Review: THE DARK DAYS OF DEMETRIUS (2019)
With his latest film, The Dark Days Of Demetrius, filmmaker Dakota Ray takes a step back from the more surreal style of American Antichrist. It’s a return to the more narrative-driven style of his earlier films, such as The Rise And Fall Of An American Scumbag. What hasn’t changed is his raw, gritty and nihilistic style.
Demetrius (Dakota Ray) is a serial killer. More specifically, he’s The Live Stream Killer. He’s racking up millions of views in his quest to become a social media superstar. He’s also smart enough to stay one step ahead of the police.
However, somebody is on his trail. Clive (Fred Epstein, The Acid Sorcerer) a reporter who is as deranged as Demetrius is. And as deadly. He’s willing to set a homeless man on fire just to have a murder to write about. And he sees the chance to interview The Live Stream Killer as his ticket to fame. But he violates his promise not to misquote his subject.
The Dark Days Of Demetrius is primarily a two-character piece. A contrast of two human monsters, both of whom are obsessed with fame. One because he believes he’s something other than human and deserves to be worshiped. The other out of greed. Does that make one less evil than the other?
The feeling I got was that Clive was being presented as the worst of the two. Demetrius does what he does out of his belief in who and what he is. Clive does it out of greed. In that regard, he also makes a perfect poster boy for those who claim the media has become nothing but a corrupt freak show.
I do wish there had been a little more detail on the film’s other two charterers. Baphomet (Sebastian Oake) a copycat killer and Bunny (Lilith Frost), a hooker. They just turn up long enough to add to the body count. A bit of backstory might have added to their impact.
Ray used a 4K camera to shoot the film and then degraded the image. Combined with his trademark use of coloured filters, the result is fairly unique. It’s almost like an updated version of a 1980s SOV film. The Dark Days Of Demetrius also retains his use of voice-overs in place of most dialogue and dividing the film into segments or chapters.
Like all of Dakota Ray’s films, The Dark Days Of Demetrius isn’t for everyone. But if you can handle it, it’s well worth your time. You can check for release information and availability on the film’s Facebook page.