Thursday, 2 March 2017

Dark City (5 Stars)

This is one of the best films ever made, if we turn a blind eye to the horrible voiceover at the beginning, a blunder that was fortunately removed in the Director's Cut. I included "Dark City" in my list of 30 films to watch before you die, so if you haven't seen it yet I have only one question: Why not?

Rather than write any more about the film today I'll point out a few details that you might miss if you only watch it casually. It has to do with some newspaper clippings that John Murdock finds in his coat pocket concerning a serial killer who has been murdering prostitutes. All of the following screenshots can be enlarged by clicking on them.

In the first newspaper clipping the headline reads "Killer Strikes Again", but carry on reading. The text of the article has nothing to do with a serial killer, it's about a battle between America and Japan in World War Two.

The headline of the second newspaper clipping is "Hunt for Murderer Continues", but the article's text is very curious.

A very casual woman and a man that didn't mind were very much in evidence in the police records lately. An old hatter near Castlemaine came home to find his domicile invaded by a strange woman. He admitted that he didn't mind, and next day she proposed that he should give her a legal status as his wife. As he was still indifferent, the banns were called, but before their conclusion the lady was missing.

Eventually he found her habitating with with another man. He still didn't mind, and allowed that he was willing to marry her, but before the wedding day had arrived the bride wandered into matrimony with another casual stranger, and brought the husband in to live with the late intended. He didn't mind, and continued that way until the newcomer decided to turn him out and did it in a half minute.

Very strange. The same text is repeated in the next column.

The third newspaper clipping has the headline "Street Walker Killer still at large", but read on. The article's text is the same story of the man who didn't mind that was in the second clipping. Was the man who didn't mind a killer?

The fourth newspaper clipping has the headline "Police Baffled by Murders". I'm more baffled why the article about the man who didn't mind is repeated yet again.

The fifth newspaper clipping is perhaps the most interesting. The headline reads "Killer Stalks City's Street Walkers", but the article's text has nothing to do with the murders. The picture is too blurred to read much of the article, but one paragraph is clear in the second column:

Of no less importance was the common recognition shown of the fact that any menace from without to the peace of our continents concerns all of us and therefore property is a subject for consideration and cooperation. This was reflected in the instruments adopted by the conference.

Does that sound familiar to you? I recognised it straight away. It's the same text that's written in the newspaper in "Basic Instinct" and "A Horse For Danny".

There are only five words I can use to describe these five newspaper texts.

Sloppy. Sloppy. Sloppy. Sloppy. Sloppy.

Order from
Order from
Order from


  1. Very enjoyable stuff. Kiefer is drastically different to his normal roles, and really does fine work. Rufus Sewell is a great thesp, and really draws the viewer into his character's journey. But for some reason I don't really need to see this film too many times. Perhaps the whole mystery angle is part of this.

    1. I understand what you mean about the mystery element. I've heard people say that they loved "The Sixth Sense" when they first saw it, but it lost its effect on repeated viewing. That's not the case with me. Even if I know what's going to happen, when I watch a film I can put myself into the frame of mind that it's new for me, however often I may have watched it before. Sometimes a film is even better the second time I watch it, because I see clues leading up to the mystery's solution that I missed on first viewing. "Tag" is a good example. Every time I watch it it gets better, even though I know how everything will be explained in the last 15 minutes.


Tick the box "Notify me" to receive notification of replies.