First things first I have no clue why Shockwave Darkside 3D was at FrightFest. Seriously it’s a pure Sci-Fi action film with no horror elements in it at all, perfect for the Sci-Fi London Film Festival but in no way a good pick for FrightFest where the majority of the audience I watched it with walked straight out after the first 15 minutes.
Which brings me to my second point, which is that Shockwave Darkside 3D is utter crap.
A stupid story, badly scripted, awfully acted all thrown together in dark and dull 3D featuring some terrible 90’s computer generated special effects.
Worst of all is that I can see what writer and director Jay Weisman was desperately trying to do and utterly failed to achieve, which was create a totally immersive Sci-Fi film complete with a complex world of disparate and different warriors and cultures. By featuring multiple scenes from the heads up display of the characters and machines the idea is to make you feel right in the thick of the action. All of these ideas are great but none of them work.
What we get instead is a mess of a movie, visually and verbally incomprehensible and immensely frustrating to watch. I think the gist is that there are two warring factions, one believing in religion and one believing in nothing who are fighting it out on the moon because… Um… something about God and nuclear bombs?
Seriously though, Shockwave Darkside 3D is that hard to follow that you will either give up (as most people did in the screening that I attended) or get to the end and still have no clue, much like me. One major problem is that the script is full of invented terms and slang – again a great idea if it’s well done but fracking annoying and irritating if it’s not.
When it’s not made up gobbledygook the dreadful dialogue is a fromage fest of cheesy action movie clichés. This serves as yet another element to further alienate you from the human cast you already feel disconnected from because of their terrible acting, unclear action, lack of story and the fact you are wearing stupid plastic 3D glasses.
And let’s talk about the effects shall we? It’s all well and good to say “they did really well considering the low budget” but also how about DON’T BOTHER UNTIL YOU CAN AFFORD TO MAKE IT LOOK BETTER. The space suits look like they are made from cardboard boxes painted grey, the sets look like something left over from Space: 1999 which was made in 1975 and the alien crafts look like bad computer game graphics.
In fact the comparison to a computer game is the final space nail in Shockwave Darkside 3D’s space coffin. Ultimately why would you sit through 87 minutes of P.O.V laser gun fights and cockpit camera UFO blasting when you can play 9 hours of a first person shooter that looks and feels far more real and is infinitely more engaging and entertaining.
It pains me to blow apart Jay Weisman’s Shockwave Darkside 3D because I am sure he put a lot of effort, money and love into the project and his vision was an interesting and bold one. However it pained me more to watch the piece of crap he produced from start to finish so I feel we are even.
Shockwave Darkside 3D more like shocking waste of time if you ask me!