Published On: Tue, Apr 27th, 2010

‘Donnie Darko’ is just another evolving Cult Film

I loaned my DVD copy of Donnie Darko to DOB’s Robert Herriman last weekend and our follow-up conversation revealed the shock that Darko has a huge Cult following.

Obsessive fans never cease to amaze me as Trekkies learn Klingon, Star Wars fans have started a Church of Jediism and Comic Shows are full of folks dressing up as their favorite characters.

There are 34 people under the name of “Donnie Darko” on Facebook at the time of this writing. No these are NOT fan pages, but individual pages. There countless sites and articles discussing the “meaning” and “interpretation” of Donnie and his apocalyptic visions. The word of mouth and dark theme has created an allure that, to me, supersedes the substance of the film itself.

Great movie, especially from this era, but hardly worthy of this devotion.

Frank the Bunny has been catapulted into this “New Age” of fandom that infiltrated the local Hot Topic in every suburban mall. Nightmare Before Christmas, a similar case study, paved the road for Twilight fans and this modern Goth teen movement.

Donnie Darko rode in the backseat on a journey to create a new era of delusional fans.

This is a 2001 review by a FAN:

A dense and wonderfully stylized amalgam of genres and influences, Donnie Darko resists any clear definition, which is perhaps its most appealing quality. Is it the flip side of Blue Velvet, a blistering satire of Reagan-warped suburbia? Or is it an anarchic, Fight Club-style punk film about the impulse to tear down a corrupt world in order to build a new one? Is it mind-bending science fiction? An adolescent romance? Catcher In The Rye?

donnie-darko-movie-posterThe adolescent generation yearns for great filmmaking of previous generations and exaggerates the greatness of modern filmmaking, including this trippy film. It deserves more credit for recruiting a great ensemble cast on such a low budget and less on delivering some modern day Blue Velvet or Fight Club.

I’m hardly surprised.

The film failed to recoup it’s meager $4.5 million budget at the box office. Of course, the DVD sales have proved to be insanely lucrative, as the marketing team at the studio promote the counterculture theme.

Just as The Matrix was exaggerated and elevated to ridiculous “greatness” status in movie history, so the addicted fans of Darko have corrupted the film into cult status. In fact, similar to the way Nightmare and Office Space “over-evolved” and become a new hybrid of mainstream acceptness.

The Wachowski Brothers crashed mainstream popularity with a lucrative popularity following the success of The Matrix, but they never dreamed of insane fans actually believing they were inside their own Matrix.

Hopelessness breeds delusion and Frank the Bunny is just another player in that hopeless world. Unfortunately for director Richard Kelly, Donnie Darko never delivered him wealth or fame, and will just be an obscure answer to fanboy trivia question.




photo/ Gerd Altmann via pixabay

photo/ Gerd Altmann via pixabay

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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