Before Sam Raimi got his hands on Spider-Man, he had to make up his own comics to adapt for film. He tried and failed to secure rights to Batman and The Shadow at the end of the ’80s, and from the loins of his botched maiden voyage into comic-book adaptation, 1990’s Darkman
was born. The character Darkman is really just the charred remains of
Peyton Westlake, a scientist who manufactures synthetic skin. But then,
on the brink of a breakthrough, gangsters blow up his lab. Now a hideous
shell of his former self, Darkman uses his recipe for artificial skin
to create disguises, which melt into fleshy mush after extended exposure
to light. The faux-epidermis shenanigans, combined with sweet
cross-fades between bubbling science experiments and Darkman’s torched
face, make for the best kind of nostalgia: the face-melting kind.
- Showing at: Laurelhurst.
- Best paired with: Sierra Nevada Porter.
- Also showing: Quartet (Hollywood).