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Dark Heaven

Dark Heaven (2002) Movie Poster
  •  USA  •    •  87m  •    •  Directed by: Douglas Schulze.  •  Starring: Jon Bennett, Christina Sheldon, Jeff Boerger, Christopher Miller, Lizzy Russell, Alex Safi, John Corrigan, Mark C. Schwarz.  •  Music by: Bob Steward.
      The apocalypse has befallen the planet and only one detective with the power of heaven on his side can save the survivors from the hellish inferno that awaits them.


Image from: Dark Heaven (2002)
Image from: Dark Heaven (2002)
Image from: Dark Heaven (2002)
Image from: Dark Heaven (2002)
Image from: Dark Heaven (2002)
With this caption starts the movie. However, this Bible quote is taken completely out of context. Because Matthew 13:40-42 says: "What you are about to see will make 'Men In Black' seem like 'Gone With the Wind'. Have fun."

An Italian-looking cop finds himself as the only man left on Earth. (Well, maybe not the last man, but certainly the last big-nosed cop.) We are instantly reminded of classics such as "Quiet Earth" and "Omega Man", except, of course, that these movies weren't made by people who normally do porn during their office hours. The cop sees that the streets are deserted - and I had to wonder at this point how the hell this low-budgety little film's director managed to shoot deserted street scenes! That stuff isn't exactly cheap or easy to film. Maybe they gassed whole neighbourhoods, dumped the sleeping inhabitants into special Z-movie containers, and then did a quick take before the real cops (the Irish-looking ones) smelled something was fishy.

Anyway... Our brave cop turns out to be an atheist who used to be a believer, hence we know he must be: 1) punished for being an atheist, and 2) converted back into believing. But before this can happen, he needs to go through a series of chilling scenes that should have you trembling with horror. He meets all sorts of badly dressed demons, angels and dull men, while scenes weave into each other with elegant ease. The editing is masterful. It is sublime. It is pastiched-together with the kind of glue one gets for free in school, but the result is some damn thing to behold! These demons are just as dull as the humans he meets, but at least the humans will talk to him - even though he's a cop - which is more than can be said for the angelo-demons, the arrogant uncommunicative bastards that they are, who seem to be playing a very, very clever game of hide-and-seek with our confused cop. (Though not as confused as us viewers.) He only gets to see glimpses of them, but they disappear before he can arrest them for bad costuming. At one point our cop finds a demon getting ready to decapitate a hu-man, and guess what the cop says? "Police Officer, drop your weapon!". That's my favourite scene. Why? Because the director so cleverly shows us that the cop still has his sense of humour intact, in spite of the awful predicament he found himself in - which I think is a very powerful message to make. Telling a demon to drop his "weapon", so that he'd avoid an even bigger jail term when charges of first-degree manslaughter are brought in, also shows the cop's compassion for all the demons of this world. He doesn't like them, of course, but he would like to prevent them from ruining their mortal, brief lives with a 25-ta-life kind of prison term.

After that, there's more hide-and-seek, some flashbacks with a vaguely cute blonde that both dies and loses the cop's baby at birth in a badly managed hospital with only three staff members; there are many more scenes with innovative editing, and some more demons teasing the cop to try and find them in this maze that is called "Dark Heaven". In an earlier scene, a demon-angel tells the cop "Follow me!", but the cop fails to follow him well enough, hence doesn't catch him. That was just one of many rounds that demons and angels won against the hapless cop in this bizarre game of "catch-me-if-you-can".

In the end, two demon-angels fight each other over something the director forgot to tell us about. The winner in this CGI-extravaganza of a duel is - SHOCK! - not a demon but the film's priest! This soooooo came out of left field. Congrats to the writerproducerdirector, One called Schulze (THE One), for including all these totally unpredictable plot-twists. However, even this twist paled in comparison with the amazingly original and TOTALLY UNEXPECTED it-was-all-just-a-dream end-scene. Schulze is a visionary, that much is certain. I'm sure every woman who sees this film (i.e. all 8 of them) will want to have his babies when they finish watching the film. Let's just hope they can give birth in a better-equipped hospital than the one in DH...

On a less serious note, the movie has a great soundtrack. Like porno music mixed with New Age meditation music mixed in with an amateur black metal Norwegian Satanic cult chanting "oooooooo". The look of the movie is terrific, too: you might be reminded of home-video footage you made while drunk at your last year's family reunion. The plot is complex; in fact it is so complex that only one man on Earth - and I think we can all agree none of us would mind if he was ever to become last man on Earth - can understand the plot and that is of course the movie's brilliant creator, Schulze. The One.

Have fun.

Review by Fedor Petrovic (fedor8) from the Internet Movie Database.