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Merlin's Manifesto: Pitch Black Site Map    What's New    Search

At the end of the Iron Giant panel at the San Diego Comic Con footage from Pitch Black, the next movie by Giant voice Vin Diesel, was screened for the first time. The teaser portrayed the film as being in the vein of James Cameron's classic sequel Aliens, but with the mystery and suspense of having a murder within the midst of the humans struggling for survival mixed in as a subplot. The David Twohy-directed picture is set to hit theaters in January. -cinescape

Sysnopsis:(MAJOR SPOILER) "Carolyn Fry is a junior space pilot on the crew of a craft traveling to a far away galaxy known as New Mecca. Among the passengers, Johns is a good looking cop who brings Riddick, a deadly killer, to justice. Riddick's eyes have been enhanced for vision on a low light planet, making him virtually blind in the brightness of day.

"When the spacecraft becomes crippled in space, Carolyn fails to pilot a safe landing on an inhabited planet. She is the only member of the crew to survive. Johns and Riddick, in the relative safety of the passenger compartment, are unharmed. These three characters form an uneasy alliance in the quest to survive. Under their leadership are a handful of other passengers: three Chrislam Pilgrims, whose religion is a combination of Christian and Muslim scripture; Audrey, a teenage runaway; Zeke and Shazza, husband and wife biologists who study extraterrestrial life forms; and Paris, effete, self-interested antique dealer whose belongings include an abundance of vintage liquor.

"On the eerie planet, scorched perpetual sunlight, the survivors find a landscape dotted with huge, dry cone-shaped hills and petrified, vine-like croppings. But no life. Then they find and abandoned settlement. Whoever they were, the settlers left in a hurry. Why? Among the belongings left at the camp is a light duty spacecraft that could be their chance for survival. Then Riddick, digging a grave for the dead crew members, finds a tunnel full of bones. Zeke investigates the hole and a strange, foreboding clicking that comes from within. Zeke is yanked into the shadows. His anguished screams echo throughout the settlement. When Fry follows his trail in the dark cave, all she finds are Zeke's eviscerated remains. Suddenly, something unseen comes after her. She barely escapes into the daylight, where whatever is lurking in the dark does not follow.

"The creatures which almost got Fry, killed Zeke and the settlers who came before them. Fry and Riddick further realize that the planet is not perpetually in light - it's on an orbit that puts it in total darkness every sixty years. The last time darkness fell the settlers were destroyed. And as the suns set now, Riddick warns Fry that she'd better know exactly whom she can trust. Because Johns isn't all he seems to be. And Riddick might be more than she imagines. It turns out that Johns is, in fact, a bounty hunter, and he's been hiding a morphine habit. Although he's promised Riddick his freedom, he had no intention of keeping his word. Fry can't trust either one of them. But as dusk begins to fall on this hostile world, dread unites all of the survivors. Whatever is lurking in the dark has been there a long time, hungrily waiting for this moment.

"As night falls, the tree-like vines come alive, turning out to be the spines of hibernating beasts called Plowheads. These huge creatures become easy prey for winged Hatchlings, which fly from the spired hills like smoke from a volcano top. And the ominous clicking that preceded Zeke's death begins to build in intensity as grown carnivores emerge. Hiding in the gloaming, they navigate their dark world with clicking echo-location, searching with saber-bladed precision for sustenance after their sixty year fast.

"Fry and other survivors turn to Riddick for help-his enhanced night vision eyes have turned from a shortcoming to an advantage. Johns warns Fry that Riddick will lead them to their deaths, not to the emergency craft. Riddick makes it clear that self-preservation is his only interest. With creatures swooping in on them from the dark, Riddick, Johns and Fry discover that the predators retreat from light. Unfortunately, they haven't got enough torch light to keep them at bay long.

"In the end, Johns, Fry, and Riddick must lead the others through a gauntlet of creatures lining the canyon to the ship that is their salvation. As they traverse the unknown, creatures pick off the remaining shipwrecked travelers one by one. In cowardly desperation, Johns tries to convince Riddick to use the young girl, Audrey, as decoy bait for the predators. Seeming to join forces, Riddick turns the tables on his captor. After a climatic fight, he pushed Johns into the darkness, where unseen creatures devour the bounty hunter just out of the reach of the light.

"When Riddick gives Fry a chance to abandon the remaining survivors and escape with him, she refuses. She holds herself responsible for the crash, and intends to save the others. With Riddick as a brave ally, Fry loses her life in a brutal, violent fight against the night creatures.

"A free man for now, Riddick pilots the craft off the deadly dark planet, with the girl and a pilgrim at his side. All are grateful to Fry for giving them a second chance at living in the light of day."

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