Director/writer: Stewart St. John.
Stewart St. John’s fantastic cinema ride known once as The Next Race: Remote Viewings and even farther back as The Chronicles of Hollow Earth: The Next Race has now been transformed into the simpler and more manageable Dark Metropolis. This film was completed in 2007 by St. John, with distribution handled independently, initally. Now in 2010, Indican Pictures has repackaged this science fiction film for a release December 14th, just in time for Christmas. The film is serious in tone and heavily influenced by new age spirituality, with a Cain and Abel story that will divide family and viewer loyalties. Dark, political and throughout enchanting, this is an edgy thriller, which sets up the forthcoming trilogy of the Creation Wars.
The sibling rivalry begins with Aiden Pryme, played stoically by Bailey Chase (“Saving Grace”), facing Crecilius Pryme (Eric Scott Woods), for the sole position of Baron. You see, in the future humankind has produced a new species of genetically improved versions of him or herself known as the Ghens. Sheltered deep inside the Earth’s core, the Ghens compete with the Romans, now 23 Centuries past, for most factious political structure. The Ghens also hope to eradicate their former masters, humankind, who enslaved them as a workforce. The intrigue heightens when Crecilius, the ruler of Dark Metropolis, reveals himself to be more human than Ghen.
Stewart St. John shows himself to be a master of filmmaking by writing the story for Dark Metropolis, directing the scenes, composing the score and for distributing the picture primarily by himself! This is a challenge, which took St. John two years to complete. The dedication of this brilliant director shows not just in the set design, but primarily in the film’s mythos. Here, the Kalendoah rival the Ghens for spiritual dominance. Yet, the Kalendoah do not wish for superiority. Rather, they seek balance within the universe. This is a message that St. John hopes that viewers pick up on, as mankind and his laboratory created brethren bring themselves to the brink of extinction.
However, this is not the sequel to the anxiously anticipated Chronicles of Riddick, which is a science fiction franchise worthy of attention. Instead the hamperings of St. John’s 400K budget puts the action sequences to the side, for potential sequels. The focus here is not placed on elaborate CGI animations and those who seek science fiction solely for the flash and bang will be disappointed. The film is more for those who enjoy stories of timeless rivalry and family infighting, where bonds of blood are soon forgotten and replaced by ambitions of power. Outside of this minor critique, Dark Metropolis is an interesting time spent in a futuristic and creative world, where St. John’s insight into what is universally relevant shines.
As mentioned, this title will be released by Indican Pictures in the Winter of 2010 and this picture will give sci-fi fans something to satiate their appetite before Vin Diesel returns as Riddick. This prequel to the Creation Wars will also set viewers up to experience what St. John has in store for his upcoming trilogy. Details on the sequels can be found at the links provided below.
Overall: 7.5 out of 10.
St. John discusses this project and others at Aint it Cool News:
A trailer for this feature can be seen at Indican Pictures:
Or at 28 Days Later Analysis: