A classic tale of terror from the golden age of Aussie exploitation, Dark Age features outback stalwart John Jarratt (Wolf Creek) as Northern Territory wildlife ranger Steve Harris, a stoic survivor charged with conserving the ever diminishing crocodile population from encroaching hunters, hell-bent on destruction of the species. Faced with formidable opposition from gung-ho hunter John Besser (Max Phipps, Mad Max 2), Steve is joined by girlfriend Cathy (Nikki Coghill, The Time Guardian) and sets out to relocate a giant crocodile to a breeding ground sanctuary, well out of harm’s way. Aided by expert tracker Oondabund (Burnam Burnam, Ground Zero) and Adjaral (David Gulpilil, The Tracker) the intrepid foursome risk life and limb in a terrifying journey that will test their nerves and transform the tranquil Territory waters into a raging red torrent of death.
Though there are several grizzly death scenes, including a particularly rough death of a small child, It would be hard for me to label Dark Age as a “horror” movie, as most killer animal films tend to be. It’s more about the human element of the story here, with the killer croc being the motivating factor for the events that unfold within the film. Jarratt won’t be winning any oscars soon, but it’s easy to see why he would be considered an Aussie genre film favorite. He does have charisma, and in his younger years, he was quite striking. His acting isn’t bad, just a little hammy, as if he’s always a lost. It doesn’t detract from the charm of Dark Age, though, as the story rolls along, it never overstays its welcome, and it always remains interesting.
The Blu-ray itself is a great representation of the film. The picture quality is quite clear, while also retaining the grain structure, as well as any print imperfections. It’s not DNR’ed, at least not noticeably, which is always welcome, and the colors are just vivid enough. The audio is clear as well, though it could be more robust. It’s not muddled, just not as clear as some other movies of the same era have been on their respective Blu-ray releases. There are a few extras, nothing crazy, but they range from featurettes, to audio commentaries, home video trailers, and a still gallery. Umbrella Entertainment’s Blu-ray release of Dark Age is now available, and you can purchase your copy at their website.
- (EXTRA)Audio Commentary with Actor John Jarratt and Executive Producer Antony I. Ginnane-A Bicentenary with Bite: Revisiting “Dark Age”- Panel discussion with film historians Lee Gambin, Alexandra Heller-Nicholas, Emma Westwood and Sally Christie-Uncut Not Quite Hollywood Interviews with John Jarratt and Antony I. Ginnane
- (EXTRA)Living With Crocodiles: 1986 documentary with Grahame Webb, author of ‘Numunwari’, the book which inspired DARK AGE- Trailer and original
- (EXTRA)US release Home Video trailers
- (EXTRA)Image Gallery including rare press and promotional material
- MPEG-4 AVC
- English: Dolby Digital 2.0
- English: Dolby Digital Mono
- English SDH Subtitles