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DARKLANDS, which has been sited by UK critics as laying the foundation of the British horror revival follows a newspaper reporter investigating the death of a steelworker killed in an industrial accident who uncovers a conspiracy involving paganism, witchcraft and human sacrifice.
Starring Craig Fairbrass (Cliffhanger), Jon Finch (Frenzy) and Rowena King (Wild Saragossa Sea) DARKLANDS is frequently compared to Robin Hardy’s 1970’s cult classic THE WICKER MAN but the writer/director also acknowledges a debt to Roman Polanski’s ROSEMARY’S BABY.
DARKLANDS which won the Melies D’Argent for Best European Fantasy Film in 1997 launched the directing career of Julian Richards who went on to helm SILENT CRY, THE LAST HORROR MOVIE, SUMMER SCARS and SHIVER, whilst its producer Paul Brooks produced SHADOW OF THE VAMPIRE, WHITE NOISE and HAUNTING IN CONNETICUT.
“DARKLANDS was never released in the US because the sales agent representing the film went bust and the production company changed ownership, so nobody knew who controlled the rights” said sales agent, Rosana Coutinho of Jinga Films. “It took a decade to sort out chain of title, but finally after fifteen years, this cult British film can be appreciated by a North America audience”.
“I remember being approached by Roger Corman at Pifan Film Festival in Korea wanting to acquire the film for the US” said Richards “It was an incredible honor but also very frustrating because we could not clear the rights”.
“Darklands was the first British film to combine horror with social realism, a genre watershed which paved the way for the revival of UK horror in the 21st century” said MJ Simpson, author of Urban Gothic: The Modern British Horror Film. “Dark, gritty, contemporary and urban, Julian Richards’ debut reinvented British horror movies. Without this film, there would be no 28 Days Later, no Shaun of the Dead, no Dog Soldiers.”