stranger appears incredibly fast out of the diner




- Dick references driving across the desert at night before

- Gina references paying a grand for the car, implying it was just bought recently

- Passing truck honks a couple times before entering the tunnel to the Dark Country

- Dick doesn't like smoking

- Gina didn't notice Chinese tattoo (means "trust", gonna have to have my Chinese friend verify) before this point

- Bloody face appears when Gina turns on the headlights

- White flowers at the end of the road

- Wrecked car disappears off camera; blood stain still there

- Bloodyface warns Gina to "get away from him"; meaning Dick

- Bloodyface point of view: head throbbing, hearing impaired

- Bloodyface brings up Cheetahs Club

- Bloodyface says "Only way out" when they nearly reach the freeway

- Before Dick decides to bury Bloodyface, Gina appears to back away in horror, then cuts to her looking a little more composed

- Gina hands Dick the tire iron, cuts to Dick holding the tire iron, and then cuts back to Dick just then grabbing it (editing mistake or plot point?)




- Still has his watch on after digging the grave, but its gone when he is in the car




- Right after Dick's watch is discovered missing, the hand prints on the trunk appear to be gone (Gina wiped them off? never shown)




- Grave now discovered empty, Dick hears gun shots




- Map shows that Dick is in the middle of seemingly nowhere

- 2nd missing poster: age ? (born in 1979, not sure what year the movie takes place in), brown or blonde hair (can't make out the writing)

- 3rd missing poster: Tim Bradstreet w/ wife (I assume)

- 4th missing poster: Dave Allcock and girlfriend (I believe confirmed on commentary)

- Cigarette case left on park bench where Gina was

- Empty shells and foot prints leading to the grave are found on the ground

- Hand from grave has red nail polish, ring has a blue gem




- Sheriff's car appears when the bolt of lightning strikes

- Bitten apple in his passenger seat (much like Gina's in the motel)

- Sheriff makes reference to the desert being full of bodies

- Sheriff says "Leave no turn unstoned" ?




- Gina's eyes are open, still wearing the same clothes that she was last seen in, until the close up of the body, she's back wearing her gown from earlier (edited to include FADoss's amazing obsevation)

- Stranger has badge, says that he warned him to stay on 95

- Stranger not sure where all the male bodies are, Sheriff says to "ask him" (implying Dick)




- Police radios start to break up in the dry riverbed

- Dick's car disappears at the end of the chase

- Cops all stop at possibly the same spot that the flowers are earlier

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- White fade into kissing

- 2nd kissing scene in red lights, 3rd in blue lights


Yeah, I noticed that, too. I'm figuring

white = innocence / ignorance

red = passion / lust

blue = dead as a doornail


The progression of their relationship.


Either that, or the guy doing the lighting was very patriotic.

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My point being was that, to me, she looks like she's been dead a while. Much longer than just an evening.



I don't know. I've never really been around dead people.


I think it's way more interesting that when Bloodyface is in the car, Gina is very flesh tone and Dick is almost grey. Bloodyface is, well, bloody red.

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Argument in rest stop she is wearing a pink sweater with NO bra, v-neck and black shorts. She is wearing the same thing when they pull her out of the ground, BUT when they lay her down she is wearing the DRESS from the before the rest area. I am watching it ON PAUSE right now. I am NOT wrong. When they lay her down she is in the DRESS. Am I the ONLY one seeing this?



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Argument in rest stop she is wearing a pink sweater with NO bra, v-neck and black shorts. She is wearing the same thing when they pull her out of the ground, BUT when they lay her down she is wearing the DRESS from the before the rest area. I am watching it ON PAUSE right now. I am NOT wrong. When they lay her down she is in the DRESS. Am I the ONLY one seeing this?


I shall have to re investigate that...




Son of a BITCH! You're absolutely right! Damn man, you got good eyes!

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