PLATFORM: 4K BLU-RAY | RELEASE DATE: AUGUST 17TH
In the year 2000, David Tuohy’s low budget sci-fi horror Pitch Black introduced the world, for better or worse, to the charms of the bullet-headed Vin Diesel. It’s the role he was born to play but we can’t help wishing he hadn’t felt the need to play it again in two underwhelming sequels that failed to capitalise on the character’s interesting USP.
The spaceship Hunter-Gratzner and its complement of mismatched passengers held in cryostasis is damaged by ‘micrometeoroids’ and crashlands on a nearby desolate planet. Three suns keep the planet in perpetual daylight, but the crash survivors – including Vin’s Richard B. Riddick, a vicious criminal with surgically modified eyes that allow him to see in the dark –soon attract the attention of carnivorous underground-dwelling bat-like predators who are themselves sensitive to light. An eclipse is imminent and the creatures will soon be free to roam and hunt above ground...
Pitch Black is superior B-movie fare and the DNA of Alien courses through nearly every frame, albeit with less engaging characters which makes the first forty minutes or so a chore. But when the creatures arrive and the killings start, the film finds its feet and the group’s battle for survival becomes thrilling and visceral. This new 4K transfer sharply contrasts the bleached brutalism of the daylight sequences and the vivid obsidian dark of the night scenes, and some new featurettes combined with material carried over from earlier releases deliver a satisfyingly definitive presentation of an underrated sci-fi potboiler never likely to attain classic status but always guaranteed to entertain.