Dark Nemesis is a fantasy action film written, directed and produced by Drew Maxwell starring Kyle Walsh, Aaron Farb and Debra Lopez but do not believe the cover as there are no dragons here and the castle is actually a nice looking old world farm house.
Film making 1/5
Bonus Features 0/5
Total .5/5 Stars
Entire battle scenes filmed in green screen, audio that sounds like it’s recorded in a studio and cheesy fight scenes lead off this low budget fantasy film. Dark Nemesis seems a mixed bag to be sure but the film taken as w hole is only mildly entertaining more as an instructional about what not to do in a movie.
In a post-apocalyptic world centering somewhere near Seattle, Washington Xan and a group of warriors battle for their feudal warlord but they have a plan to escape his cruel tyranny. During the confusion after a battle the group will steal the silver the lord is fighting for and escape through the Shadowlands, supposedly inhabited by a monster.
The warlord sends a group of female assassins after the men but they really do not know what Xan has planned in his escape, he has actually met the monster when he was a child. The group comes to find that the monster is somehow repelled by the silver that they have and even one of the group mentions that other monsters like werewolves were afraid of this metal as well.
The filming is so varied that you just cannot take the movie serious at any point, going from green screen scene to open wood lands but with no ambient sounds of a forest at all. The voices are obviously from a recording studio and quite clear even when the group is sitting outside in a wooded glade but with no woodland sounds at all.
The assassins are also pretty cheesy with white plastic masks in a time when technology has regressed to swords and spears. The film is just so back and forth with good and bad that it gets to be a sad film in the end, it just is not good enough to bother with and the creature effects are probably the worst part.
The monsters are supposed to be these mutated flying bats but they are clay figures shot on a green screen and it is very obvious that the creatures are not part of the same world as the actors. One scene illustrates my points and a few others precisely with poor direction and pretty sad graphics.
The men are stalking the creatures walking down the middle of large rooms while the creatures skulk in the shadows above and around them. Why not walk with your back to a side wall and always have that wall as your guard so the creatures cannot surround you or get at your back.
Dark Nemesis uses such old clichés and tired filming techniques that it is very hard to take it as a serious work or even a good attempt at a low budget movie. Audio and video are not that great even though the film is on Blu-ray with not only the problems mentioned but others to boot.
Drew Maxwell is the films, producer, writer, director and editor along with just about everything else involved with getting a movie to the store, yes this skipped cinema entirely. While ambitious and even dedicated I think he just takes on too much with trying to use old techniques in old ways without trying to make a better film.
It would have been one thing to use green screen shots and clay animation if you somehow blended them better or used some sort of technique to not highlight how low a budget you had. It just seemed like Drew copied the old filming ways of tired monster movies and even borrowed his plot from some of those films as well.
Video is a very mixed bag from bad filming and terrible effects to the too obvious green screen use so you don’t have a very good looking film even before the transfer to Blu-ray. The transfer seems pretty good and looks fine but the obvious problems with the low budget does not make for a good looking film.
Audio is in 5.1 Dolby Digital Sound but the films sound is terrible to start with, poor use of recorded, obvious stage voice for most of the scenes is the start of the problems. The sound effects are pretty good but obvious mistiming like one scene where a soldier skewers a monster and the sound of the blade slicing into it comes a split second later highlights the troubles.
The film did not get rated by the ESRB but fortunately the package does have a warning about adult situations, language and violence but the other side of the package is the bigger problem. They show a dragon, a big dragon with a knight in armor and a castle in the background between the dragons wings but nowhere in the film is there a dragon, a knight in armor or a castle.
I’m just annoyed at the cover from the very start with its fire breathing dragon which is nowhere to be seen in the movie at all. Dark Nemesis starts you off believing right from the front cover that knights and dragons are part of the movie but inside all you get is some eight foot tall flying bats with teeth.
As you would expect there are no extras on the Blu-ray disc at all, only the trailer for the film which is actually a pretty good representation of what is in the movie. They give you good shots of the poor green screens, a few of the bad fighting scenes and some of the open filming in obviously nice locations but no dragons or knights in armor.
I highly recommend you skip this film unless you want to harken back to the 1970’s with clay animation monsters getting poked with spears from poorly acted guys. Dark Nemesis may be a low budget attempt at a good story but the films cover really highlights the fact that what is on the cover is not necessarily inside.
Dark Nemesis @ Amazon