Darren (Joe Mayes) is fucked up six ways to Sunday. He’s the type of guy that gets his kicks violently brutalizing (as opposed to the less common passive brutalization) rando folks and stealin’ their shit…you know, a real lovable feller. Anyway, such is life for the d-man until one day he is offered a choice that could change his life and set him on a new path. Will he fuck up this choice? i’m not gonna say…but, this is Darren we are speaking of…
Filmed in stark black and white, Dark Punch is an exceptionally grim and gritty journey down the path of a man with severe mental issues just lashing out at the world as he sees fit with zero regard for anyone. the world presented by Writer/Director Nadim Tebyanian is a cold and cruel one, both in actions and locations…and speaking of the latter, the wooded areas, train tracks and country roads all co-mingle and present the viewer with a sense of unease and loneliness, an environment that truly mirrors the existence of the main character. And what a character he is; Darren as played by Mayes is a cruel sadist, but almost impossibly comes of as an underdog and anti-hero that the audience actually begins to care about, before the next violent deed (presented with some squick and gore) turns the tide again.
On the negative side, while Dark Punch does present horrible deeds, it is not a straight up fright flick by any means…experimental, artistic, often disturbing for sure…but true horror hounds expecting a slash happy bloodbath would be advised to turn their attention elsewhere.
If you are looking for somethin’ to throw in after your 8ooth viewing of Maniac or Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer, then Dark Punch would fit the bill nicely in tone if not in body count…a bleak portrait of a cruel psycho that still manages to be engaging.