Reign in Darkness, where do I begin, well I picked this up for under a fiver and trust me no matter how bad the acting or awful the effects I think this is better than Blade, and I say this as the plot of Reign of Darkness doesn't include a mythical 'vampire blood god'. The general look and feel of this movie is that it's been shot on a hand held camera and made by people who probably just wanted to make a better Blade movie. This movie was shot in Melbourne Australia and this could be guessed by the fact other than one character everyone sounds like an Australian doing a bad American or British accent, though I think the dialogue may have been put in after with the accents due to the lip synch being off on about 70% of the movie. The run times not to long at a little over 90 minutes but the problem is drags out due to the narration by the main character giving us all the exposition he can think of, he's almost always telling us what he's going to do what he's thinking.
So we start off with something that made me go 'What the fuck?' wish is the screen going black and "The virus, K-17, portrayed in this motion picture is believed to be real and existing in our society today." now this K-17 virus is meant to be a virus that turns people into vampire and have close singularities to HIV, but in the movie it's part of a cure they're working on for HIV, now I decided to look up if people believe this virus is real and guess what, people do believe it's true. So there are people out there believing that this K-17 which is like HIV is meant to turn you into an immortal vampire and drink blood, ok two problems with that one even if it's real no government could cover up people getting their throats torn out or neck bitten no matter how hard they tried and two, if the rumors of this virus being manufactured are real, who the hell would make it? Really no government would fun this, not even some shady secret organization that's X-Files-esqe would think 'Hmm making immortal blood drinking soldiers' would be a good idea. Back on track, the movie opens telling us that the main character Micheal Dorn is a scientist working on the cure for HIV using a blood sample from an unknown donor with K-17 to produce RVK-17,( Fore shadowing! ) but what I don't get is how can a virus similar to HIV but that turns people into vampires help cure HIV. We find out that Michael Dorn works with one other scientist and a bounty hunter, who is never fully explained why he's working for a government laboratory, called Lance who by three minute of his dialogue you'll be begging to shut up with the bad American accent. So Michael and Lance go off to find a 'test subject' though more like a victim as unnamed city seem to be infested with AIDs ridden homeless people, because as we all know AIDs makes you homeless. So while trying to inject the tramp with the RVK-17 Michael Dorn is over powered and injected himself. Oh and before I go on, no it's not Michael Dorn the actor who played Worf in Star Trek; The Next Generation, he's a pasty little white dude.
After being injected makes a break for it and decides he should only feed off the scum of the city, which is so cliche I'm not even going to go into it, but this angers 'The Council' yet more cliches. The Council tells Lance to dispose of him, once captured Lance begins to torture him and we find out this vampires other than blood drinking have nothing in common with vampires as they are known, sun, holy water and all that jazz does nothing, only way to kill them is to cut their heart out, but then this makes me wonder, couldn't you cut his head off? Anyway, Michael escapes and shoots Lance in the leg, this angers the council further and they tell Lance to work with an Asian vampire called Gage. Michael mean while tells us he's made a 'Kevlar' chest plate and Kevlar lined trench coat, though looks more like fiberglass chest plate and a leather trench coat. He then goes to his house to get his gun, his sword and a picture of his late wife who was killed by one of the genetic made vampires, he gets the gun, which looks like it's an air soft gun but the sword and picture are gone as his house was ransacked, so he decides he needs to get to an arms dealer and buy 'a fucking arsenal' which amounts to one more handgun. With that he heads off to find another of the scientists that worked with him once he finds him we get a chase scene that looks like he just got the car from a local show room as both are the same make only in differing colours. He catches and kills his friend, this further angers the council who now want Michael brought in alive so he can make more of the virus for the.
Michael meets a homeless man who tells him about the council and armed with this information he goes to off to take them down. Meanwhile, Lance having been screwed over by the council goes in with two big machine guns that would fit more on Chuck Norris in Vietnam than here, and we get a gratutis slow motion firing of him trying to take down the council which does nothing as he just walks out throwing the guns away and going down a lift with Gage as they've now decided to blow the councils lair up. Michael shows up and kicks gauge back into the elevator as Lance exists it and running for his car Michael grabs a katana, which is never explained where he got it. In a scene reminiscent of Raiders of the Lost Ark, Lance pulls out a pistol and fire on Michael knocking him over, then proceeds to walk over and bend over him just to get stabbed with a concealed knife, good job.Gage appears after having gone up in the lift and back down because the hold door button made to much sense and he has Michaels sword, which is just the Kit Rae, Sword of Darkness. He also has the picture of Michaels wife and this really pisses him off, we get a badly done sword fight in which Gage loses and I assume gets his head cut off for the trouble, but does that kill him? Taking his sword back Micheal heads off to face the Council and when he gets there we meet Raphael Ravencroft a British vampire who tells Michael that vampires were once rules of the earth but due to man creating penicillin the vampires bite could be cured, so vampirerisim can be cured by Paracetamol? Didn't know that. Then he babbles how due to mans destructive nature and polluting the world Vampires started to die as they couldn't evolve to deal with carbon monoxide and needed a hyperbolic camber to survive in, then he tells Michael that HIV was created by governments to kill homosexuals and drug users, que the X-Files theme, and the final nail in the coffin that the blood Michael got to work on the RVK-17 was his blood! So there could be made a cure for AIDs to have AIDs free vampires and AIDs free humans for the vampires to feed on, because AIDs can kill Vampires to, after hearing this Michael pulls his guns and Ravencroft scoffs that they won't do anything bu he's informed they are packing Silver Bullets. This leads me to another question, since when did silver effect vampires? Isn't that werewolves? As he blasts the hell out of Council, Ravencroft makes his escape.
After leaving the Council smoldering in their robes, Michael see's the bodies of Lance and Gage have vanished and he jumps in his car and drives out looking at the building before he blows it up with bad effects that don't show up on his cars window, then driving off into the sunset we get an internal monologue about Raphael, Lance and the remaining test subjects still at large his work wasn't done, so he says he needs to make an anti-virus to wipe out vampires finally. It's fades to black before fading back in to a cryotube of RVK-17 and we see Raphaels hand as he takes out the vials, leaving us a cliff hanger for sequels.
The movies not bad, it's enjoyable but it falls in that uncomfy spot of being a good story at the heart, but bogged down with to much narration, bad acting and bad effects, if it had a better writer I'm sure it would have been great even with a low budget all they'd need is to keep it in Australian accents. I'd rather watch this than Blade or Blade 3 any day, thats for sure, no strange blood gods or Dracules named 'Drake' and looking like fucking Satan. Funnily enough I read somewhere awhile back this film was meant to have two more squeals to be a trilogy but due to bad box off sales this was panned, though the movie made millions on DVD, so I don't see why they don't now, but most people will probably not like the movie. If I was to give it out of ten I'd give it a firm five, good movie, but let down by budget and acting. If you have the chance to pick up a copy cheap, get it and I promise it won't be the worst movie you could buy. That honour is reserved for Flight to Hell.