Officer Gabriel Goodman (and yes, the name is supposed to be allegorical) comes to on thefloor of his precinct. He is alone, and his watch is running backwards. Strange enough, but thenhe stumbles outside to discover that the city is deserted. He follows a hooded figure, andencounters a priest who is locked out of his own church, and has apparently gone mad. Moreshadowy figures lure Goodman into a school, and he is soon locked in conflict with the priest,mysterious beings, …nd his memories of his wife’s death and his own suicide.
Dark Heaven aims high, what with its post-apocalypse/post-Rapture nightmaresetting, its fragmented narrative, and its wonderfully ominous-looking angels. Its budget isn’t upto its ambitions, however. As well, there isn’t enough plot to fill the running time, so the filmbecomes repetitious, and its climax is botched and confusing.
The sound is 2.0. It is clear, but there are no surround effects at all, and the track might aswell be mono. Distortion, at least, is kept to a minimum, but there is no denying that this is a filmthat would have benefited from a powerful sound.
The picture is presented in 1.85:1 widescreen, but is non-anamorphic. The darker scenes lookquite grainy and show a fair bit of ghosting when the picture is blown up on 16×9 monitors.Brighter scenes look solid, and are reasonably sharp. The contrasts are strong, and the coloursshift from cold to warm as called for.
The commentary by writer/director Douglas Schulze and co-producer Kurt Eli Mayry is agood one, with Schulze in particular plunging deep into matters thematic and technical. Thereare also trailers for Hollow’s End, Nightmare Boulevard and Eyes of Fire.The menu is basic.
A nice try, and ambition is nice to see in low-budget independents. Unfortunately, theexecution falls short of the concept.
Special Features List
- Audio Commentary