Colony of the Dark (1995)
By: Devon B. on February 10, 2012  | 
DVD
Apprehensive Films (USA) | All Regions, NTSC | 1.78:1 (16:9 enhanced) | English DD 5.1 | 81 minutes (Full Specs)
The Movie
Cover Art
Credits
Director: Tom Berna
Starring: Joan Dinco, David Rommel, Anna Zizzo, Susan L. Cane, Arthur Adams
Screenplay: Tom Berna
Country: USA
External Links
IMDB Purchase YouTube
Colony of the Dark is a confusing film. Firstly, I'm not sure whether it's just Colony or if it's Colony of the Dark as it's called one thing on the slick and another on the disc. The title card is just Colony so I guess that's what it was originally intended to be called. Next, I assumed from the 2010 copyright on the back of the cover that Colony was a new film. I was annoyed when I popped it in the player and the film looked like Colony of the Ass - a murky, bleached, grainy mess. I then thought the film must've been "Grindhoused" which is a trend I find much more annoying than "fast zombies" could ever be. The copyright at the end of the film is 1995 and makes reference to Super 8 conversion, though, so this wasn't Grindhoused, it truly was shot on Super 8 film. This left only one befuddling question: If this travesty was left unreleased for 17 years, why did Apprehensive Films decided to inflict it upon us now? That one I haven't been able to answer.

In Colony, a married couple work at a facility that's doing genetic research. The experiment is meant to regenerate tissue in a symbiotic manner, but the latest attempt instead creates a parasite. The married man is having it off with a different co-worker, and his wife eventually finds out. To prevent further transgressions she douses him in bad serum. He copes well when his arm inevitably drops off, but the next morning it seems like it was all a dream. But was it all a dream, or has the parasite just relocated to a different appendage?

Colony is a mash up of a few other, superior films. Because it borrows heavily from Brain Damage and The Thing one can't help but draw comparisons, and Colony isn't on either film's level. Colony also uses a bit of Soul Penis…er, I mean Soul Vengeance, and as a slight plus it is better than that movie.

Colony has some massive pacing issues, and spends far too long setting up the simple plot. At least the film doesn't take itself too seriously, so perhaps its makers were fans of the no-budget wonders being produced by Pirromount. It does have some amusing lines and sight gags, and the monster FX are funny, but the film is too bogged down by padding to retain viewer interest. The film also has a bizarre take on editing that at times is a joke, but a lot of the time is just distracting.

I happily watch a lot of dreck, but when my wife came home and caught me with Colony on I felt embarrassed. Maybe there's a market out there for unreleased, 90s produced, 70s wannabe movies, but God I hope not.
Video
Colony looks ugly as fuck. I used to watch third generation boots of rare films, but was glad when DVD killed the need for them. Colony looks just like one of those expensive tapes. I know it was shot on Super 8, but so were Buttgereit's movies and I don't recall them looking this awful on DVD.
Audio
The dialogue has been recorded later and it's really distracting sounding. It's not quite as bad as Deadly Weapons but still problematic. The sound drops out sometimes and the volume jumps around a bit, so I turned the sound right down and found I was enjoying the movie much more. After a few minutes I realised it was because I could no longer hear anything and my mind was free to wander on to thoughts of more substance, like just why was the werewolf mostly bald in Cross of the 7 Jewels?
Extra Features
The DVD has trailers for Centipede Horror, Deadtime Stories, Last Stop on 13th Street and Naked Massacre.
The Verdict
I would say that Colony of the Dark is one for those that pine for the olden days of exploitation cinema, but that would imply that I think that there might be somebody out there that would enjoy it. I can't imagine such a person existing.
Movie Score
Disc Score
Overall Score

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