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[[caption-width-right:271:The answer lies within this page.]]

->''"I'm everyone - and no one. Everywhere - nowhere. Call me... [[TitleDrop Darkman]]."''

Years before Creator/SamRaimi brought a certain [[Film/SpiderMan web-head to the screen]], he created his own superhero in this 1990 film. It stars Creator/LiamNeeson as Peyton Westlake, a scientist who has invented synthetic skin that, at its current stage of development, will disintegrate after 99 minutes of exposure to sunlight. His girlfriend, Julie (Frances [=McDormand=]), runs afoul of gangster Robert G. Durant and his thugs, who have him nearly killed. Peyton, now horrifically burnt, uses his own invention against the crooks as his new alter-ego, Darkman.

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!!This film provides examples of:

* AntiHero: Pragmatic, frequently slipping into unscrupulous. (Formerly types III and IV).
* TheAppleFallsFar: 650 feet, to be precise.
* AsYouKnow
* BadBoss: Strack indirectly kills his own [[{{Mooks}} Mook]] in the final battle, then just shrugs indifferently and goes back to trying to kill Darkman.
* BadassBookworm: Originally a milquetoast personality, Peyton undergoes surgeries that remove the volume control knob from his emotions, turning him into a loud, violent rageaholic. He still possesses the know-how from his days as a scientist, though.
* BattleaxeNurse: A doctor stabs Darkman in the thigh while he's in therapy just to prove a point to the guided tour she's directing.
* BecomingTheMask: Inverted.
* BigBad: Strack, in the first film. Durant and Rooker make up for the sequel films respectably.
* BlessedWithSuck: The treatment which made him super-humanly strong, agile, and impervious to pain also amplified his emotions to the point that he's in a near-constant state of uncontrollable rage and despair. Also, he apparently has no sense of touch.
** It is explained that he received surgery to cut off his sense of touch to block constant pain from the burns covering his body. This in turn caused the brain to amplify his emotional responses to fill in the void left by lack of external stimulus.
* BluffTheImpostor: Darkman's cover during one disguise is blown this way.
* BondOneLiner: Durant is prone to these. As is Darkman.
* BreakTheCutie: Westlake had just proposed to marry his girlfriend. It seems like she was going to say 'yes' too.
* BuryYourGays: All of them, twice.
* ButForMeItWasTuesday: Averted since Durant knows Westlake well enough that he assumed he finished him off.
* TheCameo: Director Creator/JohnLandis as a burn ward doctor.
** [[spoiler: Creator/BruceCampbell]] as the final mask Westlake puts on at the end of the first movie
* CaptainErsatz: Darkman is one of TheSpider, Radio/TheShadow and Franchise/{{Batman}}.
* CarCushion: Where Pauly ends up.
* CharlesAtlasSuperpower: Darkman can imitate anyone, provided he has a sample of their voice and a lot of time to practice.
* CorruptCorporateExecutive: Strack.
* CircusOfFear: At least in the first movie.
* CrossOver: Dynamite Entertainment produced a four-part mini-series seeing Darkman team-up with [[Franchise/EvilDead Ash]].
* DisneyVillainDeath: [[spoiler: Strack]], and also [[spoiler: Rooker to some degree, as he fell to his death from a catwalk during his fight with Darkman... into a giant shredder.]]
* TheDragon: Durant is basically a hired crime lord to do all of Strack's dirty work.
** Nico in ''Darkman III''.
* DragonAscendant: Durant, who worked for Strack in the first film, is the BigBad of the first sequel.
* DrivenToMadness: Westlake's rebirth as a SuperHero is born from a massive trauma induced mental breakdown.
** The fate of Rick in the {{Novelization}} and ComicBookAdaptation, after seeing Darkman's face and being interrogated by him. Possibly also his fate in the original story concept, as novelizations tend to be based on such things.
* ElaborateUndergroundBase: Darkman's hideout-slash-lab that appears on the DirectToVideo films, including a [[CoolTrain computer-assisted mini-train for him to drive]].
* EvilLaugh: Darkman tends to emit a villainous cackle whenever he kills gangsters, threatens to kill gangsters or contemplates killing gangsters. It could be because Raimi originally intended to make an adaption of Radio/TheShadow, or it could simply be because Westlake hasn't really managed to [[AxCrazy hold on to all of his marbles]], since his trauma.
* ExactTimeToFailure: 99 minutes 'till the skins wear off.
** This is extended in the second movie by further research and development. Oddly, the time limit is back to 99 minutes in the third movie with no explanation.
** Also extended in the first movie simply by keeping the artificial skin covered and out of the light until he absolutely needs to.
*** Apparently, the third movie was meant to come out before the second or something along those lines, and they just released them in the wrong order.
*** Better explained that Durant's attack in the first sequel destroyed Brinkman's work, resulting in Darkman's being force to use the previous formula of his later masks.
* ExpandedUniverse: There are two [[SoOkayItsAverage decent]] sequels, a very nice {{Novelization}}, which started a short-lived series by the same author, a somewhat lame ComicBookAdaptation, a really great ComicBook miniseries by Creator/KurtBusiek, a television pilot, a [[TheProblemWithLicensedGames crappy]] video game, and a comic book crossover with ''Franchise/EvilDead''.
* ExternalCombustion: How [[spoiler:Jill Randall]] in the sequel dies
* EyesAreUnbreakable
* FaceFramedInShadow
* FacialHorror: Some of the most memorable.
* {{Fingore}}: Durant has sliced off a ''lot'' of fingers. And keeps them from rotting and decaying.
** Also, Peyton vs. {{jerkass}} carnie. Ouch.
* {{Gayngster}}: Possibly. There's a hint in the deli scene that Durant may have a thing for Rick, plus he has no kids.
** Also Rooker's right hand man Nico in the third film.
* GetItOverWith
* HairTriggerTemper: The side effect of the surgeries Darkman undergoes to allow him to do anything without feeling crippling amounts of pain.
** Durant has one too, once he loses his shit though.
* HaveYouToldAnyoneElse: Amusingly subverted: Stack confront Julie in his office about her stumbling on his evil scheme...and explains that she doesn't actually have enough information to justify him killing her, prompting this response:
** "Well, if you're not going to kill me, I have things to do..."
* HellishCopter
* HourOfPower
* KickTheDog: Peyton and Julie both get several swift ones. Peyton is obvious, but consider that Julie thought she'd lost the love of her life, and was finally piecing her emotional self back together...[[spoiler: and then her rebound guy turns out to be a emotionless psychopath, her former lover turns out to be insane and heavily injured, and at the end, dumps her because he's become a monster.]] Oh, and all of this got started because of an accounting discrepancy she was looking into as part of her day job. ''Ouch.''
* IfYouKillHimYouWillBeJustLikeHim: Subverted; Strack ''tries'' to save himself by invoking this trope. Guess how [[AntiHero Darkman]] responds.
** The villains in the sequels are under the assumptions that Darkman doesn't kill. Darkman himself also seems to be under that delusion that he doesn't kill bad-guys, even though he lethally disposes of every villain he comes across.
* ILied: Used by both Durant and Darkman in the first movie.
** Played with in the first movie:
--> '''Rick:''' "I told you everything!"
--> '''Darkman:''' "I know you did, Rick. But let's pretend you didn't!"
* ImpaledWithExtremePrejudice: Implied to be the fate of the [[{{Mooks}} Mook]] who falls down the building in the first film's climax. The movie made a [[IncrediblyLamePun point]] of setting up those rebars at the bottom.
** Also the fate of Strack in the comic adaptation, with pretty gory results.
* LatexPerfection: The skins.
* LighterAndSofter: The sequels, to a degree. Also the movie's ComicBookAdaptation.
** Although the comic actually showed Strack [[ImpaledWithExtremePrejudice getting impaled on the rebars]] after Darkman drops him.
* LostInACrowd: Peyton vanishes from Julie in this manner at the end. By turning into Bruce Campbell.
* MadScientist: Dr. Hathaway.
* MadeOfIron: Darkman ''can'' get hurt, but since he's lost all sense of touch, tends to ignore it.
** Driven home at one point when he accidentally lights his hand on fire while working... and ''doesn't notice'' for several seconds.
** The {{Mooks}} that were hooked on the PsychoSerum that Rooker had created in ''Die Darkman Die'', since because they have "Darkman's superhuman DNA".
* NailEm: Strack wields a rivet gun in the construction site battle that concludes the original film.
* NightmareFace
* NotSoDifferent: The first movie makes it pretty clear that the only thing separating Westlake and his nemeses is that he's bumping off "bad" people. The ThatManIsDead speech in the finale underlines the point.
* OneEpisodeWonder: The abandoned TV pilot is one of finest and most accurate examples of superheroics on live-action television.
* TheOnlyOneAllowedToDefeatYou: Darkman wants to be the one to kill Durant. And he did, [[DeathIsCheap more than once]].
* PetRat: Durant is one.
* {{Precision F Strike}}: "Take the fucking elephant!"
* PsychoSerum: Rooker creates one out of Darkman's DNA and injects it into his {{Mooks}}. It gives them all of Darkman's enhanced strength, but also gives them Darkman's bouts of total rage.
** In fact, everything "superhuman" about Darkman is a result of extensive surgery to his nervous system. That isn't something that would carry over to DNA samples, '''at all'''.
*** [[WildMassGuessing Possibly Rooker was really just doping up his mooks]] with [=PCP=], but told them it was the [=DNA=] of a butt-kicking adversary so they wouldn't worry about the drug's nasty side effects?
*** The serum was stated to realign the nervous system, in effect chemically replicating the surgery performed on Westlake.
* QuirkyMinibossSquad: Durant's crew in the first movie. To a lesser extent, his replacement crew in the sequel.
* RequiredSecondaryPowers: Since Darkman is missing roughly 40% of his skin, he pretty much needs a HealingFactor, or he'd keel over from various horrible diseases and the injuries he sustains in battle.
** Dr. Thorne in the third movie states that he does have rapid healing, [[YouFailBiologyForever somehow as a result of the operation that killed his sense of touch]].
*** Alternatively, one could presume a [[FridgeBrilliance scientist working on revolutionary treatments for burn victims might have a trick to prevent infection.]]
*** For that matter, he could be wearing synthetic skin under his clothes, where it'd be protected from light and will last longer. He leaves his face and hands uncovered between disguises because the former would ''have'' to be exposed to light if he's to be able to see, and the latter would wear through as he handles objects.
** Westlake also seems to be the worlds greatest vocal impersonator.
*** Also a talented ventriloquist as he somehow manages to speak coherently without lips.
* RetCon: Durant was killed in the copter crash in the first film. But in the second film, it merely left him comatose. In the final film, a villain named Dr. Bridget Thorne was one of the doctors who treated Westlake's burned body in the first film.
** Though it may double as an AlternativeContinuity.
* SameLanguageDub: Bruce Campbell dubbed Liam Neeson in some scenes. Especially when he meets Julie on the street and says "JUUUUUUUULLLLIIEEEEE! IT'S MEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!"
* SaveTheDayTurnAway: Dr. Westlake won the Pink Elephant, defeated the villains, and saved the girl. But due to his transformation into a hideous berserker of faceless justice, Peyton must abandon his desire of a life with Julie. He must walk the path of the hero alone, in the darkness.
** He performs one in each sequel as well, always followed by an heroic monologue.
* SayMyName: WESTLAAAAAAAAAKE!!!
** JUUUUUULLLLLLIIIIIEEEE!!!
** In ''Darkman II'' when Darkman finds the murdered Brinkman: DUUUUUURAAAAANNNNT!!!
* StealingFromTheTill: After waking up from coma, Durant in the second film soon finds out that one of his men, Rollo, has used his absence to take a piece of his organization's earnings for himself, and has him killed by putting him in a golf cart that drives off from a building.
* SuicidalOverconfidence: Played with. Strack actually chooses his ground against Peyton quite well in the first movie, as he has experience in skyscraper construction.
* SuperHero: a rare example that is native to the film medium.
* TakeThat: In the ''Franchise/EvilDead'' comic crossover, the main villain refers to Strack as not being worth bringing back.
* ThatManIsDead: "Peyton is gone."
* ThoseTwoBadGuys:
** Skip and Rudy in the first movie.
** Eddie Scully and Roy in the second movie.
* TrailersAlwaysSpoil: Not only does it show ''exactly'' what is going to happen to the helicopter that chases after Darkman, it also clearly depicts Strack as the ManBehindTheMan, which is treated as a ''twist'' in the actual film.
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: Skip disappears after Durant's death. There was a scene of Darkman killing him with his own prosthetic leg. With the scene cut, Skip [[KarmaHoudini avoids any retribution]].
* WholePlotReference: ''Film/RoboCop1987'', even down to the locations.
* WrongGenreSavvy: Strack is a bit too quick to assume Westlake is TheCape and therefore can't kill him. Not in ''this'' superhero movie, smartass...
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