The Most Underrated ’90s Superhero Movie Is Being Saved

By TeeJay Small | Published

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Superhero film fans may be acutely aware of acclaimed filmmaker Sam Raimi’s massive contribution to the genre with his groundbreaking Spider-Man trilogy from the early 2000s.

What many fans may not recall, however, is Sam Raimi’s earlier stab at the superhero landscape, with the underrated 1990 gem, Darkman. Thankfully, fans can now finally revisit the epic tale in stunning 4K, courtesy of a special collector’s edition released by Shout Factory.

Darkman Collector’s Edition

The Darkman collector’s edition set comes with limited edition Steelbook metal packaging, two specially-made posters, a prism sticker, a set of lobby cards, and a Darkman pin.

The bundle is listed at a standard price of $142.96, but is currently marked down to just $129.99 for the whole lot.

Darkman 4K Release

While the cult classic film may not be a cultural staple in the same way as Spider-Man or the many modern MCU players, Darkman super fans will surely be elated to see the product finally achieve a 4K release.

For those who haven’t seen or heard of Raimi’s 1990 superhero noir, this may be the perfect time to grab a home-release copy and catch it with a few friends.

Liam Neeson Stars In Darkman

Darkman stars Liam Neeson in the titular role as Dr. Peyton Westlake alongside an international ensemble of performers, including Colin Friels, Larry Drake, Nelson Mashita, Dan Hicks, Ted Raimi, Rafael H. Robledo, and frequent Coen brothers collaborator Frances McDormand.

Though the film delivers on the mystique of a comic book-style hero, Darkman serves as Raimi’s original conception, dreamt up after he failed to attain the film rights to a Batman or The Shadow film.

Darkman Story

Darkman centers on Dr. Peyton Westlake as he attempts to develop a blend of synthetic skin for burn victims, though his formula continues to see critical failures at every turn.

After becoming embroiled in a corruption plot involving the local mob, Westlake is disfigured in an acid attack and thrown into a nearby river, left for dead.

By the time the doctor is recovered and brought to a local hospital, it is determined that the only way to save him is to sever his nerves, causing him permanent disfigurement and total loss of sensory input.

Darkman Is A Vigilante Crimefighter

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As an unforeseen side effect of the radical treatment, Westlake enters a permanent state of adrenal overload, offering him enhanced strength abilities and mental degradation.

Once he escapes from the hospital, Westlake begins work on recreating his own disfigured face to regain some sense of normalcy while vowing revenge on the Durant crime family who enacted these foul crimes.

Taking to the streets with several synthetic masks which can be used to take the identity of his enemies, Westlake becomes the vigilante crime fighter, Darkman.

Darkman Reviews

Though Darkman received positive reviews from critics and a very successful box office outing, the film failed to stick in the cultural zeitgeist long enough to become a staple of modern film discussion.

Of course, that could all change soon with the 4K remaster available on home release. With all the bonus trinkets and accessories, fans will surely be flocking to Shout Factory to purchase the entire stock of collector’s edition sets in the near future.