Darkman is a 1990 superhero flick directed and co-written by Sam Raimi, one of our Horror Movie Heroes.
The film is based on a short story Raimi wrote that paid homage to Universal’s horror films of the 1930s.
On this episode of the Really Awful Movies Podcast, a deep dive into Darkman and what makes it so f-ing memorable.
Peyton Westlake is a scientist who has discovered a way to produce synthetic skin. First off, you gotta love crazed scientist movies. That conceit alone carries many a genre film, especially the ones that influenced Raimi and company here.
Dr. Westlake’s discovery could revolutionist skin grafting, except for one minor kink they’ve gotta work out: the synthetic skin degrades after 100 minutes of exposure to light. Whoops. When gangsters attack Peyton, he is horrifically burnt, and left for dead. In his quest for revenge, Peyton, aka the Darkman, is able to take on the appearance of anyone (using the synthetic skin,) but with that time constraint.
Your hosts Chris and Jeff discuss similarities to the Batman franchise, happy endings and the dark spirit of Darkman’s aesthetic.
This film is early in Liam Neeson’s career. He was not the first choice for Dr. Westlake. They considered Bill Paxton (not to be confused with Bill Pullman!). Raimi felt Neeson was the right fit to show the monster’s soul. The film also features Larry Drake as the villain. He’s best known for Dr. Giggles and many other roles.
Tune in for smart genre chat on our show!