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Darkman II: The Return of Durant (1995) - Blu-ray Review

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Darkman II: The Return of Durant (1995) - Blu-ray Review

3 beers“I think we’ve all learned a valuable safety tip here!”

Darkman II: The Return of Durant shouldn’t exist.  I mean, how Durant survives a viscous bridge-meets-helicopter fiery crash with only a few scratches on his head seems beyond plausibility.  One shouldn’t really apply logic to this crime fighting series, though.   Not if you want to enjoy it and, thanks to Scream Factory’s impressive handling of its 1080p debut, you just might see Darkman II in a new light.

Durant (Larry Drake) is alive and well.  Waking from a 78-day coma at the beginning of the movie, he and his cronies unleash a tidal wave of criminal activity involving a super weapon that the new face of Peyton Westlake/Darkman (Arnold Vosloo) must deal with.  Co-starring a chain-smoking Kim Delaney as an investigative reporter who discovers the truth behind Darkman’s identity, Darkman II is an overly dramatic continuation of its offbeat brand of superheroic horror and humor shenanigans.

But let’s back up a bit and drop some knowledge bombs about this Sam Raimi executively produced flick.  Darkman II is actually Darkman III because, chronologically speaking, this straight to video movie was filmed AFTER the first legitimate sequel (that eventually got retitled as Darkman III) had wrapped.  And that’s all because the filmmakers actually got Larry Drake to return to the role of the villain. 

And some fans of the original Darkman have been pissing on it ever since. 

Honestly, the film works in recreating some of the manic spirit of the original.  And it does so by tossing in more over-the-top moments (on a dollar menu budget which just adds to the flavor) and tipping its fedora to Universal’s monster films.  The acting is appropriately melodramatic and the quick edits make director Bradford May’s film come to life.  Often, we get some quips that make us chuckle at the absurdity of it all.  

While it is a certifiable fact that there’s no dimension that exists that needed a sequel to Darkman, we got it.  In fact, we got an entire trilogy of trench coat-wearing Darkman movies, each more inferior than the one that proceeded it.  But seeing those filthy bandages wrapped around a ghoulish-looking scarred figure as he grunts and wildly gestures with the knowledge that this guy is the hero always brings a smile to my face.

Darkman, the original flick, was always B-grade material.  That’s by design.  The Return of Durant doesn’t even try to hide that fact and, as a result, is probably why most of Darkman’s fans haven’t warmed up to this tale of Westlake’s teaming with a scientist named David Brinkman (Jesse Collins) to work on a better synthetic skin formula so that he can pal around the city looking like the other “other” member of Tears for Fears.

But nothing will stop him from dressing the part of the demented patient when he is alone in his super secret underground lab.  And when he discovers – all thanks to his expert skills at deduction after a finger is noticed missing on the body of his pal – he can barely keep it together long enough to enact his plan to kill Durant all over again.

Darkman II: The Return of Durant is a step below the original.  When it comes to direct to video releases, that’s to be expected.  This one, though, is better than most sequels that go that route. 

Even if Darkman II limps across the finish line and straight into its concrete underworld, Scream Factory makes their handling of the movie worth owning.

Darkman II: The Return of Durant (1995) - Blu-ray Review

MPAA Rating: R for language and brutal violence.
93 mins
: Bradford May
Steven McKay
Larry Drake, Arnold Vosloo, Kim Delaney
: Action | Crime
Vengeance strikes hardest in the dark.
Memorable Movie Quote: "I abhor violence, especially when it doesn't make me money."
Theatrical Distributor:
Fox Network (TV)
Official Site:
Release Date:
July 11, 1995
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
November 7, 2017
Synopsis: Darkman and Durant return and they hate each other as much as ever. This time, Durant has plans to take over the city's drug trade using high-tech weaponry. Darkman must step in and try to stop Durant once and for all.

Darkman II: The Return of Durant (1995) - Blu-ray Review


Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: Shout Factory
Available on Blu-ray
- November 7, 2017
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
: None
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; single disc
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

Scream Factory presents Darkman II: The Return of Durant on 1080p with a fine 1080p transfer that is detailed and fleshy.  It definitely has a new life on blu-ray.  With an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and Dolby Digital Stereo track, the film is treated nicely by Scream’s efforts.  Nicely saturated, there are no dents in its shiny armor.  Colors are strong throughout and are particularly memorable with their inclusion of details and strong edges.  Black levels are clearly defined, too.  Important considering the film takes place during the evening hours.



  •  Included with Scream Factory’s release is a NEW Audio Commentary With Director Bradford May.

Special Features:

Scream Factory makes what was previously just an object of curiosity into something worth owning thanks to its inclusion of a commentary track AND the TV Broadcast Version with additional scenes.

  • TV Broadcast Version Featuring Alternate And Extended Scenes (Standard Definition)
  • Trailer
  • VHS Promo

Darkman II: The Return of Durant (1995) - Blu-ray Review

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