How can one come across a straight-to-DVD film with Kurt Angle, Kevin Nash and Sid Vicious and NOT watch it? I mean, come on!
The (decidedly bootlegged) version of the disc that I picked up for about $3 proclaimed this to star TNA's Angle, Nash and Vicious. Funny, because I don't remember Sid ever working for Dixie Carter, but whatever, I guess.
River Of Darkness is a slasher film released earlier this year, directed by Bruce Koehler, who is best known for.... well, just this movie (he also has a film starring Angle and Jenna "Remember Me?" Morasca).
I struggle a little bit with how to review this, because it's not a wrestling DVD, per se, even though it kind of is. So perhaps I'll go back to my usual standard and ask the question "Would a wrestling fan enjoy this?"
In a word.... no.
The film takes place in a small town near the harbor, in which Sheriff Will Logan (Angle) is trying to solve an increasingly bizarre series of murders.
For reasons never fully explained to anyone, he's unliked by virtually everyone in the film -- kind of like he is in TNA, only less justifiable.
Everyone from the town yokels at the diner to the crazy church lady to the creepy bait and tackle shopkeeper detest Sheriff Logan and won't give him even the slightest assistance in his investigation. They never really delve into why Logan is so disliked, but you would have to assume for a position that he was elected to, it must be something pretty awful.
The closest we get to uncovering this somewhat crucial story arc is that Logan was competing for the sheriff's post with a man named Clark Higgins (played by Ray Lloyd -- yes, THAT Ray Lloyd). A film with Your Olympic Hero, Big Sexy, Psycho Sid and friggin' Glacier? How can you possibly go wrong?
Anyways, Logan and Higgins detest each other, too. Logan, employing some of the most awkward, stilted conversation this side of Linda McMahon, learns that the evil Jacob Boys, responsible for the biggest crime spree ever and - this part is kind of important - killed many years ago, may just be behind the murders. Um, somehow.
By the way, if I were the Sheriff of a ridiculously small town and there was a legendary killing spree, even if it happened years before I arrived, I'd probably know something about it. Just sayin'.
The Jacob Boys are Nash, Vicious and Some Other Guy (I keep hoping to find out it's Abyss) and they are shown to be the murderers this time around, too, killing townsfolk in a very brutal manner.
Other subplots include Higgins trying to enforce martial law (and who knew that Coach Buzz Stern would be the best actor of the bunch?), and a group of spunky teenagers trying to catch ghosts. Neither of which really goes anywhere.
The film's big scene features a confrontation between Logan and the Jacob Boys (which would have been a main event in any arena in the country, assuming the year was 2000). When Logan tries to kill the Jacob Boy better known as Big Daddy Cool by shooting him, the zombie offers his one film of the film: "Already dead."
This leads to a scene in which Higgins and his buddy kidnap an evil old man the Jacob Boys wanted to kill (did I mention that part? Don't worry - neither did anyone else). Logan tries to stop Higgins from sacrificing the evil old man, but he can't even do THAT right, which more or less leads to the end of the film.
Oh, and the evil old man? He was the father of the ghost-hunting teenager, not that that's even remotely pertinent to the plot.
So getting back to my initial point, is this film watchable, even in an ironic way? Let me say for the record, F*ck no!
The $3 DVD price tag for this masterpiece actually turned out to be too steep; the film isn't even worth holding onto for ironic purposes, and I've seen porn with more believable acting in it.
I'd recommend you avoid this one like the plague, a plague that apparently turns a couple of oversized former WWF and WCW World Champions into half-dead zombies.