Dark City (1998)
Directed by Alex Proyas. Starring Rufus Sewell, Jennifer Connelly, William Hurt and Kiefer Sutherland.
What's it about?
John Murdoch (Sewell) wakes up in a bathtub with no memory of who he is. There is a dead hooker in the next room. The phone rings and Dr. Schreber (Sutherland) tells him to run. And run he does. The cops want to bring him in, suspecting that he's a serial killer. A group of men called "The Strangers" want him for more nefarious purposes. And the city itself, a nightmare world of constant darkness, is hiding something. This is the story of how Murdoch finds that something.
Why should you watch it?
Because it's director Alex Proyas and screenwriter David S. Goyer earning a lifetime of me not hating them for future projects. Because Sewell makes a genuinely sympathetic and intriguing hero. Because William Hurt wears a fedora and acts like he's Bogey. Because it's Kiefer Sutherland giving a Peter Lorre inspired honest-to-God character actor performance. Because it's before Jennifer Connelly went anorexic on us and she looks stunning. Because The Strangers are among the creepiest movie villains of all time. Because the story is creepy, crazy, weird and wonderful. Because that story is also entirely original, blending science fiction, horror and film noir into something truly unique. Because the production design looks like it was torn straight out of a silent German Expressionist film. Because the visual style inspired countless movies of the past decade, including the far more famous The Matrix.
Because it's one of my favorite films of all time.
Seek out the director's cut. There are not many changes, but the few that are there make a great film even greater. Most well-stocked video rental joints seem to carry this movie and I've seen the DVD at Best Buy for ten bucks, so there really aren't any excuses to skip this one!
See you on Monday!
Past Movie Club Entries:
Right At Your Door
The Man Who Fell to Earth