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A Date with Darkness: The Trial and Capture of Andrew Luster February 6, 2011

Posted by Kate in 25-29, Kate Sullivan-Jones.
Tags: , ,

I don’t even know where to begin. I watched this a week ago, and last night was my birthday party. I am wearing a bathrobe, and it is two in the afternoon.

A Date with Darkness is based on the true story of Andrew Luster, the Max Factor heir who drugged and raped a whole bunch of people. Oh, and he videotaped himself doing it.

This movie starts right in with Luster cooking up some homemade drugs.

Then we meet our young protagonist, Connie (Marla Sokoloff), as she goes out to celebrate making the Dean’s list. She takes along her dear friend Daniel, and promises him that she’ll help him pick up chicks. She fails to get Daniel laid, but they are having a good time dancing around like total goons.

Meanwhile, Andrew Luster stands in the middle of the dance floor and dumps the contents of an apothecary vial (which is labeled with the word KNOCKOUT) into a glass of water.


Connie is all thirsty from dancing, so she eagerly gulps down half of the water that Luster offers her, then hands the cup to Daniel. Five seconds later, the friends are all sorts of fucked up, so Luster pours them into his car and drives to his beach house. This part is shot in a weird, jumpy, flashbacky way that I assume is meant to convey how the victims feel after being drugged. In a scene that makes you wonder whether the people responsible for this movie have ever had sex or been inside a car, Connie and Daniel have sex in the backseat. I seriously had to rewind it to be totally sure that it was supposed to be sex. This screenshot isn’t even from that scene, it’s from a flashback later in the movie, because when the backseat sex is shown for the first time, Connie and Daniel are never in the same shot. How big is the backseat of this car?

At the beach house, Connie peels off her clothes and jumps into the ocean while Luster cackles and Daniel acts concerned. Because the Pacific ocean is ice cold and horrible on a balmy summer night, Luster fishes Connie out and puts her in a warm shower. Then he rapes her. Cut to Connie and Daniel on the couch drinking bright green drinks. Cut back to shower rape. Cut to Connie crying a single tear as Luster tells her he put “liquid X” in her drink.

Cmon Connie, Midori sours aren't THAT bad.

Cut to the next morning, when Connie wakes up with perfect makeup even though she spent the entire night swimming and getting raped in the shower.

this is how my makeup looked when I woke up this morning, and I had a considerably better night than Connie.

After refusing Luster’s offer to make them a “world class omelet,” Connie and Daniel call a cab. Daniel’s watch is missing, so they leave their phone numbers with the rapist in case he finds the watch that he obviously stole. Daniel and Connie have an awkward conversation about the backseat sex (complete with flashbacks), and then Connie calls the cops.

Here’s where the movie turns into a lesson on what not to do when you’ve committed a whole buttload of crimes.

  1. Don’t videotape your crimes, then attach Polaroids of your crimes to the cassette cases.                                                       
  2. Don’t label the tapes with the names of your victims and the illegal drug you tricked them into ingesting.
  3. Don’t label bottles of said illegal drug with weirdo descriptions. Why do they even need to be labeled? What could you possibly confuse them with? Before he started labeling the bottles,  did Luster ever accidentally use GHB instead of shampoo?
  4. Don’t have a drawer in the kitchen filled with stolen watches. What if somebody tries to look for the silverware drawer? How do you explain a drawer full of watches? Can’t you keep them in your closet, or, I don’t know, pretty much ANYWHERE ELSE IN THE HOUSE?                                                                                                                                                                                                            

The cops find two of the women that Luster videotaped himself raping, Sarah and Teri. First, they bring in Teri, who is pregnant with twins. Without so much as a trigger warning, they show her the tape of her own rape.

no need to shut the blinds or anything

Is it just me, or does that male detective look like he’s enjoying this?

After they’re done traumatizing Teri, they bring in Sarah, a happy-go-lucky teen.

There weren't enough people before. At least three people need to watch the girl watching her own rape this time.

Sarah’s video is extra creepy, because Luster stands over her unconscious body and brags about how awesome it is that he gets to drug and rape a teenager. He says it’s better than Thanksgiving and Christmas. BETTER THAN THANKSGIVING AND CHRISTMAS. The man is a monster.

Now there’s a boring trial part mixed with scenes of how the stress of the trial is affecting the three women. Teri miscarries one of her twins. Sarah starts popping benzos like crazy. Connie yells at a woman who leaves her drink unattended.

Oh yeah, and Andrew Luster escapes to Mexico and goes surfing. It’s okay, though, because the judge is all, “Fuck this trust fund douchebag, I’m trying him in absentia!” Luster’s meticulously labeled rape tapes lead to his conviction, but will he ever pay for his crimes? It seems unlikely.

Cut to Luster being tackled on the beach by a tough looking dude with long blond hair.

Wait, is that a camera crew behind them? Why is there a camera crew?


Yeah, I guess it is. How bout that.


This movie ends with fucking Dog the bounty hunter tackling a smug millionaire surfer/rapist. Oh, and the scene is so poorly constructed that instead of watching it and thinking, “Oh yeah, Dog the bounty hunter is arresting this guy as part of his reality show,” the viewer is left screaming at her screen, “Who is that guy with the camcorder? Why does that police officer look like a member of a biker gang? Is this an episode of Dog the bounty hunter? SOMEBODY GOOGLE THIS!” I also loved how the detectives surprised rape victims with videos of their own rapes before telling them they were raped. In a room with the blinds open. With like three other people watching. I seriously hope that those scenes exist because the folks who made this movie are idiots, and not because the real Luster’s victims were treated that way.


I don’t know how famous Marla Sokoloff is, but she sure is cute. My friend recognized her from Full House. This movie had an obvious chance to score a ten in this category, but they failed to cast the real Dog the bounty hunter. How many times have I typed “Dog the bounty hunter”? I feel weird just typing “Dog.”


I feel like most of the “Lifetimey” parts of this movie were too close to the truth to count toward this score. Andrew Luster really was an evil man who drugged and raped women, and it’s hard to laugh at the cheesiness of the movie villain when the real guy was just as awful. Plus, there was a serious dearth of woman’s intuition.

That said, a good Lifetime movie will leave you screaming “WHAT THE FUCK???” at the screen, and boy, this one sure did.


I would watch this again just for the ending.


1. Rusty - February 6, 2011

I have always had a thing for Marla Sokoloff. She was in Whatever It Takes and Dude, Where’s My Car back-to-back.

Kate - February 6, 2011

Marla Sokoloff’s lips are the real star of this movie.

2. Rusty - February 6, 2011

Also, that was very smart of Connie. Eating the omelet is consent.

Norman Greene - February 9, 2011

It’s a WORLD CLASS omelette. Hard to pass that up, even from a rapist.

3. audrey - February 7, 2011

I watched this last night solely for the reasons that Kate reviewed it. Also because Kate infected me with the Lifetime bug. I’ve seriously watched all of the Hulu offerings this weekend, I feel slightly sick and generally distrustful of all semi-good-looking and overly-friendly men. I also want to adopt a baby for some reason…

In other news – I had a “Hey! It’s that guy!” moment with the lady-attorney who showed the girls how they’d been raped… by showing it to them in a room full of strangers. That lady is the head of the hospital who’s always giving Dr. House a hard time when he goes all rogue and lets the voices tell him what’s wrong with his patients who are always infected by incredibly rare, difficult-to-treat diseases. I wonder if that show’s not keeping her as busy anymore after they decided to tell the same story… every episode.

Also what’s the deal with Connie Doe’s Dad? Is he on qualudes? When she phones him up to tell him to come over because she’s been raped he’s not all ape-shit-I’m-gonna-kill-this-bastard but instead he invites her to the ballet once she’s done airing all her dirty laundry in a court room. Thanks Dad, thanks.

Kate - February 11, 2011

That lady was in “Obsessed” too!

4. Rusty - February 7, 2011

Also: “She fails to get Daniel laid, but they are having a good time dancing around like total goons.”

She has sex with him! That is the exact opposite of failing to get someone laid!

That is some solid wingmanning.

Kate - February 11, 2011

I meant in the club!

5. hrh king friday xiii, ret. - February 7, 2011

Crap! I better erase my viedo tape entitled “Rusty GHBing.”

H$ - February 7, 2011

Worst birthday present EVER

6. Ash - February 7, 2011

Damn, now I wanna watch that movie. Unfortunately the closest thing I have to Lifetime is the W Network in Canada. So I’ll have to look out for it there.

And, somebody please review the Last Trimester. You can’t get any Lifetimier than that. It’s got babies and crazy ladies, among other things.
May I also suggest A Sister’s Secret, To Have and to Hold when it’s scheduled, and The Perfect Child when it’s scheduled.

7. Norman Greene - February 8, 2011

I like how they created Mexico in this movie. How do you know Andrew Luster’s in Mexico? Because he’s eating tacos and there’s a chicken walking around, and they’re playing Mexican music. I think they hired one Mexican extra to look on haplessly as Dog the Bounty Hunter arrests Luster.

Does anyone find it ironic the dude’s name is “Luster?” GUILTY ON THAT ALONE!


Kate - February 11, 2011

I liked how sad the taquería guy looked when Luster got caught. “Hey, that was my best customer!”

8. Norman Greene - February 9, 2011

You’d think a Max Factor heir would be able to afford a friggin’ label maker instead of labeling all his crap with cheap white tape and a sharpie.

I was almost hoping the guy from Clean House would come in the middle of the movie and help Luster organize all his incriminating rape videos and jars of knockout drops.

9. Amanda Knox: Murder on Trial in Italy « Lifetime, Wow! - March 1, 2011

[…] (She also said to always post at 11am or 2pm to maximize page views but in a slutty rush for immediate attention, that goes out the window. Please note that this review is being posted at, like, 9pm. At least it’s not a weekend! [Hint, hint, Kate.]) […]

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