Plot: A virus has decimated most of the world’s population, turning millions of people into vampire/zombie hybrids. These creatures are violent and dangerous, hellbent on preying upon the surviving humans, but some pockets of resistance have started to fight back to reclaim society. Tao (Steven Seagal) leads an elite squad of hunters who track and kill the abominations, but even with their skill sets, every hunt could be their last. The infected are legion and outnumber the survivors by massive odds, so even the best are given no promise of survival here. A group of survivors has taken up inside an abandoned hospital, but between the infected and an incoming airstrike, time is running out for them. Will the survivors find a way to escape the hospital and can Tao and his crew lend a hand in these dangerous times?
Entertainment Value: Now this is a premise I can support, as Steven Seagal picks up a katana and takes on a horde of vampires, though as often happens, the end result doesn’t match up to the potential of that premise. Seagal does indeed brandish a sword and clash with some vampires, but his stunt double has more screen time than he does and while humorous, that is a disappointment. The narrative here is passable, setting up a good amount of action scenes and fun battles between vampires and sword wielders, which is the main draw, I think. And there is a solid number of action scenes involved, so this isn’t one of those direct to video movies that promise action, but fill up the run time with slow stretches. I can’t say the action sequences are that memorable, but they’re fun to watch and focus on both sword battles and some gun based violence. I wish there was more martial arts mayhem on showcase, but we do get one scene with Seagal unleashing his minimal movement combat skills. I liked the visuals here too, kind of a low rent Blade vibe and while Against the Dark is by no means an action or horror classic, it is more fun than I expected.
The man has starred in an avalanche of direct to video movies, but the supernatural elements of Against the Dark help this one stand out a bit in the tidal wave of Steven Seagal’s work. His character is a central one and his role isn’t a cameo by any means, but in a fun twist, Seagal’s stunt double shoulders much of the burden. So we see Seagal in action in some of the movie’s scenes, but it is pretty obvious when his double is on screen and to me, that’s humorous. If you don’t share my appreciation for b movie silliness like that however, you might be let down. After all, you wanted Seagal with a sword and instead, we got Seagal’s double with a sword most of the time. When he is around, Seagal looks like a chunky Blade and while he doesn’t do much of his trademark martial arts, he uses the katana with similar lack of effort. I was also glad to see Linden Ashby on deck here, though his role is a small one. The cast also includes Tanoai Reed, Keith David, Jenna Harrison, and Skye Bennett.