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River Of Darkness (2011)

DVD Cover (Echo Bridge Entertainment)
Genres:
Horror, Slasher Film, Supernatural Horror
Director:
Bruce Koehler Bruce Koehler
Starring:
Kurt Angle Kurt Angle
S. William Hinzman S. William Hinzman
Kevin Nash Kevin Nash
Sid Eudy Sid Eudy
Bill Laing Bill Laing

2.1 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Review by Chad
Added: May 22, 2011
I was at work the other day, and I heard a couple of guys talking about River of Darkness - the horror movie starring a couple of wrestlers that was being promoted a few years ago. It's out now, obviously, and I heard the guy talking about how he got it out of Redbox because he wanted to see the wrestlers, and he also talked about how much it absolutely sucked. I came home and did a little digging, and I found a bunch of reviews that all said the same general thing: it's a very popular Redbox rental, everyone came to see the wrestlers in action, and everyone hated it. So, figuring that maybe wrestling fans and Redbox renters just weren't too supportive of indie horror, I gave the film the benefit of the doubt and decided to check it out. After all, I am a wrestling fan and would like to see those guys tear some shit up, so I picked it up from my local Redbox kiosk and... well, you might see where this is going.

Kurt Angle stars as Will Logan, the sheriff of a small town that is about to get hit with a string of violent murders. You see, there used to be a group of drifters living around these parts, and since nobody particularly cared for them hanging around, one of the town's ladies accused them of raping her. A lynch mob was quickly formed, the three guys were killed, and that was that. Unfortunately, the trio - Jayden (Kevin Nash), Johan (Sid Eudy, aka Psycho Sid, aka Sid Vicious), and Joseph (Bill Laing) - have returned from the dead to claim vengeance on the town that killed them. Their main target? Harvey Hix (S. William Hinzman), the man who formed that lynch mob, and the town cook (Ray Lloyd, aka WCW's Glacier) is convinced that they should just hand him over. Logan, however, is convinced that more peaceful methods are the order of the day. The body count (slowly) rises, and it all ends in a final showdown between good and evil.

Those of you who came to see the rasslers are going to be sorely disappointed, unless it was only Kurt Angle that you were interested in. Kurt is the star of the show here and has plenty of screen-time, but as for Nash and Sid... well, Nash speaks a grand total of two words and utters a couple of grunts, while Sid doesn't even get that much. In fact, the two are barely in the movie: although I didn't count, it would be a fair guess to say that they have a grand total of two minutes of screen-time throughout the entire film. They spend that time giving mean faces and occasionally stabbing people, so you can take that as you will.

As for Kurt, well... the man can't act, to be blunt about it. I've always enjoyed watching him wrestle and he can cut a decent promo in the ring, but movies simply aren't his thing. Watching him attempt it almost made me recoil in pain, but to be fair, nobody else in the movie turned in an award-winning performance either. Surprisingly, I would actually say that Glacier - excuse me, Ray Lloyd - turned in the best performance of the movie as the stereotypical good ol' boy, but it wasn't exactly a "great" performance... just better than the rest.

Putting all of that aside, how did the movie itself fare? Let's ignore the horrible acting, and let's pretend that the wrestlers weren't even involved. Even with those conditions, River of Darkness is still a mediocre movie. It is as padded as can be, with huge chunks of time going by where nothing remotely interesting is happening. To give you an example, there is a sequence of three or four scenes where the only thing that we see is Kurt asking various people about what they think is going on. I could understand this if the film were some epic mystery, but it's a simple horror flick: people were killed, ghosts want revenge, ghosts fuck people up. Listening to random townsfolk attempt to explain this is necessary to a point, but doing it time and time again is just lazy. Also, the less said about the gore and makeup effects, the better.

Overall, I just can't recommend the film, and I believe that the negative reviews were warranted in this case. You will not enjoy this if you just wanted to see Nash and Sid in a horror flick, you'll be disappointed if you wanted to see Kurt Angle in a horror flick, and as a standalone supernatural horror movie, it's pretty damned weak. 4/10.
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