Dark Breed (1996)

Dark Breed DVD CoverTypically uninteresting alien invasion story mixed with an evil government agency’s hidden agenda that’s saved by a healthy dose of Scalia!

Professional macho man Jack Scalia (The Silencers, Endless Descent) plays a guy haunted by his past! But not just any guy! As we’re told by a dude checking out his credentials, Scalia was special forces in Vietnam, winning the Bronze Star, Purple Heart and even the frigging CMH! That’s Congressional Medal of Honor to you liberal pansies who hid in Canada when your country needed you most!

After single-handedly kicking so much ass in Nam that the we didn’t get run out of there in 1970 like we otherwise would have, Scalia signed up for the only other thing a highly decorated guy who doesn’t know any other way to live than at Mach 4 could – astronaut!

Fricking Aquarius II mission to be exact! You remember that one, right? Scalia and other Delta Force astronauts went up to that secret space station no one even knew was up there and mixed it up with a bunch of alien invaders!

Things got so damn harry that Scalia and his crew were fighting those suckers with bayonets! Blade to blade with Charlie in some rat-infested tunnel or against a bunch of slimy alien parasites in outer space – it’s all the same to Scalia!

Well, just like back in the Nam, Scalia lost a lot of good buddies on this space mission. The mission ended with him blowing up everything as he sped off in his spaceship, the only survivor! And now he lives with the memories every time the movie needs to provide us with some backstory.

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Scalia paid the price on the home front as well, his marriage ending in divorce. I guess it would be hard for a spouse to understand the sort of stress an astronaut would be going through. After all, it’s not like she’s an astronaut or anything!

Except that she is! And she is on the latest Aquarius secret mission! And something has gone wrong again! Very wrong! And only one man stands between our way of life and having to send his alimony check to a no good alien!

As you might have guessed from the above, an organization within the government decided that what they needed was a specimen of the aliens that attacked Scalia’s crew because they would make perfect killing machines.

They sent out some transmissions to lure the aliens to a space station, then sent up the most recent Aquarius mission with the intention of getting them infected. The shuttle would return to Earth with the infected astronauts and the government could do whatever they needed to get their perfect killing machines.

But the turd in that tasty soup was that the astronauts panicked when they got infected, flew back home early, crashed their shuttle, and escaped!

Director Richard Pepin (Firepower, Hologram Man, CyberTracker) realizes that Scalia needs to be turned loose in some exciting action sequences so the audience doesn’t get bogged down hating the movie for its stupid story.

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And Pepin unleashes Scalia right from the beginning! One of those fifteen minute freeway stunt spectaculars that production company PM Entertainment used to such good effect in movies like Gary Daniels’ Rage opens up the film in great fashion! How can you not love it when Scalia and his astronaut best friend are beating each other silly in a mobile home on the back of a semi?

Best friend? You bet! Wife and best friend on the same mission! A lot of law enforcement agencies won’t assign a guy to a case if its too personal, but the guys in this movie seem to be trying to find the most personally involved dude available!

Which is great because it allows for moving scenes such as when Scalia hears the oldies CD playing in the aliens’ warehouse hideout that he gave his best friend as a going-into-space present before the ill-fated mission! Scalia is so cool that he hands out his own soundtrack for his haunted past!

The greatest moments in the movie are provided by the second freeway stunt spectacular, this time when Scalia and his crew are cruising in their electronics-laden van, complete with gigantic satellite dish on top!

No sooner does the car chase begin between the evil government forces and Scalia, who’s now on their bad side for some reason, then that satellite dish comes crashing down and gets dragged through the streets by the cable still connecting it to the van. Scalia goes out the back of the van to cut it loose, but somehow ends up inside the dish, riding that bastard around the freeway like it was a sled!

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The rest of the film is just as great with lots of glass getting broken, guys set on fire, stuff exploding, and Scalia hanging from a helicopter!

And just to further complicate matters regarding the whole alien invasion angle, Scalia’s ex is actually possessed by a good alien known as a Watcher!

The bad aliens are Dark Breed and the Watcher is going to help out Scalia. Why these lazy aliens didn’t send a little more back up than that I didn’t understand, but what really caught me off guard was that Scalia’s ex had a much better personality when the alien possessed her than when she was herself. And the actress playing her was much more convincing as the alien, too!

There’s lots more special touches in the film that set it apart from the run-of-the-mill alien invasion trash movie, including an entirely pointless and nonsensical scene in a diner where Scalia’s alien possessed ex gives a waitress a bunch of lip about not being able to order pizza for breakfast.

This movie was so epic that when it came out on VHS, the tape was green! It’s like the Dark Breed possessed the videotape itself! I kept waiting for Scalia to come crashing through my front door on his satellite dish to save my sorry ass! But it would have been too late! This movie already kicked it up and down my living room without mercy!

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