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Dark Rising (2007)

by on 2010/08/17

Canadians are often stereotyped as an excessively polite, tidy, pinkies-up, puritanical people.

Dark Rising, a 2007 Canadian independent film written and directed by Andrew Cymek, takes your tidy and polite, stuffs it in a bikini, and sends it on a sexy camping party complete with lesbian witches, an oozing demon and a black-booted babe from another dimension.

Let’s start with the really important stuff: the buxom beauty on the DVD cover. She rocks a leather thong and metal bikini. With skin the colour of whipped cream, sparkling green eyes and black hair, she also wields a mighty battle-axe.

That’s Summer Vale (Brigitte Kingsley) and she’s been sucked into the dry-ice-and-green-laser beyond because her bookish dad didn’t have enough sense to leave dark text translation well enough alone.  Summer grows to maturity in this dark dimension where she spends most of her days writhing sexily in a sports bra on a medical slab.

While not enjoying her medical restraints, she spends the rest of her time leashed like a Rottweiler in a tiny holding pen.

This nurturing environment makes her a strong and resourceful warrior, something something.

Meanwhile back in Canada, a love-lorn lad Jason (Landy Cannon) sits around whining about his ex Jasmine (Vanessa James). He wonders who in history would have words to describe his pain. “Shakespeare? Kevin Smith? ….no, wait Nickleback!”

This line is as succinct a summing up of Jason’s character as I could have written in several hundred words.

But wait, there’s hope for the vapid, blonde, hair-product-ridden Jason. He’s invited to a reunion weekend with his old high school friends, complete with his lost-love Jasmine. Unfortunately, since their break up Jasmine’s turned rutting lesbian horndog and Wiccan dabbler.

Together with her friend Renee (Julia Schneider), a pretty little bookworm, and her lover Marlene (Haley Shannon), Jasmine gets set to toy unsympathetically with the affections of unsympathetic Jason and his unsympathetic best friend Ricky (Jason Reso).

Yep, I didnay care for any of them. Even while they were topless.

But back to the story.

On the camping weekend, we find the girls rubbing suntan lotion all over one another and pitching a few tents. But as “practicing Wiccans” they can no more leave dark spells alone than they can each other’s nipples. Bookish Renee, the one with real talent, accidentally summons Summer from the other dimension.

Oh, yeah and a bubbly, gross demon too.

I am forced to recall a line from my Blood: The Last Vampire  review. 50’s Film legend Ray Harryhausen was doing better special effects than Dark Rising’s super demon when grandma was pushing a hoop with a stick (with a stick) for fun.

As the action rages in Dark Rising, it is all bite, bite, bite, stab, stab, stab. Learn, learn, learn. Love, love, love. Jason finds someone who really deserves him. And um, so does Summer.


Now before I come off sounding too harsh about Dark Rising, I will say there are some funny bits. Interesting ideas. And attractive actors. And I’m a sucker for all that’s barbarian and demon slaying.

So I say to my fellow Canadians: Boobs! Dark Rising’s got them.


Rated 18A for boobs, violence

92 minutes

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