Dark Country DVD Review: Thomas Jane Gets Punished

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What happens in Vegas in no way stays in Vegas for its unfortunate characters, in the paranormal noir honeymoon horror road movie, Dark Country. Thomas Jane beats himself up, so to speak, as the director and also star of this erotic chiller. And more than enough so, to make you wonder what the Punisher and Hung star may have ingested with some possibly hallucinatory-laced Halloween season candy.

Simultaneously surreal and macabre in the extreme, Dark Country finds sexually frisky bottom feeder newlyweds Richard (Thomas Jane) and casino dealer Gina (Lauren German) waking up in a fleabag Vegas motel after getting married on the fly the night before. Barely acquainted beyond stranger sex, the couple heads back to LA across an increasingly nightmarish desert after dark, to beat the heat of day. But when they pick up a ghoulish stranger after accidentally running him over on the highway, there’s a lot more than sexual sparks flying on this journey.

Dark Country is hypnotic and mystifying storytelling, but perhaps not for those who insist on logic with their gore. And Jane is impressively adept at conjuring an imaginary yet gritty world of pastel drenched cheap motels with literally raw cola beverage dispensers; Beethoven as surprisingly interstate erotic stimulant, who knew; and nearly occult overnight landscapes that could only exist in diabolical dreams.

What a way to start a honeymoon, dispatching bad and good guy bodies alike to the afterlife and back along the way. And with never disappointing Ron Perlman (Hellboy) on hand as a creepy highway cop, barely back from his stint as a sinister monk in I Sell The Dead.

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

Rated R

3 stars

DVD Features: Audio Commentary with Director/Actor Thomas Jane, Screenwriter Tab Murphy and Producer Patrick Aiello; Journey to Dark Country Making Of Featurette.

Prairie Miller is a New York multimedia journalist online, in print and radio, who reviews movies and conducts in-depth interviews. She can also be heard on WBAI/Pacifica National Radio Network’s Arts Express.