Green Apple Entertainment // 2011 // 84 Minutes // Rated R
Reviewed by Judge Daryl Loomis // April 8th, 2011
The hunt is on.
There are many things in the land of the movies that I'd like to see go away, but possibly nothing more so than films starring pro wrestlers. Unless the film is specifically about wrestling, they have no business on the silver screen. Case in point: this piece of garbage. Starring three former world champions and a guy who once wrestled a man over the exclusive use of a crescent kick, River of Darkness is unbelievably bad and, unfortunately, no fun at all.
Olympic Gold Medalist Kurt Angle is Sheriff Will Logan, a man with a heap of trouble on his gnarled, brawny hands. Some of the townsfolk are turning up dead, mutilated with a name carved into their skin. Logan thinks they're simple-minded, but some actually believe it's the return of the Jacobs Boys, gigantic brothers murdered long ago. When Logan starts to get close to the truth, these undead freaks emerge, ready to engage him in the deadliest handicap match ever conceived.
Jeez Louise, Kurt Angle, I love you in the ring, but c'mon! I've watched him cut hundreds of promos over the years, but Angle has never sounded so stupid as he does here. It truly has to be some of the worst acting I've ever seen, and that includes all the children and animals who have acted in film. Had he just pretended he was about to beat up A.J. Styles, he would have been as good as he is on a wrestling program. Even in the worst days of WCW, there was nothing this unconvincing. Don't think the terrible acting comes just from him, though...he's just the one I recognize. We also have Ray Lloyd, who I barely recognized out of his glittering blue tights. The former Glacier, a relative no-name who I remember only because these are the kinds of things I remember, plays Angle's rival, and does a little better because he really cannot do worse. As for the other wrestlers in this picture, Kevin Nash and Sid Vicious, they appear as two of the three murderous zombie brothers...for about nine seconds of screen time. It's probably for the best, as neither has said an interesting word in wrestling for a decade. If this is how Kurt Angle acts, I can't imagine how they read lines. On the other hand, the non-wrestlers are forgiven for their relative cruddiness. They're just bad actors in a bad movie, not millionaire wrestlers looking to cash in on the stupidity of their fans.
If you still care about how this story plays out, stop worrying. The sheriff seems like a pretty decent guy, but nobody likes him. They all think he's a loser, but it's not clear why. After this drama is established, we find out that a group of ghost hunters are on their way to town...for no good reason. One of them, not surprisingly, has a connection to one of the townspeople. They add to the body count, and the whole thing is pretty bloody, so it's got that going for it.
River of Darkness is presented on a serviceable disc and no more. The 2.35:1 anamorphic transfer, Dolby 5.1 audio mix, and a trailer. No real complaints, but the less said about this release the better.
Guilty. I don't care how big a wrestling fan you may be, thie is bound to sicken you.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Green Apple Entertainment
* 2.35:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
Running Time: 84 Minutes
Release Year: 2011
MPAA Rating: Rated R