(Original Publication Date: August 27th, 2016) By: John M Jerva
Who’s In It: Johnny Strong, Lance Henriksen and Louis Mandylor
What’s It About: It’s been years since a deadly plague has destroyed most of the planet turning the population into bloodthirsty killing machines who feed on the living. What’s left of humanity is forced to hide in old buildings and forced to defend themselves by any means necessary. During the day, you are safe, but when daylight ends, the terror begins.
Enter Thomas Rourke played by Johnny Strong of Sinners And Saints. Rourke is a rogue drifter who is on a mission of revenge. He lost the woman he loves to one of the beasts and he will do whatever it takes to track down the one responsible and send it to hell.
This all changes, when Rourke helps a woman out who is being attacked by a band of human marauders. The woman tells Rourke that she is part of a group of survivors that is held up in an old police station and that she knows how they can escape the plague. Reluctantly, Rourke agrees to help the group but still has one thing on his mind…to kill the Alpha who killed the only person that mattered to him.
Watch It, Own It Or Forget It: Daylight’s End has been in limbo for a few years now and it goes without saying that it has been on my must see list since I saw the first trailer for the film. This is another film from the team that brought you the awesome action-thriller Sinners And Saints. That film is one of my favorites and I watch it over and over again to this day. Now Director William Kaufman, who besides Sinners And Saints has directed some other cool action movies such as Jarhead 3: The Siege starring Scott Adkins, and lead star Johnny Strong have given us action fans another reason to rejoice. What Sinners And Saints did for the cop action movie, Daylight’s End does for the apocalyptic zombie genre. This is a no holds barred action-horror film that will leave you breathless. It takes the zombie genre and punches it square in the face!
One of the main reasons that Daylight’s End is a must watch is because of the main star Johnny Strong. Strong is charismatic and bad ass. He doesn’t say much but he doesn’t have to. He lets his weapons do the talking for him and it’s an action fan’s dream come true when he unloads on the hordes of dead. Just like his character of Detective Sean Riley in Sinners And Saints, Rourke is a damaged person who has lost everything and that makes him a very dangerous man. Strong shines once again in the action scenes and when the bullets fly, he’s the man you want watching your six.
The rest of the cast led by genre legend Lance Henriksen do a great job as well. Henriksen is in a supporting role as Frank Hill, the leader of the group of survivors. Henriksen is one of those actors that is good in everything that he does and when you see that he is in a film, you know that he is going to take it to another level. Veteran actor Louis Mandylor, who was a bad guy in Sinners And Saints, gives a great performance as Frank’s son Ethan.
The action is plenty in Daylight”s End and it is never boring. The infected are a scary cross between zombies and vampires where they feed on the living but they burn when in the sun. The film gives the audience some hard R rated old school action and you will find yourself glued to the screen when the carnage is going down. Strong knows how to use weapons and it’s thrilling to see him operate. You can tell the rest of the cast trained in weapons handling and that brings nice authenticity to the choreography. There is a little bit of hand-to-hand combat which is awesome but most of the action consists of firefights and that suits this reviewer just fine. The action is intense and chaotic and gives the viewers what they want. This is a spoiler free review but I will say the ending is worth the price of admission alone!
One other thing that is important to mention is that Strong is a musician and he composed the score to this film just like Sinners And Saints. It’s a great compilation of intensity during the action scenes to scary, and atmospheric during the quieter scenes that builds on the intensity to a fever pitch. He sings a song called Born Down that you hear at the end. You can check out his music and his album War Horse on his website johnnystrong.com.
To sum it all up, Daylight’s End is an instant classic. It takes a genre that has been done to death and it injects new life into it. In this age where superheros and CGI talking animals are crowding the movie theater screens, Daylight’s End is a welcome old school, kick ass throwback to the gritty, violent action movies of days gone by. Johnny Strong has only made a few films but he needs to make more just like this. He is the bad ass, take no crap action hero that we need in this day and age. This little independent film takes most of the big budget action crap that we get look like romantic comedies. Daylight’s End takes the zombie genre and punches it in the face with no apologies!
Daylight’s End is now playing in select theaters nationwide and is available to rent or own on Video On Demand. If you can’t see it in a theater then buy it now, you will not be disappointed!
Verdict: OWN IT NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Daylight’s End is available on DVD and Digital now!