Feb 192024

Darkman is a cheesy but really fun throwback to the B-movie horror days of Hollywood. Liam Neeson is wonderful and turns in a great performance considering the amount of make-up he had to work under.



— Collector’s Edition —

Genre(s): Science Fiction, Action, Horror
Shout Factory | R – 96 min. – $39.98 | February 20, 2024

Date Published: 02/19/2024 | Author: The Movieman


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Directed by: Sam Raimi
Writer(s): Sam Raimi (story), Chuck Pfarrer and Sam Raimi & Ivan Raimi and Dan Goldin & Joshua Goldin (screenplay)
Cast: Liam Neeson, Frances McDormand, Colin Friels, Larry Drake, Ted Raimi

Features: Audio Commentaries, Interviews,  Featurette, Still Galleries, Promotional Materials
Slip Cover: Yes
Digital Copy: No
Formats Included: 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray
Number of Discs: 2

Audio (4K/BD): English (DTS-HD MA 5.1), English (DTS-HD MA 2.0)
Video (4K): 2160p/Widescreen 1.85
Video (BD): 1080p/Widescreen 1.85
Dynamic Range: HDR10, Dolby Vision
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Codecs: HEVC / H.265 (4K), MPEG-4 AVC (BD)
Region(s): A, B, C

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Blog Post.
The opinions I share are my own.

Note #1: The screen captures were taken from the included Blu-ray disc.
Note #2: Portions of this was copied from my 2014 Blu-ray review.

THE MOVIE — 3½/5

Dr. Peyton Westlake (LIAM NEESON) is on the verge of realizing a major breakthrough in the creation of synthetic skin when his laboratory is blown up by gangsters led by Robert Durant (LARRY DRAKE). Having been burned beyond recognition and forever altered by an experimental medical procedure, Westlake becomes known as Darkman, assuming identities in his quest for revenge and a new life with his former love, reporter Julie Hastings (FRANCES MCDORMAND) who is hot on the story of corruption by a billionaire businessman (COLIN FRIELS).

Quick Hit Review: Sam Raimi’s foray into the superhero subgenre and while hardly perfect with quirky editing and less than stellar camera work, the story of Darkman is a fun throwback to the B-movie era of Hollywood with cheesy dialogue and wonky, yet still impressive, make-up effects. Liam Neeson’s performance is also impressive especially when you consider the numerous scenes he has to act behind cloth and make-up and those sequences as himself, you really see his devolution into madness. Frances McDormand for her part is fine as the love interest but the highlight is Larry Drake as the ruthless gangster.

In the end, Darkman is a fun little movie with some great action scenes and admittedly tacky green screen shots though those only add to the movie’s charm and B-movie origins. It also is fun to watch and see some of the same elements Raimi would bring to the Spider-Man franchise.



This release comes with a matted slip cover.

Audio Commentaries:

  • Director of Photographer Bill Pope is mostly informative giving first-hand information on the production. Would’ve been nice if he were joined by Sam Raimi, however.
  • Filmmaker and Darkman superfan Josh Ruben showcases his love for the movie and character.


  • Liam Neeson (7:26) – This new interview, which is not listed on the back cover, with Neeson has the actor talking about how he got the role, his thoughts on the character and working with Sam Raimi.
  • The Name is Durant with Larry Drake (15:59) is a new interview with Drake as he chats up about his role and recounts his time on the movie which he seemed to genuinely enjoy.
  • The Face of Revenge (13:21) is an interview with special make-up creator Tony Gardner.
  • Henchman Tales (12:57) covers right-hand goons played by Dan Bell and Danny Hicks with newly recorded interviews (separately) talking about how they got their roles.
  • Dark Design (16:46) looks at the designs of the movie with interviews with production designer Randy Ser and art director Philip Dagort.
  • Frances McDormand (10:50) finds the actress discussing her time working on the film and her character.
  • Cast and Crew Interviews (8:59) are some old interviews some of which was used or intended to be used in the old featurette.
  • Vintage Interview Gallery contains footage for Colin Friels (12:14), Frances McDormand (20:43), Liam Neeson (28:02) and Sam Raimi (23:09).

Darkman Featurette (6:26) is a vintage feature with on-set interviews as the cast and crew chat about the movie.

Also included is the Theatrical Trailer (1:47), TV Spots (4:24) and a Stills Gallery.


4K VIDEO – 4¾/5, BLU-RAY VIDEO – 4½/5

Darkman debuts on 4K Ultra HD with a new 2160p high-definition transfer, restored from the original negative and approved by Sam Raimi and Bill Pope (this is for the Blu-ray as well). Detail on this was incredibly sharp while the cheesy green screen effects are shown with excellent clarity. The natural film grain was still intact giving this some great texture.

AUDIO – 3½/5

The disc includes both a 5.1 and 2.0 DTS-HD Master Audio tracks which is a mixed bag. The dialogue sounds clear coming from the center channel and Danny Elfman’s thrilling score makes good use of the front and rear channels, however when we get into the action sequences (such as the explosion), the track is a bit flat with no depth and mostly relegated to the center speaker.


Darkman is a cheesy but really fun throwback to the B-movie horror days of Hollywood. Liam Neeson is wonderful and turns in a great performance considering the amount of make-up he had to work under while Sam Raimi, far from perfect direction, shows what would come with his Spider-Man franchise. Although not a great movie, it’s still well worth watching even if some of the visual effects, even for 1990, were laughable.



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